2019 Conference


Innovation and Collaboration: Making Classrooms More Philosophical

Theme:

Innovation and Collaboration: Making Classrooms More Philosophical


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Thursday, 06/20/2019

TimeDescription
6:00 - 9:00 pm

Friday, 06/21/2019

TimeDescription
8:30 am - 9:00 am

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:45 am

Opening Remarks

10:00 am - 11:30 am

Concurrent Session #1

Room #1: Innovations in Philosophy for Children Chair: Ryan Musgrave Ghoncheh Azadeh Mollie Jones

Ben Kilby

Preschool Philosophy Demonstration Chair: Erik Kenyon Space is limited to 15 people: sign up at registration table    
Room #3: Philosophy & Story Telling (Workshop) Chair: Jana Mohr Lone Debi Taukdar & Roberta Israeloff    
Room #4: Philosophy in Relgious Schools (Workshop) Chair: Wendy Turgeon John Keenan    

 

11: 30 am - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break (on your own)

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Session #2

Room #1: Justice and Philosophy for Children Chair: Stephen Miller Bailie Peterson Joseph Milillo & Debalina Chatterjee Janice Moskalik
Room #2: High School Ethics Bowls Chair: Roberta Israeloff Katherine Roberts Jonathan Matheson & Valerie Joly Chock Karen Mizell
Room #3: Philosophy for Children & Screens (Workshop) Chaire: Deborah Mower Amy Leask    
Room #4: Philosophy through Theater (Workshop) Chair: Erik Kenyon Mitchell Conway & Abram de Bruyn    

 

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Coffee Break

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Concurrent Session #3

Room #1: Theoretical Approaches to Philosophy for Children Chair: Janice Moskalik Maria daVenza Tillmanns Paul Reale & Joshua Large Hooman Razavi
Room #2: Ethics (Workshop) Chair: Landon Hedrick Allison Cohen Deborah Mower Sean Leichtle
Room #3: Philosophy through Theater (Workshop) Chair: Katherine Roberts Hollie Joy Wagner & Ari Hock    
Room #4: Alternative Approaches to Philosophy Chair: William Mottolese Landon Hedrick Erik Kenyon & Thomas Ouellette Ariel Sykes

 

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Reception

Saturday, 06/22/2019

TimeDescription
8:00 - 8:30 am

Poster Session & Breakfast

8:45 am - 9:45 am

Plenary Session (details in registration packets)

10:00 am - 11:30 am

Concurrent Session #4

Room #1: Science & Philosophy Chair: Stephen Esquith Farzaneh Shahrtash Joshua Beattie Christina Zaccagnino
Room #2: Philosophy for Diverse Audiences Chair: Kelly Laas Thomas Wartenberg Stephen Miller Diane Doyle
Room #3: International Approaches to Philosophy Chair: Benjamin Raphael Joao Lima David Shapiro Barbora Badurova
Room #4: Philosophy & Blogging (Workshop) Chair: Allison Cohen Jennifer Cattaneo    

 

11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break (on your own)

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Session #5

Room #1: New Pedagogy in Philosophy Chair: Joseph Biehl Nilufer Bircan Kaya Wendy Turgeon  
Room #2: Philosophy in High Schools Chair: Gregory Hodges William Mottolese Sarah Vitale Alexander Earl
Room #3: A Philosophy Peace Game (Workshop) Chair: Jessica Lee Stephen L.  Esquith    
Room #4: Disseminating Philosophy for Children (Workshop) Chair: Debi Talukdar Sharon Carnahan & Diane Terorde-Doyle    

 

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Coffee Break

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Concurrent Session #6

Room #1: Collobrations in Philosophy Chair: Joseph Milillo Debi Talukdar Joseph Biehl Jessica Lee
Room #2: Philosophical Educations Chair: Amy Leask Michael Burroughs & Brittney Beck Gregory Hodges Benjamin Raphael
Room #3: Questioning Strategies (Workshop) Chair: Ben Kilby Ariel Sykes    
Room #4: Philosophy & Poetry (Workshop) Chair: John Keenan Jana Mohr Lone & Roberta Israeloff    

 

5:15 pm - 6:15 pm

Concluding Session

Sunday, 06/23/2019

TimeDescription
8:30 am - 9:00 am

Board Members Only: Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Board Members Only: Board Meeting

A - F

Ghoncheh Azadeh

Bio:

Ghoncheh Azadeh is a second generation Iranian-American. She is currently working on her Philosophy PhD at the University of California Santa Cruz. She earned her BA in Psychology and Philosophy with honors at the University of Oregon. Her research interests span a wide range of topics, including public philosophy (especially P4C), pragmatism, philosophy of psychiatry / mind, LGBTQIA+ studies, and environmental philosophy.


Title of Paper:
Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching Philosophy to Students with Unique Needs

Abstract:

My experience of facilitating philosophical discussions as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon in coordinate with my profession experience working as a behavior therapist have been extremely influential in how I shape my thinking around inclusivity. Specifically the topic I am concerned with is inclusivity within classroom and other contexts in hosting public philosophy discussions for children with diagnosed “disabilities” or “special”/unique needs. Individuals with diagnosed “disabilities” are often excluded in such practices and this is something I wish to address through providing different formats and ways of doing philosophy in the K-12 classroom specifically for children with “disabilities.” I see no reason why philosophical innovation and technique cannot be employed to offer different routes and forms of engaging with philosophy at a young age for this community. In my proposed presentation I intend to discuss possible avenues through which such individuals can be invited to engage in philosophical activity at various levels. Otherwise puty I’m posing the question: In what ways can we as philosophers offer individuals with diagnoses in “special needs” classrooms or contexts to engage in philosophical practice? In response to this question I aim to explore possible activities and ways in which training can be made available to teachers within the teaching children community who are interested in working with children with unique needs. Possible activities may involve hands on engagement with art music and sensory-based games either as a group or individually depending on the skills and strengths of the members of the community.


Barbora Badurová

Bio:

Barbora Badurová, PhD, has been working at the Department of Ethical and Civic Education Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia since 2012. Her publications and research activities are focused especially on ethical education and environmental ethics. She is and was involved in several research projects of the department focused on various aspects of ethical education and had a chance to undertake several study, research or lecture stays abroad.


Title of Paper:
Ethical Education in Slovakia and the Problem of Critical Thinking

Abstract:

The paper deals with the subject Ethical Education in Slovakia and possibilities of development of critical thinking. Ethical Education is a compulsory elective subject at primary and secondary education based on the concept of prosociality of Spanish psychologist Roberto Roche Olivar and Slovak pedagogue Ladislav Lencz. The subject has been taught at schools since 1990s after the fall of socialism and has been offered to students as an alternative to confessional Religious Education. Ideally it should cover psychological, pedagogical and philosophical dimension of morality. The author focuses especially on the philosophical dimension and deals with the problem of promotion of critical thinking during this subject especially of high school students (age 15-19). The main question that the author deals with is - Can we at the same time promote prosociality and critical thinking? This tension is not sufficiently clarified even in the texts of Ladislav Lencz or R. R. Olivar. The author assumes that critical thinking should be promoted even during this subject which is often focused mostly on some kind of moral training (of prosocial behavior). However critical thinking can help students understand the very idea of morality as well as the concept of prosociality. It seems that especially for the high school students it is important to be allowed to think about and discuss the information that they receive also regarding ethics matters.


Joshua Beattie

Bio:

Joshua Beattie has been an instructor in the Core (Philosophy) Division at Stanford University Online High School for seven years, and has served as the school’s Director of Education Technology for the past two. In addition to teaching three of the courses in the high school Core sequence, he has designed/taught an Advanced Topics elective, “Philosophical Implications of Evolution,” and helped start a popular recurring elective, “Study of the Mind: Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy.


