AAP Prize for Innovation in Inclusive Curricula - 2020 (Applications Now Closed) 

The Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP) offers an annual monetary prize of $500 for the development of innovative approaches to teaching philosophy. This is offered with a view to exploring ways in which undergraduate courses in philosophy can build the understanding and practise of an inclusive discipline, concerned to foster equal participation in the profession. The aims of the prize are to encourage professionals developing and improving their teaching portfolios to consider critically how philosophy is presented, and to be innovative in implementing practices of teaching that off-set well-known disparities of participation in the discipline, for instance along race and gender lines. 

Judging Criteria

1. Significant innovation in curriculum that successfully promotes equity and diversity within the discipline, particularly with respect to underrepresented or marginalised groups in the profession.

2. Innovation in pedagogy that successfully promotes broader participation in the discipline.

3. Adoption of strategies for engaging with real-world issues and justice in the classroom.

4. High quality in course design and delivery framed by the concern that philosophical education is also educating agency for valuing human diversity beyond the discipline and the classroom.

Resources for developing inclusive curriculum 


The prize is open to individuals, or groups of individuals, teaching undergraduate philosophy courses in Australasian Universities.

The course must have taken place within 5 years before the date of application. The course convenor should be included amongst the applicants, unless prior approval is given to waive this requirement.

No person may win the prize more than once, and no course may be re-entered without substantial modifications..


The closing date for entries was 28 February 2020 at 6pm AEDT. Please note: late entries will not be accepted.

Full details on Policy & Procedure can be found HERE (Requires Member Login)

This prize requires the collection of personal information. The way this personal information is used and distributed is detailed in the AAP Privacy Policy which can be found HERE. The AAP Privacy Policy forms part of the terms and conditions of this prize. By submitting a nomination, an applicant agrees to the usage of personal information as defined in the AAP Privacy Policy. Those nominating a third party for the prize should pay special attention to their obligation in notifying the third party of the usage and disclosure of their information as defined in the AAP Privacy Policy.

All enquiries to: administrativeofficer@aap.org.au

This Prize is sponsored by Taylor and Francis, publisher of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and the Australasian Philosophical Review.

2019 Winner Innovation in Inclusive Curricula Prize

Helen Ngo  deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/helen-ngo

Justice and Equality

The judging panel unanimously decided to award the Prize for Innovation in Inclusive Curricula to Helen Ngo for her unit Justice and Equality. The first half of the unit focuses on grounding the students with a knowledge of the key movements in contemporary political philosophy, including utilitarianism, Rawlsian liberalism, libertarianism, Marxism, and communitarianism. In the second half the focus turns to racism, decolonial justice, feminism, transgender identities, and disability.

Rather than looking at these topics in isolation from the philosophical movements explored in the first half of the unit, Ngo links the new topics to political philosophy as traditionally conceived. For instance, Marxism is connected to decolonial justice through the work of Frantz Fanon; Rawlsian liberalism is discussed in relation to racism through the work of Charles Mills. The new topics are also discussed in relation to each other. For example, the week on transgender identities is related back to the week on feminism, and the tensions between feminist and transgender activism are explored, as are the possibilities for trans-feminist solidarity.

Ngo has radically altered the unit from previous years, assigning authors from a variety of underrepresented and marginalised groups. The unit also encourages the students to engage with real-world issues that are traditionally overlooked in undergraduate units in political philosophy. Ngo makes the case that these issues can both illuminate and pose serious challenges to existing political theories. Her unit is an excellent example of how to design a philosophy course that encourages diversity and inclusivity.

Past Recipients

Highly Commended

Sam Shpall 

"Contemporary Political Philosophy"


Alexandre Lefebvre

The Philosophy of Human Rights (University of Sydney)

The course promotes inclusivity through careful attention to the authors represented within its curriculum, thus presenting to students a clear sense in which those engaged in important philosophical work can be from diverse backgrounds. This representation of diversity in philosophy is also carried through into the teaching team for the course, which displays a carefully managed gender balance. Finally, the course makes use of alternative methods of teaching, especially in tutorials, where inquiry and interaction are nurtured in an inquisitorial and collaborative learning space, thus supporting diverse styles of engagement. The judging panel found the course to be a high quality example of how to improve inclusiveness in the teaching of philosophy.


Dr Ruth Boeker

History of Early Modern Philosophy

The prize's winner is Dr Ruth Boeker's course History of Early Modern Philosophy  (University of Melbourne). The course innovates with respect to a standard course in early modern philosophy both in its content and in its pedagogy: it focuses on the collaborative aspect of philosophy during the early modern period; and it mirrors that collaboration in team-based pedagogy within the course.

These innovations cultivate inclusiveness, not by diluting the challenge of the curriculum but by intensifying students' engagement. The course materials undermine the myth of the solitary male philosophical genius, instead underscoring the interaction of voices, including female voices, in a common philosophical conversation during the early modern period. The carefully planned pedagogical structure cultivates students taking an active role in creating a supportive learning environment for themselves and their peers within their teams. And finally, the continuous low-stakes assessment sustains engagement and builds skills, thereby preventing students being left behind.

The judging panel found the course overall to be of high quality and an excellent contribution to improving inclusiveness within the teaching of philosophy. 

If you would like to receive more information about the course please contact 

Dr Boeker:  shaps.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/dr-ruth-boeker

Helpful TBL Resources 

Boeker task design and sample materials 

Boeker Course Outline and Design 


Michelle Sowey

Director - The Philosophy Club

The Big Questions Philosophy Mentoring Program

The judging panel unanimously decided to award the prize to The Big Questions philosophy mentoring program, submitted by Michelle Sowey, director of Melbourne-based organization The Philosophy Club. This program has a two part structure in which: i) a cohort of undergraduate philosophy “mentors” are trained to facilitate collaborative philosophical inquiry amongst children, drawing on the “Philosophy for Children” model which has intellectual roots in American pragmatism. They are then placed in a low socio-economic status primary school setting where they facilitate philosophical inquiry with the children, with appropriate support, ii) the children receive an exposure to philosophical thought which is currently rare amongst low socio-economic status groups in Australasia, who typically do not reach University-level study.

The judging panel were impressed by the unique experiential learning in both philosophical practice and teaching which this program made possible, and by evidence that it achieved its aims of both broadening mentor’s philosophical practice and introducing our discipline to sectors of society that would not ordinarily encounter it. Although the program’s structure is unusual, the judges took into consideration that an important function of this prize is to encourage flexible thinking around the training of future philosophers. In her application Michelle argues that programs such as The Big Questions could play an important role in improving retention in our profession for individuals who are uncomfortable with a certain perceived combativeness in some aspects of its current culture, and instinctively prefer a more cooperative and collaborative model of philosophising. This claim seems worthy of further investigation.

Download - 
Big Questions program aims, structure and scope, and program outline pdf
Big Questions Sample curriculum materials pdf 
Big Questions - how academic philosophers can get involved docx 

  • Home
  • Prizes
  • Innovation in Inclusive Curricula Prize
©Australasian Association of Philosophy
ACN 152 892 272
ABN 29
152 892 272
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software