Engaged Philosophical Inquiry

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”
(Socrates, 468-399 B.C.E.)


To put in your agenda: EPI Symposia for the upcoming academic year (subject to change).

September 14, 4-6pm

What is educational philosophy about? Why is philosophy relevant in Teacher Education?

There is an assumption, widely spread, that philosophy is a theoretical discipline that deals with abstract concepts. In this symposia we will try to show that this is true only of a certain tradition. But there are also others, one of which considers philosophy a very concrete exercise to put into question and think with other the problems of our daily experience. How does this experience of philosophy looks like when practice in an educational setting? This the other question that will also be the focus of this symposium.

October 26, 4-6pm

What can Paulo Freire still teach us today? Why is Paulo Freire’s thinking and life still relevant to contemporary educators?


Engaged philosophical inquiry (EPI) is a way of facilitating a democratic and open-ended dialogue between children, youth and adults around bigger and smaller questions about life, knowledge, value, and meaning. Example questions of children are: “Why does it take so long to make good friends, but so short to make enemies?”, “What is pure happiness?”, “Should bullies be punished?”, or “Do you deserve what you get in life?” This long established inquiry-based way of teaching can be used in various settings: in school, at home, in public, etc. It encourages people of all ages to read, listen, think critically, feel deeply, see things from multiple perspectives, and develop social responsibility.

This Engaged Philosophical Inquiry Consortium connects scholars, practitioners, students and everyone interested in this pedagogy. It offers and helps organize:

  • To promote EPI in schools and other educational environments
  • Professional development and workshops
  • Graduate courses
  • Research projects
  • Summer camps for children
  • Increase the variety of methods and practices in EPI
  • Bring philosophy as teachable subject (Minor) into high schools
  • Collect resources: scholarly articles as well as resources for teachers and practitioners
  • Connect with other EPI initiatives across Canada
  • Organize regular national symposia and international conferences
  • Helping and teaching each other to become better facilitators


To learn more about what EPI is, click here and if you are interested in learning how to facilitate philosophical inquiries and develop a curriculum accordingly please join the EPI Summer Institute.