Title of Paper:
Inference to the Best Explanation: Learning to Think Philosophically About Science and Statistics

Abstract:

In philosophy, a great deal of attention is paid to patterns of reasoning; the structure of reasoning (of various kinds) is made explicit, clarified, reacted upon, and assessed. A fundamental way of bringing philosophy into other disciplines, then, is to focus on developing students’ ability to step back and articulate – rather than simply use – the common patterns of reasoning in a given discipline or subject.As an example of this, my colleagues and I have found it effective to highlight the role of inference to the best explanation in a class blending biology and statistics. I will briefly describe four places in the curriculum – two that would ft naturally in a pure biology (or other science) course, two that would ft naturally in a pure statistics course – where a detailed treatment of inference to the best explanation can be introduced and/or reinforced: (i) when discussing scientific method (generally at the outset of the class), (ii) when discussing major discoveries/achievements, e.g. Mendel’s model of genetic inheritance, (iii) when discussing the basics of statistical inference (i.e. generalizing from sample results), (iv) when discussing regression analysis (i.e. fnding a line of best ft through scattered data points) In our view, this approach helps to build the crucial cognitive skills mentioned above and fosters an appreciation for epistemological complexity in content areas where it might not have been evident beforehand.


Brittney Beck

Bio:

Brittney Beck is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at California State University, Bakersfield and a Faculty Fellow with the Kegley Institute of Ethics. Her work resides at the intersection of democratic education, teacher and student activism, and university-school-community partnerships. At these intersections, she explores how school systems can best engage the material and ideological realities of the community to inform curricula and pedagogies in ways that engage teachers and students as active citizens.


Title of Paper:
Social-Emotional, Ethical, and Democratic Education: An Integrated Approach to Precollege Philosophy

Abstract:

In this session we will present intersections – both in research and for classroom practice – between social-emotional learning (SEL), ethics education, and democratic pedagogy that, in turn, can be utilized to inform both high quality precollege philosophy sessions and teacher trainings. First, we will briefly discuss contemporary research on SEL , ethics education, and democratic pedagogy, focusing on the demonstrated benefits of attention to these areas of learning in elementary and middle school classrooms. These benefits include the cultivation of several skill sets in students, including SEL competencies (e.g. relationship skills and emotion comprehension), ethical competencies (e.g.perspective taking and ethical reasoning), and democratic competencies (e.g. deliberative dialogue and information literacy). Second, with this theoretical foundation in place, we will highlight ways in which SEL, ethical, and democratic skill sets can be enhanced and developed within precollege philosophy sessions and classrooms, namely, through practices of philosophical dialogue and a Community of Inquiry classroom. To illustrate this concretely, we will discuss dialogic educational strategies involving the use of children’s literature and vignettes (open-ended short stories that feature children as central characters, grappling with a social-emotional, ethical, and/or civic dilemma) and, also, relate our experiences conducting teacher trainings as co-founders and directors of the Social-Emotional, Ethics, and Democratic Education (SEEDE) Institute in California, USA


Joseph S. Biehl

Bio:

Joseph S. Biehl is the founder and Executive Director of the Gotham Philosophical Society, Inc., a non-profit that works to bring philosophical discourse out of the academy and into the daily lives of New Yorkers. Through its youth program, Young Philosophers of New York, it encourages elementary, middle, high school students to think critically, imaginatively, and normatively about their lives and the city they call home. Joseph is the co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of the City.


Title of Paper:
From Success to Flourishing: Building a Fully Integrated Philosophical Curriculum.

Abstract:

In my presentation, I will explore and seek feedback on a comprehensive and integrated curriculum that aims to incorporate philosophical investigation into a student’s entire educational experience. Building around three primary learning areas – Civics, STEM, and Languages & Arts – the goal is to provide students with an organically philosophical learning environment, one where abstract and normative refection is seamlessly connected to the acquisition of core cognitive capacities and academic skills.

  • Civics: Building on what they learn in social studies, history, and related subjects, students will proceed to re-imagine and re-design their community educationally, economically, politically, and culturally with the aim of understanding what is necessary for establishing an economically just, ethnically diverse, and morally sensitive community.
  • STEM: Here students will be encouraged to critically reflect on both the central assumptions of the various disciplines that investigate (and allow us to transform) the natural world, and the effects of the technological innovations that they inspire,
  • Language & Art: Moving beyond a conception of art (including prose andpoetry) as something we enjoy consuming and creating, students will explore the purposes and power of art, especially the ways that it can influence and manipulate our thinking, how it can shape our identities, and communicate our values to others.

The aim of the program is to help students become not merely academically successful and subsequently employable, but intellectually versatile, emotionally resilient, socially sympathetic, and civically engaged citizens.


Michael Burroughs

Bio:

Michael Burroughs is a philosopher, educator, and ethics institute director. He Is Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSU Bakersfield and President of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization. In these roles, Michael introduces ethics and philosophy in K-12 schools, prisons, community organizations, and other locations. Michael is a widely published researcher with over a dozen published articles, chapters, and a co-authored book, Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools.


Title of Paper:
Social-Emotional, Ethical, and Democratic Education: An Integrated Approach to Precollege Philosophy

Abstract:

In this session we will present intersections – both in research and for classroom practice – between social-emotional learning (SEL), ethics education, and democratic pedagogy that, in turn, can be utilized to inform both high quality precollege philosophy sessions and teacher trainings. First, we will briefly discuss contemporary research on SEL , ethics education, and democratic pedagogy, focusing on the demonstrated benefits of attention to these areas of learning in elementary and middle school classrooms. These benefits include the cultivation of several skill sets in students, including SEL competencies (e.g. relationship skills and emotion comprehension), ethical competencies (e.g.perspective taking and ethical reasoning), and democratic competencies (e.g. deliberative dialogue and information literacy). Second, with this theoretical foundation in place, we will highlight ways in which SEL, ethical, and democratic skill sets can be enhanced and developed within precollege philosophy sessions and classrooms, namely, through practices of philosophical dialogue and a Community of Inquiry classroom. To illustrate this concretely, we will discuss dialogic educational strategies involving the use of children’s literature and vignettes (open-ended short stories that feature children as central characters, grappling with a social-emotional, ethical, and/or civic dilemma) and, also, relate our experiences conducting teacher trainings as co-founders and directors of the Social-Emotional, Ethics, and Democratic Education (SEEDE) Institute in California, USA.


Sharon Carnahan

Bio:

Sharon Carnahan is an applied developmental psychologist who studies young children and their caregiving environments. She has conducted program evaluation research on maternal-child development, intervention, and educational programs. She is a professor and former Department Chair of psychology and has served Rollins College and the Hume House Child Development and Student Research Center since 1990.


Title of Paper:
Toolkits, Institutes, Courses, Camps: Exploring Issues in the Dissemination of Philosophy for Children

Abstract:

In this workshop, we will begin by listing the pervasive and core elements of pre-collegiate philosophy programs, as defined by PLATO and publications in the field, Prekindergarten through 12 th grade. Then, workshop leaders will review a few previously-published dissemination strategies which exist in PLATO-based and similar programs. We will also summarize the NSF/IEA Companion Guidelines on Replication & Reproducibility in Education. The leaders, who are experts in preschool and higher education, will then discuss their experience in dissemination trials of national program models in their fields, share what worked best, and talk about issues we are facing in dissemination of Ethics for the Very Young. Then, we will discuss, in small groups, the current state of dissemination in the Philosophy for Children movement, and how it might be improved. We will close with a summary of group findings, and an invitation to further work on this issue.


Jennifer Cattaneo

Bio:

Jennifer Cattaneo teaches French and Western Philosophy at Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach, California where she is the World Language Department chair. With a background in world languages, history and literature, she has focused her academic and professional career around nurturing critical thought. She has taught seminars on blogging, critical thinking skills, philosophy, and intercultural communication to high school students and adults and has led many student trips to Europe in the past decade.


Title of Paper:
Blogging to Boost Creativity in Philosophical Inquiry

Abstract:

This presentation will share practical ideas from a three-year blogging project piloted in high school Philosophy and French classes. Participants will see a wide variety of styles, in which the blogs transform traditional assignments into creative and eye-catching posts. The interplay of the written word, video and image is a remarkably versatile means of engaging students and developing critical thought. The blogs allow students to build a showcase of their work as they wrestle through topics during their philosophy course. Blogging encourages student engagement, collaboration, research skills, and creates a remarkable digital portfolio. In addition to seeing student work, participants will explore three different blogging platforms and initiate their own blogs. This workshop will lead participants through the setup and exploration of various features of the different blogging platforms. Participants will be able to brainstorm, collaborate, give and receive feedback as they develop their own blogs. Finally, they will model their own blog exposition as they present their work to fellow participants. Blogs are an amazingly versatile platform to transform traditional projects into a visually stimulating means of showcasing student work. Bring a device and prepare to create a sample blog as well as brainstorm ways in which to incorporate a wide variety of posts.


