Dr Peter Ellerton

About Peter

  • Curriculum Director, University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project

  • Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Critical Thinking

  • Affiliate Senior Lecturer in Education

  • Fellow of the Rationalist Society of Australia

  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Critical and Creative Thinking

Peter’s areas of focus include Public Reasoning, Science Communication, Argumentation and Critical Thinking in education. Peter has been a teacher educator and a syllabus designer for the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Peter was one of a small team of academics redeveloping the 2021 ACARA Critical and Creative Thinking General Capability within the Australian Curriculum. He has consulted and produced papers for a variety of organisations including the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the NSW Department of Education, the Australian Defence Force, the Queensland Office of the Coordinator General, NSW Ombudsman and many private and public schools. He has delivered professional development in Teaching for Thinking to thousands of educators throughout Australia and internationally and has been invited to deliver programs at the University of California Los Angeles, Pepperdine University Los Angeles and Simone Fraser University in Canada and across South Africa. Peter's passion is working with educators to enable a teaching for Thinking focus across all year levels and subject areas.

Live projects:

  • Peter is one of a small team of academics to recently rewrite the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities in Critical and Creative Thinking.

  • Peter also sits on the ACARA National Assessment Program for Scientific Literacy (NAP-SL) working group.

  • Australian Research Council linkage grant on Problem Based Learning in STEM with Monash University, Brisbane Catholic Education and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools.

  • Peter is an expert contributor to the European Commission Joint Research Centre's Enlightenment 2.0 project, involving public reasoning in political processes and developing meaningful and ethical communication.

  • Thinking Schools India — A project linking leading Indian schools and educators with students and parents to deliver a thinking focussed education.

  • The Aspiring Thinkers Network linking thousands of educators and institutions internationally to deliver professional learning in a Teaching for Thinking pedagogy.

Teacher comments on Teaching for Thinking workshops


Peter's TedxBrisbane Talk: The right to be heard is not the right to be taken seriously

See Peter's essay "This is why you will lose your argument."

Peter's articles on The Conversation (over 2.7 million reads)

A video abstract of our paper: Cook, John, Ellerton, Peter and Kinkead, David (2018). Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors. Environmental Research Letters, 13 (2) 024018, 024018. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa49f

Some resources for teachers

A philosophy and critical thinking course developed by Peter and colleagues at the University of Queensland on the EDx platform.

Register below:


CT Matrix A3 colour.pdf

A critical thinking matrix to map critical thinking skills

GT NEQ.pdf
Collaboration NEQ.pdf
Schema PCKI NEQ.pdf
Questions NEQ.pdf
Arguments NEQ.pdf
PCKI tree NEQ.pdf

Some publications

Full list of publications