1- INVITATION FROM ONTARIO PHILOSOPHY TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (OPTA)TO GIVE SESSION AT THE ANNUAL CONGRESS APRIL 30, 2018 Session topic: Incorporating games to foster critical thinking: A hands-on workshop tied to the Ontario Philosophy Curriculum and the philosophical Olympiads. The session will address the Ontario framework of developing 21st century competencies through philosophical reasoning and social skills to help practice formulating and evaluating arguments related to a variety philosophical questions of the Ontario philosophy high school courses HZB3M and HZT4U. The sessions is divided into two parts. The approach is designed to meet the achievement chart of the Ministry with regards to: 1. Knowledge and Understanding of important philosophical questions 2. Developing critical and creative thinking to analyse and express ideas relevantly in a sound judgement based on criteria that avoid bias and fallacies 3. Communication and innovation by developing the skills to ask their own questions after consolidating insights. A handbook of philosophers and philosophical traditions to identify and analyze the responses of philosophers to the big questions and formulate their own responses is part of the kit. The workshop will explain how to set up a mini Olympiad at the school as a club or incorporated in their regular sessions. Handouts, the teacher guide and games will be available. Members of the executive board of OPTA, Kenneth Peglar (president) and Jamie Smith have tested the materials and the approach. An interesting pilot project using the game approach across all levels to motivate students in developing critical thinking and stimulate them to engage philosophical dialogue and reflection is used in the Ottawa area, following training by teachers.

Kerstin Mihalik of the Faculty of Education at University of Hamburg has been working with the Play Wise tool kit for stimulating philosophical dialogue with children. A german translation of some of the question has been made available by Rike Zeus from the Institute of Technology at the University in Munich.

Collaboration with teacher colleges in China for introducing the game-based approach to developing 21st competencies. At the invitation of the dean of Social Sciences and Humanities of Bohai University and the Institute of Philosophy for Children at Hangzhou normal University, China led by Dr. Gao Zhenyu Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies , Dr. Ghanotakis gave a series of lectures, workshops with graduate students and demonstration classes in three provinces, notable at Northeast China Normal University and their Affiliated school of 3000 students and in elementary and kindergarten in Shanghai with the participation of Dr. Gu, professor of Early Childhood studies from East China University. The events were attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education and editorial team from Ganzhi Normal University Press which is interested to publish in Chinese several of Dr. Ghanotakis’ works including Growing Up Wise: A Dialogue with Matthew Lipman on Philosophy and Educational reform, the Play Wise kit in three levels, the novels and argument literacy kit The PHILOS game and the lectures on the game approach and the teaching of philosophy in the schools

Alessandra Macaione a teacher and practitioner of philosophy in the schools member of CRIF (Centro di Ricerca sull’Indagine Filosofica) is working on the implementation of the Play Wise and translated questions in Italian. She has also favourably reviewed the recent book GROWING UP : A dialogue with Matthew Lipman based on the transcript of a workshop held at the University of Ottawa on Philosophy and thinking Skills Across the Curriculum in 1986.

Spanish translation of the Play Wise game, Game of the Year in 2017 by the Creative Child Awards, being accomplished by Gil Editores of Mexico with contribution from Maria Rosario from the Dialogue Center in Mexico. The Spanish edition will be out in May 2018, in time for presentation at the meeting of the meeting of the North American Association of community of Inquiry (NAACI) in Mexico June 15-17.

Participation at the XVIII Conference of ICPIC Madrid, July 29-July 4, 2017 The director of ICEPC, Dr. Ghanotakis gave a workshop on the teaching of critical thinking and inquiry dialogue using the game-based approach using Play Wise and Philosophical Olympiads using a format combining the popular National High School Ethics Bowl and Philosothon. The workshop generated strong interest from participants around the world who are collaborating in doing translations and experimenting with the model and use of lesson plans from the Teacher Guide Play Wise Tool Kit available from Institute Philos. A paper based on the workshop will be published in the handbook Family Resemblances: Current Perspectives in Philosophy for Children (Anaya, Madrid 2018), under the title Meeting the needs of 21st learners: Teaching critical thinking through the game based approach. Copies of the article can be obtained by contacting Dr. George Ghanotakis.

A location for the distribution of learning materials to schools in the US has been established in Iowa. Tony Nahra a member of the board is working on an online adaptation of Play Wise that will be translated in Chinese by professor Gao Zhenyu .