Debalina Chatterjee

Bio:

Information Forthcoming


Title of Paper:
Rising to the Occasion: Teaching argument and Critical thinking skills to disadvantaged teens

Abstract: This presentation aims to share the experience of teaching disadvantaged youths skills of reasoning and critical thinking. According to federal data, the number of homeless children attending public schools has been on the rise. The stresses of being homeless affects children’s well-being and learning. Many children move from school to school as their parents take them from shelter to shelter or other temporary housing solutions. As a result these children are held back grade levels or, more commonly, moved ahead without having gained the necessary skills and knowledge. The Carying Place (pronounced ‘caring’) teaches working homeless families with children life skills for attaining independent living while providing temporary short term housing and support services to address their individual needs. Additionally, the agency supports children in activities that focus on safety, self-growth, stress management, self-identity and recreational involvement (to name a few) with the help of local community partners. One such activity is The Art of Argument and Critical Thinking for adolescents. The 2 month program was designed to teach teenagers the importance of critical thinking and how to engage with the world around them. The program explained the difference between fighting and arguing, how to make a valid and sound argument, and how to analyze other people’s arguments with techniques and exercises from Simple Formal Logic (Routledge 2018), ThinkerAnalytix, and various Philosophy for Children (PC4) works. This program is particularly useful today as teens are bombarded with information and social and political views via social media, television and popular music.

Valerie Chock

Bio:

Valerie Joly Chock is an international undergraduate student at the University of North Florida. She is originally from Panama City, Panama and is currently a senior double majoring in philosophy and graphic design. She has been part of the UNF Ethics Bowl Team since 2017 and served as a judged at the inaugural First Coast High School Ethics Bowl this year.


Title of Paper:
Coaching High School Ethics Bowl

Abstract:

This presentation will do three things: i) explain the nature and value of ethics bowl, ii) illustrate how to prepare a team for ethics bowl competition, and iii) answer any questions or concerns. Ethics bowl is a competitive debate-like competition where students critically engage complex moral issues. Ethics bowl is an excellent way to get students engaged in collaborative critical thinking, wrestle with complex normative issues, and engage in the methodology of philosophy. In this presentation we will explain how ethics bowl can get high school students engaged in philosophy and how coaches can prepare their teams for a competition from start to finish. We will cover the basics of ethics bowl and walk people through the steps of starting and preparing an ethics bowl team, including how ethics bowl can be incorporated into existing high school courses. Having the perspectives of a coach and a team member will help cover all the bases and provide a wealth of relevant knowledge for answering questions and concerns.


Allison Cohen

Bio:

Allison Cohen is the Vice President of PLATO. She teaches AP U.S. Government and a Philosophy elective at Langley High School in McLean, VA.  She is dedicated to bringing quality philosophy curricula to high schools across the nation and expanding opportunities for students to engage in philosophical questioning and reasoning. Allison is currently working with a group of organizations and teachers to incorporate philosophical discussions on contemporary ethical issues across the curriculum.


Title of Paper:
Ethics Across the High School Curriculum – Ethics Bowl as Pedagogy

Abstract:

One need only pick up a newspaper to see the pressing need to integrate ethics across the K-12 curriculum.  From issues of data breaches and privacy scandals at tech companies to concerns surrounding the use of Crispr to genetically alter babies, our students need the tools to thoughtfully and respectfully engage in ethical conversations across disciplines.  This endeavor comes with many challenges.  How can we foster respectful dialogue in our classrooms about these current and controversial topics?  How can we give students the tools to identify the ethical issues raised, appreciate the perspectives of various stakeholders, analyze the various ethical dimensions of a case, and come to a working hypothesis (conclusion) about the issue? This interactive presentation will lead participants through one pedagogical strategy that uses a case-based approach and an in-class Ethics Bowl to deepen students’ thinking about ethical issues and their ability to participate in a respectful, deliberative conversation with others.  The audience will engage in part of this deliberative process as a means of demonstrating the potential impact of using ethics bowl as an integrative teaching method.


Mitchell Conway

Bio:

Mitchell Conway is a graduate student of Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. With a B.A. in Theater from Skidmore College, Mitchell also has extensive training and experience as a dramatist and educator. Highlights include: Cast - Village Playback Theatre, creating improvisations from audience members’ personal stories; Residency – Colombo Americano (Medellin, Colombia), teaching embodied methods of community dialogue.


Title of Paper:
Imagineering: Inquiry Role-Play and Improvised Theatre Exercises for Philosophical Inquiry

Abstract:

Imagineering is the broad practice of using emergent creative products for philosophical inquiry. Abram de Bruyn developed the concept and practice of “Imagineering” while working with Middle School students in an after school philosophy for children program in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on training in Improv, ‘theatre devising’ and the tradition of P4C, the practice itself emerged out of the products and practice of inquiry with those children. Three dramatic practices in particular were developed: engaging in imaginative story-making (stories), collaboratively building dramatic images (scenes) and dramatic role plays (situations). These practices are being developed and explored in collaboration with experienced theatre educator and philosopher of education Mitchell Conway. This workshop aims to introduce philosophy educators to theatre ‘exercises’ and ‘games’ that can be used as part of facilitated group inquiry. Though the distinction between exercise/game comes from Augusto Boal, the presenters will draw upon their own training in theatre and performance studies as sources. Ranging from experiential to narrative, these activities can be used in several ways that build upon the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI) model used in Philosophy for Children (P4C). Participants will experience how such activities can be used as:

1. A creative and embodied stimulus to inquiry;

2. A practical way to iteratively test the consequences of an inquiry;

3. A productive and collaborative procedure for inquiry;

Understandably philosophers may be anxious about the idea of facilitating large groups in dramatic exercises. This workshop will give participants clear frameworks and activities that can be used by the novice, but which will reveal greater depths and possibilities as groups become familiar with them.


Abram deBruyn

Bio:

Abram deBruyn is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. Philosophy and Education). His earlier training (B.A. Performance Studies) explored a diverse range of experimental theater influences from physical theater, animateuring, performance art and ‘contact improv’ dance. Presently Abram is working as a debate coach at the Dalton School while developing materials to further incorporate theater practices into philosophy with children.


Title of Paper:
Imagineering: Inquiry Role-Play and Improvised Theatre Exercises for Philosophical Inquiry

Abstract:

Imagineering is the broad practice of using emergent creative products for philosophical inquiry. Abram de Bruyn developed the concept and practice of “Imagineering” while working with Middle School students in an after school philosophy for children program in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on training in Improv, ‘theatre devising’ and the tradition of P4C, the practice itself emerged out of the products and practice of inquiry with those children. Three dramatic practices in particular were developed: engaging in imaginative story-making (stories), collaboratively building dramatic images (scenes) and dramatic role plays (situations). These practices are being developed and explored in collaboration with experienced theatre educator and philosopher of education Mitchell Conway. This workshop aims to introduce philosophy educators to theatre ‘exercises’ and ‘games’ that can be used as part of facilitated group inquiry. Though the distinction between exercise/game comes from Augusto Boal, the presenters will draw upon their own training in theatre and performance studies as sources. Ranging from experiential to narrative, these activities can be used in several ways that build upon the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI) model used in Philosophy for Children (P4C). Participants will experience how such activities can be used as:

1. A creative and embodied stimulus to inquiry;

2. A practical way to iteratively test the consequences of an inquiry;

3. A productive and collaborative procedure for inquiry;

Understandably philosophers may be anxious about the idea of facilitating large groups in dramatic exercises. This workshop will give participants clear frameworks and activities that can be used by the novice, but which will reveal greater depths and possibilities as groups become familiar with them.


