Philo-Day 2023 Report – “Thinking and Dwelling”
Kristin Peschutter and Melanie Sheath
European School of Karlsruhe 2022-2023 – Brussels IV

On Wednesday afternoon 7 pupils from S6 (sadly one was ill and could not attend) left for Brussels IV in Laeken to take part in the philosophy conference accompanied by Frau Peschutter and Frau Sheath.

The conference opened on Thursday morning with welcome speeches followed by ethical dilemma impromptus where participants had two minutes to prepare to respond to ethical quandaries. The pupils were required to respond clearly and articulately, using philosophical frameworks and philosophers as the basis for their arguments. Frau Sheath was fortunate to be chosen as one of the judges for the ethical dilemmas on Thursday and the finals on Friday. The methodology was thought-provoking and provided the teachers with the opportunity to consider how to incorporate them into extra curricula activities which would support the final BAC examinations. Most of the rest of

Thursday and Friday were taken up with presentations and workshops by students, teachers, and professors. Among others, on Thursday we enjoyed listening to a teacher talking eloquently and engagingly about Levinas and ‘The Other and Otherness.’ The absolute highlight of the conference for most of us was listening to an extended
workshop by Matthew Pye followed by a lecture, ‘The Surprising Ecologist-Karl Marx’. After the lecture we briefly met Matthew Pye and Frau Peschutter made immediate use of the meeting and invited him to Karlsruhe to talk with our pupils about his project ‘Climate Academy’ and the associated new subject ‘Education for Sustainable Development.’ He agreed, provided it were on a Monday.

Pupils said:
“I enjoyed representing Karlsruhe and meeting common-minded students to debate moral dilemmas.”

“We learnt a lot. We learnt about a range of philosophies from a range of schools of thought.”

“We built connections between our school and other European schools.”

“It is events like these that connect the knowledge we gain in classes with real life situations. These events motivate students to continue learning and give guidance to our future careers.”

“Events like these are paramount to network with other students and teachers. The experience gained lets us reflect on our local system and strive together for the greater good.”

Future Development/Proposals
The Karlsruhe teachers and pupils are motivated to carry forward and develop the following:

Philosophy and Literary Club weekly where ethical dilemmas form a key constituent of the programme to prepare pupils for the oral BAC

March 6th– pupils who participated in the Brussels conference will produce their own workshop for the whole of the German and English sections during lesson time on the theme of Living and Dwelling: cascading their own recent learning (the Aula is already booked, period 3)

Open Day March 11th – pupils who participated in the Brussels conference will engage with visitors to the school on ethical and philosophical discussions supported by Frau Peschutter and Frau Sheath

June project week philosophy and essay writing (as previously proposed 03/02/2023) which includes the following:

Matthew Pye from Brussels II visiting ESKAR and presenting and discussing the foundation of the new subject ‘Education for Sustainable Development’   within a philosophical and ethical framework as presented in his book, ‘Plato Tackles Climate Change
Heidelberg post-doctoral students presenting and discussing philosophical problems and essay writing skills with our pupils (Heidelberg Author Network from UNESCO City of Literature which awards the prize for the best essay this year)

Research at the university library for university skills
Oral BAC preparation

Education for Sustainable Development (2-period subject)


on the theme: “Thinking and Dwelling”
Brussels February 8-10th 2023