Received from adults, children and teachers for the following courses:

Philosophy for Beginners 2003-2006

‘I really enjoyed the course – everyone had an opportunity to interact and discuss points of view with others’ John.

‘Very helpful and interesting and just enough not to become overloadedwith information. Most enjoyble was defining language – i.e a concept, and the mind-body problem. Can recommend the course’ R.F.

‘Most enjoyable was an insight into the method/ practice of Philosophy and the free discussion. Fantastic introduction to further study – an insight into the method / practice of philosophy’ Den.

‘The notes related well, interesting reading. Most enjoyable were the general discussions. A good introduction into philosophy. It’s good to hear other people’s views’ Ken.

‘Discussions were practical. The exercise about defining a person was fun (using pieces of paper)’ George.

‘The notes were excellent. Just right – well done’ John.

‘Had a great time – liked the company and the discussion’ Ben.

‘The summaries of the individual philosphers were very helpful. It was very understandable for someone that hadn’t looked at philosophy before’ Irene.

‘The most enjoyable aspect of the course was the explanation of the notes, with clarity, and the occasional humourous comments by others in the class. Everyone was given the opportunity to speak & encouraged. Very clear explanations’ Mary.

‘Most enjoyable was the discussion & ntellectual exercise. Thankyou Pauline’ Fay.

‘The notes as condensed information were very good’ Adrian.

‘The best thing about this class was the clarity of notes & keeping the discussion to the point’ Heather.

‘Good overview. Exploration of different points of view’ Peter.

‘The best thing was the process and the search and great presentations of Pauline. We should have many more of these intelligent classes with female teachers’ Anne.

‘The tutor managed to present the subject matter very effectively backed up by excellent notes. I benefited enormously from the material presented’ Peter.

‘Too short!’ Karl.

‘Class was based on tutor’s thorough stimulating notes, Lots of interesting ideas from participants. Tutor managed to steer us clear of arguments!’ Helen.

‘The encouragement to join in was tactful and helpful. Clear presentations and good group discussion. I look forward to another class with Pauline’ Anne.

‘I really enjoyed the course – everyone had an opportunity to interact and discuss points of view with others’ Maureen.

‘I most enjoyed Pauline’s leadership into discussions on the varied topics. Altogether a very enjoyable programme’ Bob.

‘This has been a very worthwhile course. Thankyou very much Pauline’ Fiona.

‘A most enjoyable series!’ Donald.

‘Most enjoyable – time went very (too) quickly’ Helen.

‘It was a good introduction for beginners’ Rodney.

‘Extremely interesting’ Andrew.

‘The encuragement to debate and think was the most enjoyable aspect of the course’ Barbara.

‘Most enjoyable were our discussions. I recommend this course to everyone as it helps to broaden the mind’ Cheryl.

‘I liked the discussion and the explanation of the topics. After the course, my mind and thoughts are different when I read or see things’ Wen.

‘The course was mind-expanding’ Judy.

‘There was positive class participation’ Brenda.

Philosophy for Children (spelling left unchanged) 2004-2006

(i) School programmes with Primary Schools

‘The thinking circle is great and will be great for younger kids as well. The thinking circle is a great way to brorden minds, I just loved it!’ Grade 5 girl.

‘I think it was exellent because it helped me think in a different way about things and I don’t think that there is only 1 right answer’ Grade 5 boy.

‘The thinking circle has been a great experience for explaning your thoughts and making you think differently. A great experience!’ Grade 5 boy.

‘I feel very priveledged to be part of this great circle. I thought it was good to hear other peoples view though sometimes not agreeing. Thanks Pauline for a great 10 weeks’ Grade 5 boy.

‘I’ve had a great time and learn lots. Thankyou very much’ Girl, mixed Grade 4-6 group.

‘It’s been good and I’ve learnt a lot’ Boy, mixed Grade 4-6 group.

‘Its improved my thinking heaps.Thanks’ Girl, mixed Grade 4-6 group.

‘I’ve had heaps of fun and have learnt a lot’ Girl, mixed Grade 4-6 group.

‘I found it interesting to find out the different areas of philosophy and exploring different subjects each week, sharing my ideas / listening’ Grade 4 girl.

