Philosophy for Children (P4C) began being taught in SA in 1985 due to the efforts of Sue Knight (Magill SACAE/ Later UniSA) and Bill Elkins. They had undertaken training with Matthew Lipman and Ann Sharpe (the founders of P4C) at the Wollongong workshop in May of that year. Sue travelled to the USA later in 1985 to further develop her expertise. Knight and Elkins offered professional teacher training as well as ongoing mentorships. They also made strong connections with the SA Dept of education, conducting workshops to train teachers in the Community of Inquiry/P4C pedagogy.
Their efforts were such that the SA network was the largest throughout the 1980s with many schools and teachers undertaking P4C training and implementing the pedagogy and curriculum in their schools.
They did this as the SA regional network of the Australian Institute of Philosophy for Children (AIPC). By 1990 the SA Philosophy for Children Association (SAPCA) was born.
Throughout the 1990s 2000s the SAPCA community continued to grow and develop resources for teachers. They trained hundreds of SA teachers in the P4C pedagogy and advocated for philosophy as a subject from Reception to Year 2.
In 2014 SAPCA decided to change their name to be more inclusive of the increasing number of tertiary educators joining the community. The became the SA Philosophy in Education Association (SAPEA).
Today SAPEA continues to offer training in the Community of Inquiry/P4C pedagogy as well as offering support for philosophy teachers.
Since 2017 they have widened their offerings to run events with public institutions, such as the Art Gallery of South Australia that offer hands-on experience of the community of inquiry pedagogy as well as public philosophy.
SAPEA continues to grow and innovate in the field of philosophy in education.