Magis

While our Years 11 and 12 students have been sitting examinations, some Magis activities such as Philosophy Club, Audio Engineering and Chess Club, have been suspended for two weeks. In the meantime I have been working on extending our Year 8 Philosophy course to include critical thinking and exercises on how to construct a good argument. The Philosophy course in Year 8 is a wonderful exemplar of Magis in that all Year 8 students have the opportunity to study Philosophy for a term. The course includes an introduction to the two founding fathers of Western Philosophy, Plato and Aristotle. Students are invited to explore ideas related to identity, what is real and how we might live a good life. Thus the course offers an extension and complex learning experience for all our Year 8 students.

In the meantime planning is going ahead to send a group of gifted students from Years 7, 8 and 9 to the Academy Conferences Gifted Study Day at Wesley College in August. This is designed specifically for our very clever thinkers. Academy Conferences has an established track record for enthusing and motivating the most able students, and offers a rare opportunity for gifted students to be introduced to and engage with new ideas presented by internationally renowned lecturers. These study days are demanding, and students who attend will be introduced to mind stretching thoughts that they have never before encountered. However, while rigorous, the topics covered are relevant and encourage clarity of thought, a philosophical perspective and the ability to become intellectually creative. Our students who attended the recent Senior Gifted Conference found that experience challenging and exciting.

The 2015 Perth Philosothon will be hosted by Perth College Anglican School for Girls on 21 October. Members of our Philosophy Club will again form the John XXlll College Team. The topics for discussion this year are:

  1. Is torture ever permissible?
  2. Do animals have minds?
  3. Under what conditions is it justifiable to disobey the law?
  4. Given that roughly 50% of the population is female should our political institutions be required to have 50% representation?

More information about the 2015 Philosothon can be found at: http://www.perthcollege.wa.edu.au/articles/news/the-perth-philosothon-2015-hosted-by-perth-college

Dr Annette Pedersen - Magis & Ignatius Centre Coordinator