Alexander Earl

Bio:

Alexander Earl is entering his third year of teaching theology and philosophy at Pacifica Christian High School in Santa Monica, California. He holds a Masters of Arts in Religion, with a concentration in philosophical theology and philosophy of religion, from Yale Divinity School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in religion and philosophy from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. His academic interest is in Patristics, especially the intersection of Platonist philosophy and Christian theology.


Title of Paper:
Revising a Christian Liberal Arts Curriculum for High School: Philosophy and Theology Reunited

Abstract:

Pacifica Christian High School is a Liberal Arts school in the Christian tradition in Santa Monica California with the mission to produce students who “think and live well.” To advance this mission, we attempt to structure our curriculum around the core disciplines of theology and philosophy. However, as a school that is only 14 years old, at present we offer only 2 years of theology, and no formal philosophy. Our aim is to change that. To live more into our mission, and practice as much fidelity to the liberal arts tradition as possible, I am leading an effort to expand our curriculum to an 8-term sequence of courses in theology and philosophy: Old Testament, New Testament, Moral Philosophy, Intro to Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Political Philosophy, Atheist Philosophy, and the History of Christian Theology. Parts of this new curriculum are in place while others are still taking shape. I thus hope for useful dialogue with conference participants around how Pacifica, and schools like it, may restructure curricula around the following three goals: Our first broad aim is to combat common misconceptions and increase literacy in religion and politics. We aim to prepare students to understand the positions on offer, take a defensible stance, and enter charitable dialogue with others. Second, we aim to ‘unteach’ students the intellectual vices of relativism and scientism, and thus open them up to more imaginative and intellectually fruitful possibilities. Third, we rely on what one might call a Platonic-Augustinian model, rather than a Aristotelian-Thomist model. In this, we aim to get students perplexed, “thinking about thinking,” and seeking plausible explanatory accounts. The end goal is to help students ask better, more insightful questions, rather than simply giving them the traditional “right” answers. In sum, we aim to produce students who love to learn, are committed to cultivating virtue and are prepared to meet the challenges of contemporary American life.


Karen S. Emmerman

Bio:

Karen S. Emmerman earned her PhD in philosophy in 2012 with a dissertation on feminist animal ethics. She is part-time faculty at the University of Washington, Philosopher-in-Residence at John Muir Elementary School, and serves on the board of the UW Center for Philosophy for Children. Karen taught for a semester at Nova High School and has facilitated several teacher trainings in pre-college philosophy.


Title of Paper:
Philosopher-in-Residence: Reflectionns on growing a program and questions of sustainability

Abstract:

This is the first year Thurgood Marshall Elementary School has a philosopher- in-residence: me. The position is supported by a grant from the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children. Currently, I spend two days of the week facilitating philosophical discussions in 8 classrooms. I am also gathering interest for a philosophy professional learning community for the teachers, as well as planning a community event at the school to introduce parents to philosophy for children. This multi-year role is unique because it allows me to witness growth in children’s philosophical thinking as they move from one year to the next, as well as develop a close relationship with the school. Additionally, I am a resource for teachers to help their students think philosophically about topics or ideas they encounter in other spaces at school. In this presentation I will first reflect on my first year growing the PIR program and share some rewards, challenges, and learning. Then I will facilitate a discussion on what might be needed to start and sustain something similar at other schools and organizations, and if the philosopher- in-residence program can be envisioned in other ways.

Discussion questions:

1. What conditions are necessary to make a PIR program successful? What are some challenges a program like this might face?

2. Who might you select to be a PIR? Any specific considerations?

3. Who are the stakeholders? What are ways to get stakeholders on board?

4. How sustainable is a PIR program? How can it be made more sustainable? How would you fund something like this?


Stephen L. Esquith

Bio:

Stephen L. Esquith is the author of Intimacy and Spectacle (Cornell, 1994), The Political Responsibilities of Everyday Bystanders (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010), and articles on democratic political education. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Poland (1990-91) and Mali (2005-06). Since fall 2006 he has been Dean of a new Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at MSU, and works with young people on dialogue and reconciliation projects in Mali and Michigan.


Title of Paper:
The Peace Game

Abstract:

The goal of the game is to address violent conflicts (both actual and potential) in less violent ways and to do this without further disadvantaging poorer countries. Participants are divided into five groups: four country teams and one team of special roles. The four country teams are fictional regional neighbors, each with its own culture, history, assets, and deficits. The membersof the country teams play specific roles such as government officials, leaders of civil society organizations, and private individuals. The special roles include leaders of multi-national organizations, non-governmental organizations, private corporations and foundations, and humanitarian groups. A set of crisis scenarios drives the game. The crises revolve around issues such as immigration, climate change, poverty, corruption, health care, and sexual and ethnic violence. The game is facilitated by an experienced leader who encourages the teams to work towards the two complementary goals to lessen structural, symbolic, and physical forms of violence. There is a rhythm and order to the game as each country team learns the skills of deliberation, negotiation, compromise, critical thinking, and public reason.

The workshop will be divided into three segments:

(1) a review of a recent version of the peace game (including videos and PowerPoint slides) in order to understand its basic features ,

(2) a short play of the game focusing on the moral dilemmas citizens face in times of war and other violent conflicts, and

(3) a reflection session on how the peace game can be adapted for use by the workshop participants in their schools and communities.


Nick Friedman

Bio:

Nick Friedman is a volunteer philosophy teacher for the University of Pennsylvania’s Philosophy for the Young Program. Passionate about the value of philosophy for K-12 students, Nick launched a high school philosophy and ethics of science course in Philadelphia in 2018.  Nick also serves as an emergency department technician and conducts research in emergency medicine. He graduated from Skidmore College in 2017 with a BA in chemistry and will begin medical school in 2019.


Title of Paper:
Philosophy and Ethics of Science Education: Development of an Innovative Pilot Course in a Public High School

Abstract:

Poster Session

Introduction: High schools have recently prioritized science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); however, high school students are rarely introduced to the philosophy and ethics of science. We designed an eight week philosophy and ethics of science course for ninth graders at an urban public school with a unique curricular focus on STEM education.

Course Design: The course was led by volunteers – including graduate students – affiliated with a university philosophy department. Course topics included: demarcation problem, nature of scientific evidence, problem of induction, scientific realism, relationship between science and morality, and ethical responsibilities of scientists. Discussions were integrated with collaborative small-group activities, debates, and philosophy methodology modules. Practical implications of the philosophy and ethics of science were reinforced through a pharmaceutical fraud mock trial.

Outcomes: Twenty students enrolled in the pilot course, offered in Fall 2018 as an elective; 17 (85.0%) students submitted course evaluations. On a 5-point Likert scale, 70.6% of respondents rated the course as “excellent” or “good.” Qualitative responses revealed that students appreciated collaborative and practical course activities. Anecdotally, students critically reflected on their intuitions and assumptions regarding the nature of science. Challenges included addressing students’ limited scientific background and maintaining student engagement. Graduate and undergraduate students had the opportunity to acquire non-traditional teaching experience.

Conclusions: Our course reflects a university-high school partnership and may serve as a model for pre-college philosophy and ethics of science education. The course has been approved for renewal, providing opportunity for further curricular and pedagogical innovations.


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Landon Hedrick

Bio:

Landon Hedrick spent four years teaching high school philosophy at Vanguard Classical School in Aurora, CO. In that time, he developed an expansive secondary philosophy program for the school consisting of numerous courses, and he coached various academic teams (e.g. Ethics Bowl, Mock Trial, and Knowledge Bowl). As of the end of the 2018-2019 school year, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio. He cares deeply about education, and would be happy to collaborate.


