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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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3.5.1 Philosophy for children: Our story of philosophy withdrawal gifted groups influencing whole school curriculum change

As educators of gifted students, ensuring our pedagogy is focused on teaching students how to question in order to create new answers can be challenging. Philosophical inquiry can equip students to become confident lifelong learners able to interact constructively, open-mindedly, and respectfully. This multimodal presentation illustrates the journey of a South Australian school in a low socioeconomic area that is implementing a dual stream philosophy program addressing the needs of highly able learners in withdrawal groups and whole class settings. It focuses on student voice and provides an overall snapshot of our journey to date.


Craig Davidson
Southern Vales Christian College

Craig Davidson is a Philosophy, English, and Physical Education teacher specialising in gifted education enrichment and extension programs. He teaches at the Middle/Secondary level at Southern Vales Christian College in South Australia. Some of the programs he helps facilitate along with the Philosophy program are Tournament of Minds and debating. The challenge to support and celebrate the accomplishments of gifted students in similar ways to skilled athletes inspires his continued investment in gifted education. Craig’s ongoing professional development in gifted education intentionally focuses his mainstream pedagogy on differentiation and building communities of inquiry.

Rebecca Napier
Southern Vales Christian College

Rebecca is a PhD candidate and sessional staff member at Flinders University. Her PhD investigates the career development experiences of gifted adolescent girls. Her educational positions in Australia and Canada have ranged from special education to mainstream teaching to gifted education. Rebecca is currently a gifted education coordinator at two sister schools. Philosophy teaching is one of her current passions in this role. Volunteering with several not-for-profit gifted associations has enriched her experience in the field. Raising two of her own gifted adolescents currently provides her with many interesting adventures. Music and nature are two of her greatest loves.


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