Vale Dr Janette Poulton 1953 - 2023

13 Apr 2023 8:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Eulogy provided by Jill Howells

I met Janette in 2000 when I taught at a Primary School in Melbourne. I enrolled in a Professional Learning Course – Introduction to a Community of Inquiry, which she was running through the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools.

The level-one training I completed, Janette’s mentoring of me, and our friendship changed how I am an educator and influenced the schools I worked in. She ignited in me a passion to advocate for teaching critical and creative thinking through philosophical dialogue.

Janette reminded me of an intrepid explorer in education, always finding new ways to support and encourage adults and children to engage in Philosophical thinking. Her influence was immense across all sectors of education.

Some of Janette’s main achievements are:


Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools

Education and Innovations Officer


Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority

Casual assessment work


Federation of Asia Pacific Philosophy in Schools Association

Victorian Council Member and Secretary


Victorian Certificate of Education Philosophy teacher and examiner – casual


Completed her Doctorate of Education in 2011 on developmental assessment at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Melbourne University, where she studied under the supervision of Professor Patrick Griffin. Her thesis was titled “Milestones in Philosophical Development in the Middle Years”.

2012 -2018

Melbourne Institute of Technology

Academic Coordinator and lecturer School of Education and Arts Academic


Deputy Chair - Philosophy for Children and Youth, Asia-Pacific Network

2015- 2018

Victorian Association of Philosophy in School Northern Hub Coordinator for the Ethical Capability - Department of Education & Training


International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children Conference – Madrid


2020 -2022

University of Melbourne - Department of Education, Teacher training


Conference Coordinator Asia Pacific Conference On Philosophy for Children


Federation of Asia- Pacific Philosophy in Schools

Planning Committee


Facilitated a Peace Train workshop with Farzaneh Shahrtash from Iran, working with Japanese students.


• 2014

“Is there any future for p4c in Australia”?

• 2011

“Milestones in Philosophical Development in the Middle Years”

• 2019

Contributor to “Philosophical Inquiry with Children, The Development of an Inquiring Society in Australia”.

• 2022

“Community of inquiry, competitions, and capabilities: a cautionary response - about how competition is a challenge to the Community of Inquiry.”


• Created the first primary philosophy in public spaces event at the National Gallery of Victoria circa 2012.

• Expanded these events to include Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Melbourne Zoo, and Immigration Museum.

• Ethics trails at Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Zoo, Holocaust Museum,

• Led VCE revision forums for Year 12 students with leading academics in philosophy.

Janette was a key proponent of the community of inquiry pedagogies, which, unlike many popular educational traditions, acknowledges the importance of allowing children a greater voice in the learning process. Janette believed in interactional classrooms and the importance of listening to children, never wavering from the belief that they, too, are philosophical creatures with important things to say about the world around them.

She has been a leading figure in communities of inquiry in Victoria, interstate and internationally. Education was her passion.

In 2023 Janette continued her work with The Victorian Association of Philosophy in Schools and the Federation of Asia- Pacific Philosophy in Schools.

At one of our last meetings, she was positive towards the planning we had started and excited about what the year would bring.

She will be missed by many across the world.

Jill Howells

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ACN 152 892 272 ABN 29 152 892 272
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