‘Helps me to think more now’ Grade 4 boy.

‘It lets us think more than what we usually do’ Grade 4 boy.

‘I think it made me think of the possibitys of actions and the answers of my questions’ Grade 4 boy.

‘It was cool how we thought and talked of different things than we would normally think / talk about’ Grade 4 girl.

‘I liked the people who help’ Grade 6 boy.

‘We all cooperated correctly’ Grade 7 boy.

‘I really enjoyed the topics and taking about it’ Grade 7 girl.

‘I liked the thinking circle because I got to listen to other people’s ideas’ Grade 5 boy

‘I liked the topics we talked about’ Grade 6 girl.

‘I love the idea and I want to do it more often. It is a great learning experience’ Grade 6 girl.

‘I liked it how you are able to say what you have to say whenever you wanted to say it. It was a great experience’ Grade 5 girl.

‘I liked being with these people and talking to them. I thought it was fun and interesting and I learnt a lot’ Grade 6 boy.

‘It was pretty good but it seemed like it went for ages. Thanks’ Grade 6 girl.

‘At the beginning of the first session I began to think more out of the square’ Grade 4 girl.

‘Most of the time I left confused. But it exercises my brain a lot’ Grade 5 boy.

‘I liked philosophy most of the time except I wish they had more comfy chairs and I also wish it was a bit of a small group so you can talk a little bit more’ Grade 5 girl.

‘What I learned and made new friend’s’ Grade 4 boy.

‘I like the things that I learnt and asking the questions and answering them’ Grade 5 girl.

‘It was interesting figuring out the answers & questions’ Grade 6 boy.

‘I enjoyed disagreeing with the ideas to find an answer!’ Grade 6 girl.

‘I enjoyed coming and learning’ Grade 6 girl.

‘I liked always having a discussion at the end of a story’ Grade 4 boy.

‘I enjoy being able to argue my point with others’ Grade 6 boy.

‘I enjoyed being able to say what I think’ Grade 4 girl.

‘I enjoyed listening to peoples thoughts and ideas as well as asking and answering questions!’ Grade 4 girl.

‘I enjoyed the obects that we were trieng to put some were’ Grade 4 girl.

‘The thing that I enjoyed the most in the pholosify group is we get to talk lots and talk about things’ Grade 5 boy.

‘I enjoyed the storys. And discussing them’ Grade 4 boy.

‘I enjoyed it and stories’ Grade 4 boy.

‘Thankyou for a great nine weeks of Philosopy. I hope you have a really great Christmas and and ecellent new year?‘ A card from a Grade 5 boy.

(ii) School Programmes with High-Schools

‘It was good to discuss and think about things one wouldn’t usually consider’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I thought it was fantastic, and it really gave me a chance to express myself, thankyou very much Pauline’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘It was a new & interesting experience where I could open my mind & mouth. Thankyou’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I really enjoyed it, it was great to be able to talk about things that you wouldn’t usually be able to talk about. Thankyou Pauline’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

’I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from the ways of thinking explored’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

I can now think about logic and reasoning’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I found this both informative and enjoyable’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘The Thinking Circle helped me to anlyse situations’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘The Thinking Circle was a really interesting and different activity. It’s a shame we couldn’t do something more on religion’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I liked listening to the conversation and other peoples opinions’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘This has helped me to find the logic in my opinions’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘The TC really helped me develop skills when building logical arguments’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘TC opened up a new way of thinking. It’s really interesting’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘The TC is very interesting. How people think (from listening to conversation is very interesting)’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I found the Thinking Circle to be a very valuable and useful experience that broadened my mind and developed my logic’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

‘I had great fun in the thinking circle and go to meet many new people and got friends and learn much and found it very useful!’ Girl in mixed Grade 7-10 group.

(iii) Holiday Programmes with primary school children

These were mixed groups of boys and girls approx 8 – 10 years old. The programmes ran during the school holidays with children from various primary schools, public and private. We explored the difference between science and illusion by using films, optical illusions, pictures and various media.