Title of Paper:
A Mastery-Centered Approach for Teaching Moral Philosophy

Abstract:

There’s a lot of potential in designing high school ethics classes using a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach. It offers a number of advantages to simple lecture-based philosophy education. In particular, it provides learners with more opportunities for active, engaged, and authentic philosophy problem-solving. And since philosophy teachers typically think that it would be preferable for their students to learn how to do philosophy rather than merely learning about philosophy, there’s good prima facie reason to think that a well-designed PBL ethics course is just the sort of innovation that we need to see in high schools. However, it can be difficult to design and implement such a course effectively. My own efforts in this regard have had mixed results. Student engagement and performance seem, on the whole, to be better in the PBL-focused Moral Philosophy course than in previous iterations of the course that I have taught to high school students. But the novelty of the course design wears off and many students soon begin to lose interest as they struggle to grow beyond their initial intuitions about a moral problem. This suggests to me that, if the PBL version of the course is to reach its full potential, it needs to be consciously designed to avoid this problem. The solution to the problem that I have developed is to recast the course within a framework that emphasizes mastery. Drawing on research about learning and motivation, we can carefully design effective scaffolding throughout the semester that will help our learners make great strides in their philosophical problem-solving abilities. We do this by (1) explicitly teaching simple philosophical skills in isolation from complex problems, (2) practicing those individual skills using a variety of exercises and in a variety of contexts, (3) practicing integrating those different skills to solve increasingly complex moral issues, and (4) learning how and when to transfer those skills and use them to help solve very difficult moral problems. This design allows learners to continually hone their abilities as they engage in the self-directed study of authentic moral issues that interest them. My aim in the session is to share my course design with attendees, discuss the results of teaching the course, and solicit feedback and comments that will help me continue to improve how the course is taught. I also aim to send attendees home with resources to help them implement such a course.


Ari Hock

Bio:

Ari Hock is a lifelong learner, teacher, speaker, and listener. He’s currently studying how people learn (Learning Sciences) at the University of Washington, with a special interest in informal and connected learning. Ari earned his B.S. at the University of Maryland and has spent the past three years working at KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that builds playspaces in underserved communities.


Title of Paper:
Acting Up: Exploring identity and empathy through philosophical theater

Abstract:

Humans are capable of seeing themselves in the act of seeing, of thinking their emotions, of being moved by their thoughts. They can see themselves here and imagine themselves there; they can see themselves today and imagine themselves tomorrow. This is why humans are able to identify (themselves and others) and not merely to recognise.” - Augusto Boal

For Boal, following from the work of philosopher-educator Paulo Freire, theater IS praxis, and such provides an opportunity to actively learn by doing. Just as the aim of many pre-college philosophy teachers is to demonstrate how philosophy need not exist in the isolation of ivory towers, ours is to demonstrate how theater need not exist solely for trained actors or on a stage with lights and costumes. We also ask participants to take this concept a step further, by considering the ways in which teachers engaging in such exercises along with their students can co-create spaces for the embodiment of critical consciousness to exist. Teacher training involves a process of self-actualization that is reflexive and evolves as the students evolve along with their mutually shared environment; this is a way to sum up the purposes and objectives of critical consciousness. We aspire to frame theater as a holistic teaching and co-learning practice that reaches students, teachers, and community members alike. Much research has been conducted on arts curriculum as a means towards social justice education. However, relatively little of this has explored the dramatic arts. We feel that the impacts of this model can be expanded by considering how theatrical play towards critical consciousness can be applied across disciplines. The applications are as variable as the experiences of those involved. Theater of the Oppressed exercises are being used in unique and pertinent settings within schools across the world, as well as in alternative education spaces such as refugee camps and juvenile correctional facilities. In this workshop we will discuss innovative ways to bring simple theater exercises into any classroom while exploring timeless philosophical themes such as empathy, collaboration, agency, community, perception, liberation, and justice. We will do so by collaboratively engaging through theatrical play in a fun, safe, and exploratory environment.


Greg Hodges

Bio:

Greg Hodges is the Head of Languages and Culture and the Director of International Learning at Trinity College School. Having studied at St. John’s College in Annapolis MD, he has worked to find ways to incorporate productively discursive learning models to the classroom. The power of collaborative and productively critical conversation is something that informs his teaching and coaching models. Greg lives in Cobourg, Ontario where he coaches ski racing and keeps bees.


Title of Paper:
Walk it like I talk it: Civil Discourse and the Philosophical Exploration

Abstract:

The practice and purpose of philosophy depends upon our ability to listen, learn, and advocate collaboratively in a cycle that relies now, more than ever, upon productive discussion. Among the assumptions that educators must question and address is included the pedagogy of dialogue and collective learning. The ability to employ discussion itself as an efective learning tool in the philosophy classroom depends upon a host of methods that address the challenges of psychological relativism, the stages of skill acquisition, extrinsic learning outcomes, and intellectual proprioception. Philosophical conversation is a practice full of risk for students and teachers alike; the investment required on the part of all participants may be more than is reasonable. The capacity for speech does not mean that the learners in a class have cultivated the culture of philosophical conversation. In this paper, the steps applied in a variety of classrooms at Trinity College School, located in Port Hope (Ontario), will be shared in order to understand better both the barriers to and the strategies employed to facilitate dialogical learning across the classroom and the curriculum. The place of staged preparation and graduated partnerships that prepare for larger group discussions will be emphasized. The importance of these preparatory tools is that they allow for a marked increase in student engagement during all phases of philosophical discourse inside of the classroom. The intention of structured and deliberate practices in the preparations and conversations both is that of developing life-long habits.


Lauren Holderman

Bio:

Lauren Holderman is a senior at Tufts University majoring in philosophy. Particular academic interests include philosophy of religion, East Asian philosophy, and ethics. As an adult student considering graduate work, she aims to break philosophy out of its ivory tower and introduce it to people who will put it to practical use– children among them.


Title of Paper:
Eastern Philosophy for Young Children

Abstract:

I will briefly describe the main differences between Western and Eastern philosophical approaches and how this affects the ways in which we introduce children to philosophy. Then I will argue for the inclusion of non-Western philosophical traditions in curricula for children and offer a few ways to engage children in Eastern philosophy specifically. Eastern philosophy tends to emphasize an engaged style of knowing that resonates with the ways in which children begin to explore ideas, e.g. storytelling, imaginative play, imitation-as-learning, and kinesthetic investigation. Introducing children to a philosophical tradition more complementary to these inclinations than the detached style of knowing that dominates the Western tradition may be an effective introduction to philosophy generally, especially for younger children. Moreover, it is crucial to introduce children to non-Western ways of relating to the world in order to help navigate evaluative errors rooted in culturally nurtured assumptions. If engagement is a special kind of knowing, as Thomas P. Kasulis of Ohio State University points out, then we must engage, not merely survey, in order to understand certain ideas. Some ways to help children engage with Eastern philosophy include Tai Chi, a kinesthetic exploration of Daoist philosophy, and the use of storytelling to help contextualize and clarify complex philosophical issues similar to Confucius’ methods in the Analects.


Roberta Israeloff

Bio:

Roberta Israeloff directs the Squire Family Foundation which co-founded both PLATO and the National High School Ethics Bowl.  She is co-author of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012), and has published over a hundred short stories, essays, articles and reviews.  Author of a dozen books, she most recently co-wrote What Went Right:  Lessons from Both Sides of the Teacher’s Desk with her 11th grade English teacher.


Title of Paper:
Poetry and Philosophical Inquiry Workshop & Storytelling for reflective inquiry and meaning construction Workshop

Abstract:

Poetry and Philosophical Inquiry Workshop: This interactive workshop will engage participants in philosophical inquiry through poetry. We will read together several poems and reflect about the philosophical issues they raise. The workshop will examine the intersections between philosophy and poetry, and consider some strategies for facilitating philosophical inquiry in classrooms through poetry. The workshop will focus on close readings of the poems we have selected, with particular attention to the distinctive structure of poems – the importance of rhythm and sound, use of metaphor and imaginative imagery, and the possibility of multiple meanings and interpretations. As part of this exploration, we will investigate poetry’s unique strengths as a prompt for philosophical inquiry and think together about the ways that poetry can be a source of philosophical perplexity by revealing some of life’s ambiguities and mysteries. We will spend time discussing various philosophical issues inspired by the poems we read. We will utilize both small group work and whole group discussion, and end with a creative closing activity. Workshop participants will come away with an enhanced appreciation of the value of poetry for inspiring philosophical inquiry and some strategies for using poetry in a philosophy classroom.

