ST Mark’s Anglican Community School welcomed its first ever philosopher in residence last month.
As the founder and chief executive of UK-based charity The Philosophy Foundation, Peter Worley is known for his work in bringing philosophy to schools around the world and has written several books as practical guides for teachers to deliver philosophy and critical thinking in the classroom.
“Peter firmly believes philosophy employs and encourages critical thinking – something that is a much-needed tool in today’s world,” philosophy teacher Andrew Rogers said.
Mr Worley spent three days at the Hillarys school working with students from years 2 to 12 on a range of philosophical questions to engage them in the subject and to develop their critical and creative thinking.
Topics included “what is thinking?” with the years 2 to students, looking at Indigenous perspectives at the time of Federation with Year 6 students and discussing business ethics with Year 12s.
“I was genuinely blown away by the quality of thinking of the students and staff here,” Mr Worley said.
The philosophy and ethics course was introduced at St Mark’s five years ago.
“Students undertaking the ATAR course are performing well and our course results have seen us listed in the top performing schools category since its inception,” Mr Rogers said.
“We have an extremely successful Philosothon team (an interschool philosophy competition), which will be representing WA at the Australasian Philosothon competition in Adelaide later this year.
“In addition, a pop-up Philosophy Caf runs on Fridays during lunch when students from years 6 to 12 meet to discuss philosophical issues.”