‘I liked all of it. It was fun. I enjoyed it. I have learnt a very lot’

‘The illusions were cool and I liked spinning the things. I learnt lots and lots’

‘I have learnt tons’

‘I have learnt: don’t trust our eyes’

‘I enjoyed the optical illusions…. I would come to another holiday workshop because they’re fun and you never know what you will learn. I have learnt things about optical illusions and how the eyes work’

‘I enjoyed the experiments and Harry Potter … it’s really fun … you sometimes can’t trus your eyes’

‘I enjoyed the optical illuseions … they’re fun and something to do … seeing isn’t always believing.

I’I enjoyed the experiments and Harry Potter, I have learnt that you sometimes can’t always trust your eyes’

‘I enjoyed the optical illusions. I have learnt that seeing isn’t always believing’

Philosophy for Teachers and Educators 2003-2006

(i) Working with teachers in the classroom, via cards, emails and telephone

‘I’d like to say how fabulous I found the second day in particular, I went away all inspired to do concept games etc, and use other things than literature for community of inquiry. I will be recommending to Lenah Valley where I also work when I am not teaching online for CELO that they consider getting you in to do some PD about this area as the LV children would love it I think.

Thanks again, getting to actually go somewhere different ike the female factory made me really think about how I could use other sites, and also how I could use places like the museum which I’ve taken kids to many times in a new and better way, inspirational!’ Anne.

‘Thankyou ever so much for the decision making session on Monday. The students benefited such a lot from the session and we have followed up with two sessions this week focussing on bringing information to a decision, and giving reasons for decisions.

We read a story called ‘The Treehouse’ from a book called ‘Peace’ and we viewed a ‘Skytrackers’ video, which depicted many dilemmas for children to assess in terms of the decisions that were made in the field – lots of talking and writing, which was great’ Anna and 3 others teachers.

‘Pauline’s assisiting me with the ‘Community of Inquiry’ sessions was helpful to me in three ways:

  1. It was very supportive to work with someone who also supports the values and aims of COI and ‘Philosophy for Children.’ The sessions enlarged my perspective on the stories and sessions, gave me chance to se them from a perspective on the stories and sessions, gave me the chance to see them from a different perspective. I saw how another person interacted with the children and how she saw things differetly to me, and raised different issues with the children from the stories. Having these different perspectives widened the children’s experiences. The discussion plans were more in depth than mine, and raised more issues. Having copies of the discussion plans will help me to extend my own.
  2. Being (partially) an observer allowed me to see more of the process that went on. Because I participated less than if I was by myself I was more aware of what the children wer saying and how they were reacting, and I thus learnt more about how the children saw things than I would have done had I run the sessions on my own.
  3. Watching someone else interacting with the children permitted me to ‘step out’ from the situation somewhat, and become more aware of how the children learnt from the process. I was able to focus more energy and thought on seeing how the children developed through their COI experiences. When one is fully involved in the process (bearing in mind these are very young children, 5 of which are under therapy and therefore very difficult), one can sometimes miss some of the changes going on. I now intend to spend time on integrating the learning experiences from the ‘Community of Inquiry’ into ‘Show and Tell’, and thus into the children’s own lives’ Kate, kindergarten teacher, with whom I worked for several weeks with 30 kindergarten aged children, including 5 under therapy.

‘Showed the staff th things we have been doing at a PD session. I still had the butcher paper with the questions to display so that others could understand that kinders could enter into and inquiry-based activity. Also showed them the text book I borrowed from you! Thanks for your time and energy. I’m sure our staff, as well as our classroom has gained insight from your work’ Kate.

‘Thanks or sharing so generously with my students’ MaryAnne.

‘Thankyou so very much for giving up your time to work with our students. It was wonderful to hear the nature and depth of their questioning mature over the four weeks. The Community of Inquiry encouraged them to really consider what is an important / valuable question. ”The Community of Inquiry was really interesting and I learnt a lot about decisions and jumping to conclusions and heaps of other stuff” – quote from one of my students!’ Anna and Grainne.