Storytelling for reflective inquiry and meaning construction Workshop:Storytelling, an ancient art, is gaining popularity as a valid qualitative methodology in social science research. At a basic level, we tell stories to ourselves, our children, and each other to discover the meaning of human existence, dispel fears, speculate on our origins, remember dreams, and determine our purpose. Through stories, we attempt to understand where and how we belong -- to our families, larger communities, and the natural world. Countless cultures world over use storytelling for knowledge construction. For example, long traditions of oral history have transmitted wisdom and knowledge across generations. As a methodology and inquiry tool, storytelling helps us make explicit thoughts and assumptions that were previously unexamined. We are able to construct meaning and develop theories through an analysis of themes that emerge from stories. Reflecting on a question through a personal lens can feel reinvigorating. Also, it can help us reimagine an issue and shine light on perspectives that are left out of the dominant narrative. The relational and dialogic dimensions of stories play a special role in bringing people closer and creating a bridge for accessing and understanding another person’s lived experience. In this interactive workshop we will encourage all participants to write a story about their personal experiences with pre-college philosophy in the hope that articulating what may have been (until this moment) implicit will challenge them, and inspire reflection and new insights. We will use the stories to connect our collective wisdom to larger topics and issues in the field of precollege philosophy. We will divide the time into four periods: Part 1: Framing storytelling as a form of reflective narrative inquiry Part 2: Allowing participants to write their own stories Part 3: Inviting participants to share their stories Part 4: Facilitating a conversation around common themes by drawing attention to “plots” and “characters” that emerge across stories. As a group, we will discuss how storytelling can be used as a tool for philosophical reflection in classrooms. Due to its flexible and interpretative nature, narrative inquiry can be used in a variety of ways. We will encourage participation to let us know if they use this technique in their classes and to share their sense of its success and usefulness.


Mollie Jones

Bio:

Mollie Jones, as an undergraduate, worked alongside Erik Kenyon as he developed Rollins College’s Philosophy for Kids program. Two years later, she coordinated summer programs for Briya Public Charter Schools in Washington D.C., implementing a philosophy-inspired curriculum across four campuses; the material served multilingual classrooms with students ages 3-12 years old. Throughout the year, she teaches humanities at The Stony Brook School which regularly hosts high school philosophy conferences and ethics bowls.


Title of Paper:
Hierocles on Georgia Avenue: (Stealthy) Philosophy for Children in Multilingual Summer Camp

Abstract:

The pre-college philosophy movement has successfully taken academia to realms outside the university campus. Methodologies for dialogue are now shared within public schools, preschools, and local communities. Yet if philosophical frameworks are going to spread even further, we may have to downplay the terminology of doing “philosophy.” In my experience, the word “philosophy” can get us in new doors, but other times, it keeps us out. During this session, participants will explore how we can effectively change the messaging around pre-college philosophy. I will suggest ways teachers of all grade levels and disciplines can be both convinced and equipped to join in the facilitating of philosophical conversations. And I will help participants align P4C practices against broader educational movements such as Reggio Emilia and project-based learning trends. I will scaffold our discussion using my recent summers working within the multilingual classrooms of Briya Public Charter Schools as a case study. Supportive administrators first introduced me as a summer director who would incorporate philosophy for children into the curriculum. Immediately, the capable staff balked. From then on, I disguised the program’s philosophical roots, finding I could better support our four Washington D.C. campuses while speaking the Reggio Emilia language that teachers were familiar using. Both teachers and bilingual students seemed most ready to engage in philosophical conversations when unaware that they were “doing philosophy.” My challenges, successes, and reflections from two summers in this environment will provide a springboard for discussion of the systemic challenges we face integrating P4C work into existing programs today.


Nilüfer Bircan Kaya

Bio:

Nilüfer Bircan Kaya is research assistant at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Department of Elementary Teacher Education, in Rize, Turkey. She also worked as a research assistant in Marmara University, Istanbul (2009-2018), and is currently a PhD student at Marmara University in the Department of Elementary Teacher Education. In 2014, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington. Her interests are philosophy for children, elementary education, social studies, self-awareness, identity, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.


Title of Paper:
How can Children Catch the Flying Thoughts?: Help Easily Distracted Fourth Graders Through Mindfulness in Philosophy for Children Sessions

Abstract:

Children are born inquisitive, paying their attention to every detail they notice and they can be both restless and easily tired at the same time. Like adults, children are often too busy (Snel, 2013, p. 4), forgetting to take a breath and inclined to do so many things in such a brief time. Mindfulness as a type of meditation helps children look inwards via self-awareness, develop clarity in their thoughts, acceptance, adaptability, and flexibility toward different ideas without reacting immediately, thus creating state of mind where the mind and body can be focused. In this paper, I discuss how mindfulness can help easily distracted children in philosophy for children sessions. Lipman’s model “Community of Inquiry” offers the children a safe place to be aware of themselves and their surroundings. Haynes (2002) points out how meditation can relax the mind and body which could support the facilitation of philosophical thinking process. In her book named ‘Children as Philosophers’ she states: ...one child said that to really listen, you may have to be still inside your body as well as outside your body. This comment led to a discussion of what it might mean to be still inside as well as still outside. (p.69). I also want to suggest some picture books such as Silence, What Does It Mean to be Present?, The Other Way to Listen, Sitting Still Like a Frog etc. could contribute to establishing guidelines in the community of inquiry.


John Keenan

Bio:

John Keenan currently teaches high school philosophy, religious studies and mathematics at Mary McDowell Friends School, an independent Quaker school in Brooklyn, NY for students with diagnosed learning disabilities. He also coaches the school’s first ethics bowl team. John holds a B.A. in philosophy from Colorado College, and is a current M.A. candidate in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Title of Paper:
Cosmopolitanism and Philosophy in the Religious Studies Classroom

Abstract:

The focus of my workshop will be on the nature of philosophical dialogue within the cosmopolitan religious studies context. Working in an institutionally-affiliated Friends school, I have had to reconcile a certain tension between normativity and criticality in my classroom. To what extent should my class serve as a prescriptive offering to promote the value of Quaker ideals and teachings vs. a more objective, critical environment in which to analyze the faith and explore relevant commonalities and differences with other global faith traditions? This tension may be explored through the lens of cosmopolitanism, a philosophical tradition that studies the possibility of human existence in a ‘world community’. In The Teacher and the World, David Hansen of Teachers College proposes a cosmopolitan worldview in education characterized by “reflective openness to new people and new ideas, and reflective loyalty toward local values, interests, and commitments.” What are the possible ramifications for such a balanced worldview in the religious studies classroom? To answer this question, I will ask workshop participants to consider a range of ethical and metaphysical claims that may arise in a religious studies course. Placing such claims within a variety of religious/institutional contexts, how would educators rate the contestability of such claims? For example, ought a pacifist institution teach non-violence as a universal good? In a more pluralist environment, ought all religious commitments, including a belief in homosexuality as a sin, be up for discussion? What do we gain/lose from greater loyalty to the local vs. greater openness to the global? Workshop participants will be called on to consider their home institution’s own ethical commitments (if applicable, religious commitments) and how such commitments frame the boundaries of philosophical conversation with students. Together we will discover how boundaries can serve to either guide or restrain discourse within a classroom community.

Workshop agenda and materials:

1) Powerpoint with overview of my background, description of my course, current pedagogical perspectives and enduring questions

2) Handout with example claims to be placed along a visual “spectrum of contestability” in a given institutional context

3) Small group discussions based on handout

4) Large group share


Erik Kenyon

Bio:

Erik Kenyon holds a PhD in Classics from Cornell University. He is the author of Augustine and the Dialogue (Cambridge, 2018) and co-author of Ethics for the Very Young: A Philosophy Curriculum for Early Childhood Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). At Rollins College, since 2012, he teaches courses in Philosophy, Classics & Humanities. He is currently Director of Engagement for Rollins’ Evening School and leads professional develop for adjunct faculty.


