Learning Philosophy

By Amanda Bertschinger,

  Filed under: Middle School, Senior School

St John’s is one of the few schools in South Australia (and possibly the nation) that teaches Philosophy as a standalone subject from Years 7 to Stage 2. We have a proud tradition of being able to do this for over 20 years and hope to continue well into the future. As young people begin to navigate the world around them, they are faced with an unprecedented amount of information and viewpoints, all ready at their fingertips and all ready to be embraced, rejected or ignored entirely. From Year 7 onwards, we try to instil the importance of clear, systematic thinking and the need to place information and viewpoints in their appropriate context. The umbrella term applied to all our courses is The Search for Meaning and at each stage of the journey, we look at a variety of ways humans strive for a sense of meaning in their lives. From exploring the Christian tradition at Year 7, to life’s Big Questions and the possible futures we might encounter at Years 8 and 9, to an overview of ancient and medieval philosophies at Year 10, to the prescribed courses at SACE level, each step assists in trying to establish a student’s own philosophical ‘house building’.  Challenging reading, stimulating videos, interesting group activities and good old fashioned talking to other humans, are the ways we travel on this shared journey and by the end of it all, it’s hoped that each student who has a go at Philosophy, understands the world just that little bit more deeply than they might have otherwise.

Colin McKenzie

Philosophy, History, English