‘Pauline, thank you once again for all your hard work and thought regarding our decision making sessions. A…, G……, and I have been extremely impressed with the way you have conducted the community of inquiry each session you worked with us. You were positive with the children and when they needed a reminder you were gentle and caring with them. You were able to keep the sessions “on track” which is not always easy as children can easily be distracted with ideas they wish to pursue, however if the new idea fitted in you were able to explore that too.

You did such a lot of preparation and this gave the inquiry definite purpose and framework and also gave us, the teachers follow up ideas. The Year 3 children now have a much better concept of the decision making process and what needs to be considered, thanks to your sessions. Thanking you again and please visit us any time! Gai.

‘Showed the staff the things we have been doing at a PD session. I still had the butcher paper with the questions to display so that others could understand that kinders could enter into enquiry-based activity. Also showed them the text book I borrowed from you! Thankyou for your time and energy – I’m sure our staff as well as our classroom community has gained insight from your work’ Linda.

‘Thankyou so much for your assistance & cooperation in my studies this year. The PFC training has been a highlight of 2005 for me. Have a fabulous Christmas and all the best for 2006!’ Bec.

‘Pauline, you have helped us enormously in giving our unit of wok on decision-making a structure anad may starting points for discussion. Thanks’ Gai, Graine, Anna and Denise.

(ii) Philosophy PD training programs for teachers

‘I got a lot from the sessions. I’ve been able to apply it in the classroom. I’ve learnt something new every session’ C.S.

‘Very generous with sharing resources and ideas’ Ngaire.

‘I felt part of the group and that my contributions were valued. Definitely worthwhile’ Sam.

‘Could have had more and more and more! Thankyou for an organised session – food for thought. Relaxed, friendly – generous with material’ K.S.

‘Very useful & enjoyable. Good reinforcement of my research. No parts were uninteresting or irrelevant. Was a great chance to gain an understanding of the practicalities and potential of PFC in Tasmanian Schools, hear the ideas / beliefs of current teachers & experience the COI as a participant’ Bec.

‘Very practical, explained really clearly by you, was great to try with different ages & abilities’ Jenny.

‘The last session to learn the feedback was fantastic and it was good to learn the process was efficient and had actually happened with the various classes / age groups. Adaptation that worked well. Great resources! Good to network with other participants. We had a wide range of teaching / life experiences’ R.P.

‘Could be applied with differenct age/level classes with a few variation. I was aware of the different reasoning skils but appreciate the practical explanations – very useful for the classroom. Concept games were very practical, pictures and objects – very interesting differences of opinion. Some great ideas to apply in the classroom’ Sophia.

‘Will be a very useful tool for encouraging lateral thinking & group participation oriented activity. The COI activiews were very useful, both on a professional & personal level. Participation was both encouraged and valued. Would highly recommend. Use the techniques of C of I within varied ways. Experiment & have fun with what happens. Stay open’ Carol.

‘Changes perspectives about why you teach’ Nadia.

Very helpful! I found the program very useful, and the hands-on sessions were very practical’ Sally.

‘Very, very useful for my relief teaching future. Very good models by Pauline of lessons. Well worth the 7 hour course. Useful for my future‘ Andrew.

‘Provides a teaching approach / facilitator role is modelled for us. The COI links very comfortably with the ELS Inquiry strand, and communicating. The Community of Inquiry is an interesting approach. My class participated enthusiastically and I would certainly use it again with my class & recommend it to others’ Anne.

‘I liked how you got us to participate in the activities as a class. I will try it in my classroom. Actually going through a Community of Inquiry from beginning to end was extremely useful. I learnt a great deal’ Janelle.

‘Very provoking and stimulating – giving many areas for follow up work with a story. Listening to others sharing was valuable. Flexibility of the sessions was good. The input from teachers was invaluable. It’s amazing the questions than can be generated from a story. Thankyou Pauline’ Helen.

‘Really enjoyed doing the concept games and pictures and objects. Showed how discussion could begin with the smallest items. Found it all very useful. Open children’s minds to infinite possibility with everyday items’ Donna.

‘Day 1 – practical application – capacity to share was a really strong element of the program. May I suggest it is mandatory’ Simon.

‘I believe with the Essential Learnings gathering momentum, Community of Inquiry will become the norm for the future’ Don.

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