Title of Paper:
Theater of Ideas

Abstract:

William Arrowsmith (1963) presents Euripidean tragedy as a “Theater of Ideas” and philosophical education for the Athenian masses. What could a fusion of Theater and Philosophy look like in schools today? The session’s leaders, a Philosopher and a Stage Director, will frame discussion around their own “Theater of Ideas,” a co-taught, college first-year seminar. This course pairs Greek ethics and modern plays, from Zoo Story to Dear Evan Hansen, to provide undergraduates with “big ideas” for leading a P4C program at two neighboring schools. Presentation participants will think creatively about philosophy/theater collaborations on three fronts: 1) Modes of cognition. Is a philosophical discussion a dramatic performance? Is a play philosophical inquiry? Philosophy often proceeds abstractly via analysis and critique, mapping ideas in “concept space”. Theater is concrete and fosters empathy as it shows the perspectives of characters embedded in narratives. How may each each discipline’s approach complement the other’s? 2) Intellectual virtues. P4C discussions are governed by “philosophy rules,” which instill virtues of sensitive listening, flexible thinking and purposeful response. Novice P4C leaders, however, can struggle with setting aside lesson plans and running with children’s ideas. How may theater improv games, with their “Yes, and...” mindset, help develop P4C technique? How may P4C practice enhance theater improv practice? 3) Spaces of Practice. Where are Theater and P4C currently practiced in preK-12 schools? How may the two be combined: linked philosophy and theater clubs/courses, paired philosophy and theater readings in literature courses, philosophical “talk backs” with actors and directors?


Ben Kilby

Bio:

Ben Kilby is a primary school teacher at Moonee Ponds West Primary School and a current PhD student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He works on research related to gender issues in Philosophy for Children. Ben is also the current treasurer for the Victorian Association of Philosophy in Schools and organises ‘Philosothons’ (excursions) hosted at museums and galleries for schools to participate in philosophical communities of inquiry in stimulating environments.


Title of Paper:
What can Philosophy for Children do for gender issues/ to support girls in classroom environments?

Abstract:

There has been significant research in the field of education generally to suggest that many boys and girls learn, perceive, and interact differently in the classroom (and beyond). Much of this research has a significant impact on the practice of Philosophy for Children, including that boys tend to dominate class discussion (and P4C is a dialogic practice), girls are less likely to challenge or disagree with others (P4C requires disagreement to progress), and that girls tend to be less assertive than boys (P4C asks children to volunteer ideas). Therefore, a question should be asked about how P4C manages, aligns, and diverges from the findings of much of the research into classroom discussions. This presentation will explore research from education generally to explore many of the current findings and results of studies in dialogic learning and classroom discussion in relation to gender. I will suggest that the practice of P4C does not ft within this sphere of research which suggests discussion benefits boys to a greater degree than it does girls. Following this, a dialogue with participants will explore what differences there are within a P4C dialogue compared to other classroom dialogues in relation to gender accessibility and contributions.


Joshua Large

Bio:

Joshua Large is a historian and Professor of International Relations at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, where he teaches History of International Relations, International Political Economy, and Globalization.  He holds master’s degrees from Columbia University in Modern European Studies and from Central European University in Central European History, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in Modern European History.


Title of Paper:
Historical Thinking as an Essential Component of Philosophy for Children

Abstract:

This paper argues that historical thinking should be an essential component of philosophy for children. Historical thinking requires that students place philosophical ideas in their intellectual, cultural, economic and political context. Such contextualization not only provides students with a more nuanced appreciation of ideas and thinkers, but also entails epistemic and cognitive processes that help them critically evaluate their own time and place. Specifically, we operationalize Hans-Georg Gadamer’s notion of effective historical consciousness. According to Gadamer, historical thinking is a dialectical process wherein understanding the past is not just a matter of appreciating its particularities, but of appreciating such particularities in relation to our own. Meaningful understanding is thus achieved by means of, as it were, rubbing one’s own sensibilities against those of another age, for only in so doing can we uncover the contours of our own biases in the first place. We argue, furthermore, that Gadamer’s dialectical notion of historical thinking must be applied explicitly in philosophy for children. Students must undertake a self-conscious process of moving back and forth between contextualizing philosophical ideas and evaluating how such contextualization is itself informed by their own worldviews. Our pedagogic approach, therefore, seeks to develop a critical mind with empathy not only for others in their community, but also an historical one for those in the past. We outline specific examples for dialectical historical thinking in philosophy for children. Specifically, we highlight the method’s usefulness for teaching epistemology, which serves to mediate between skeptical and realist modes of understanding.


Amy Leask

Bio:

Amy Leask is an educator and award-winning author/digital media producer. She is the co-founder of Enable Education, and founder of Red T Media, both in Milton, Ontario, Canada. For the past 13 years, Amy has been focused on finding ways to create rich, meaningful, and inclusive learning experiences using new media and online learning technology.


Title of Paper:
Reimagining Screen Time Through P4C

Abstract:

As digital natives, 21 st century kids consume upwards of 15 hours of digital media (combined) per day. With the jury still out on the long-term effects of this exposure, “screen time” has become a bit suspect. Is screen time an indulgence, a distraction, a learning tool, or all of these things? Can parents and educators feel confident in allowing their children to partake? How much is too much? The old adage about “too much of a good thing” may apply to screen time, but this workshop will put forth the notion that a little screen time may actually be of great benefit to child users. Moreover, we’ll explore ways in which the practice of P4C may actually help to make screen time for children less of a guilty pleasure.

This will be discussed in several ways:

1. P4C should foster critical thinking surrounding digital media that will lead to children becoming more discerning consumers of it. Philosophical thinking can teach them to teach themselves to use what’s already out there with discretion, and to understand why there should be limits on what they’re exposed to, as well as how much time they spend with screens.

2. As is the case with children’s literature, applying “big questions” to digital media can put a philosophical spin on what’s already out there. In essence, P4C could include a sort of philosophy of pop culture for kids.

3. P4C could and should play a much larger part of the actual programming and content that’s delivered through screen time. This could include the development of YouTube Channels, Instagram pages, Twitter feeds games and apps, and dealing specifically with big questions for children and youth, as well as their parents and teachers.

4. For the first 8 or 9 years of a child’s life, parents determine the content, quality and quantity of screen time of which they partake. In making philosophy a more prominent player, both in how screen time is viewed, and in the materials that are available, we bring families into P4C in a much greater way.

5. Creating learning experiences in the digital space means reaching a greater number, but also a wider variety of learners. Digital media is interactive, dynamic, and personalized. It speaks to children with special needs, can be a forum for marginalized groups, and is engaging for even very young learners.

This workshop will not only discuss the potential and possibilities of screen time in general, but will also give participants the opportunity to explore connections with philosophy topics and screen time (ep. Is there philosophy in Baby Shark?). Our activities will also explore the question “What would philosophy lessons and learning objects look like if they took the form of an app, video game, Augmented/Virtual Reality experience, or digital series?” Tablets, smart phones, and laptops are welcome!


Jessica Lee

Bio:

Jessica Lee is a historian of immigration and citizenship as well as the Executive Director of the educational nonprofit Freedom & Citizenship. Run through Columbia University’s Center for American Studies, Freedom & Citizenship brings low-income New York City high school students to Columbia's campus each year to teach the philosophy, history, methods, and mechanics of citizenship from Ancient Greece to contemporary America. Its goal is to prepare dedicated, underserved youth for lives as active citizens.


Title of Paper:
Freedom & Citizenship: Columbia University’s Pre-College Program in Philosophy and Civics

Abstract: This talk will explain the origins, goals, and structure of the Freedom & Citizenship program at Columbia University, with an aim of raising interest in our growing consortium of high schools and colleges partnering to teach philosophy and civics. F&C is an educational nonprofit program run in collaboration between Columbia’s Center for American Studies, Center for the Core Curriculum, and the TRiO-funded Double Discovery Center. Every July we invite 45 low-income high school seniors to live on campus for four weeks and take a philosophy course taught by college professors. Students read from authors including Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Lincoln, DuBois, and Dewey. Students spend their mornings in seminars and their afternoons in reading and writing tutorials led by undergraduate teaching assistants. During the academic year, students receive support with college applications from the Double Discovery Center while also undertaking civic engagement projects with their summer teaching assistants. Past civic topics have included mass incarceration, climate change, education reform, disability rights, and immigration, among others. The results of our program are stunning: 98% graduate college within five years and 45% major in the humanities and social sciences twice the national average for students of color). Across all metrics our alumni are more civically engaged than their peers. In addition to providing an overview of the program, the presentation will highlight some of our important findings in how to introduce philosophy to low-income and first-generation high school students.

Sean Leichtle

Bio:

Sean Leichtle is head of the Philosophy and Ethics unit at Gymnasium Achern, part of the state school system of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, where he teaches philosophy, ethics and English, grades 5 through 12. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Kentucky and completed his 1. Staatsexamen at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.


Title of Paper:
The Case Analysis of Moral Dilemmas as a Method of Instruction

Abstract:

The case analysis of moral dilemmas to be addressed in this paper actually entails several levels of analysis. First, pupils articulate the interests and motivations of parties associated with a given moral dilemma. On this basis, they then abstract to the values underlying these interests before identifying the conflict of values responsible for the dilemma. Finally, they develop arguments for the relative weighting of the values in question in order to formulate a relevant moral judgment. After discussing its role in the implementation of local curriculum requirements, a more detailed description of the method of case analysis will be provided. The method will then be illustrated as applied to several dilemmas by a group of year 12 pupils. Finally, it will be argued that for adolescent learners, case analysis is of limited value in arriving at moral judgments and that its real strength is rather as a means of justifying or revising previously held moral intuitions. The paper also addresses secondary advantages of the method, including the development of moral empathy as well as the facility for moral argumentation.


João Epifânio Regis Lima

Bio:

João Epifânio Regis Lima is the Head of the Art and Philosophy/Sociology Departments at Colégio Bandeirantes in São Paulo, Brazil where he has worked since 1991. He is also responsible for the Arts component of the STEAM course in High School. He is also Professor of Aesthetics at the Methodist University of São Paulo. Regis obtained a B.S. in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of São Paulo.


Title of Paper:
Implementation of a Philosophy program integrated with the Convivence Department in a Brazilian High School

Abstract:

The presentation intends to show and discuss a three-year-long process of implementation of a Philosophy program integrated with the Convivence & Drug Awareness & Sex Education Department in a long-standing well reputed Brazilian High School (Colegio Bandeirantes) situated in São Paulo. Developing positive interpersonal relationships is an important value in the mentioned school. In order to achieve this general goal the new Philosophy syllabus was conceived so that it could provide conceptual subsidies to the discussion groups (called “dialogue circles”) carried out by the Convivence Department with the students. Therefore, subjects such as freedom, happiness, violence, justice, (narrative) identity, moral dilemmas, logical reasoning and criteria of humanity, among others, were examined during the classes.


Jana Mohr Lone

Bio:

Jana Mohr Lone is Director of the Center for Philosophy for Children and Affiliate Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington, and author of The Philosophical Child (2012), which has been translated into three languages, co-author of Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (2016)and co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012). She is PLATO’s founding president and the founding editor-in-chief of Questions: Philosophy for Young People.


Title of Paper:
Poetry and Philosophical Inquiry Workshop

Abstract:

This interactive workshop will engage participants in philosophical inquiry through poetry. We will read together several poems and reflect about the philosophical issues they raise. The workshop will examine the intersections between philosophy and poetry, and consider some strategies for facilitating philosophical inquiry in classrooms through poetry. The workshop will focus on close readings of the poems we have selected, with particular attention to the distinctive structure of poems – the importance of rhythm and sound, use of metaphor and imaginative imagery, and the possibility of multiple meanings and interpretations. As part of this exploration, we will investigate poetry’s unique strengths as a prompt for philosophical inquiry and think together about the ways that poetry can be a source of philosophical perplexity by revealing some of life’s ambiguities and mysteries. We will spend time discussing various philosophical issues inspired by the poems we read. We will utilize both small group work and whole group discussion, and end with a creative closing activity. Workshop participants will come away with an enhanced appreciation of the value of poetry for inspiring philosophical inquiry and some strategies for using poetry in a philosophy classroom.


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Jonathan Matheson

Bio:

Jonathan Matheson is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Florida.  He is also the organizer of the First Coast High School Ethics Bowl.


Title of Paper:
Coaching High School Ethics Bowl

Abstract:

This presentation will do three things: i) explain the nature and value of ethics bowl, ii) illustrate how to prepare a team for ethics bowl competition, and iii) answer any questions or concerns. Ethics bowl is a competitive debate-like competition where students critically engage complex moral issues. Ethics bowl is an excellent way to get students engaged in collaborative critical thinking, wrestle with complex normative issues, and engage in the methodology of philosophy. In this presentation we will explain how ethics bowl can get high school students engaged in philosophy and how coaches can prepare their teams for a competition from start to finish. We will cover the basics of ethics bowl and walk people through the steps of starting and preparing an ethics bowl team, including how ethics bowl can be incorporated into existing high school courses. Having the perspectives of a coach and a team member will help cover all the bases and provide a wealth of relevant knowledge for answering questions and concerns.


Joseph Milillo

Bio:

Information Forthcoming


Title of Paper:
Rising to the Occasion: Teaching argument and Critical thinking skills to disadvantaged teens

Abstract:

This presentation aims to share the experience of teaching disadvantaged youths skills of reasoning and critical thinking. According to federal data, the number of homeless children attending public schools has been on the rise. The stresses of being homeless affects children’s well-being and learning. Many children move from school to school as their parents take them from shelter to shelter or other temporary housing solutions. As a result these children are held back grade levels or, more commonly, moved ahead without having gained the necessary skills and knowledge. The Carying Place (pronounced ‘caring’) teaches working homeless families with children life skills for attaining independent living while providing temporary short term housing and support services to address their individual needs. Additionally, the agency supports children in activities that focus on safety, self-growth, stress management, self-identity and recreational involvement (to name a few) with the help of local community partners. One such activity is The Art of Argument and Critical Thinking for adolescents. The 2 month program was designed to teach teenagers the importance of critical thinking and how to engage with the world around them. The program explained the difference between fighting and arguing, how to make a valid and sound argument, and how to analyze other people’s arguments with techniques and exercises from Simple Formal Logic (Routledge 2018), ThinkerAnalytix, and various Philosophy for Children (PC4) works. This program is particularly useful today as teens are bombarded with information and social and political views via social media, television and popular music.


Stephen Miller

Bio:

Stephen Kekoa Miller teaches philosophy and religious studies, and is Humanities Department Chair at Oakwood Friends School; he is also an adjunct philosophy professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Stephen is PLATO Treasurer, and President of the United Nations Association Mid-Hudson Valley chapter. Stephen speaks and publishes in the areas of precollege philosophy, philosophy of emotions, ethics education and virtue ethics.  Stephen recently served on the Teachers Advisory Council of the National Humanities Center.


Title of Paper:
The Benefits and Challenges of Doing Philosophy in Mixed-aged Groups

Abstract:

Doing philosophy can completely alter the classroom practice of even the most experienced teacher. Nearly twenty years ago, Oakwood Friends School developed an extensive curriculum in the applied ethics and the history of philosophy. These courses were viewed as particularly challenging, and as a result, restricted to older students. A number of years ago, however, there was a conscious decision, inspired by the philosophy for children movement, to bring philosophy to even the youngest students in the school. This presentation will focus on two philosophy programs developed recently, one a program for middle school students will high school TAs and the other an evening program of philosophy involving numerous age groups from the school and will discuss the methods employed in these programs. This main question of the presentation will address concerns why open philosophical inquiry, which doesn’t aim to reach a specific endpoint, can have such a powerful effect when done with mixed ages. In doing so, it will look at how one’s philosophy of children and of how a different understanding of how teaching relates to power can help achieve some measure of epistemic justice for students.


Karen Mizell

Bio:

Karen Mizell is Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University and director of the Ethics Minor and Ethics Certificate programs. Her current research focuses on Philosophy of Childhood, Philosophy for Children, The Ethics of Human/Animal Relationships, and Food Justice. She is founder and past director of the Utah High School Ethics Bowl, has received several teaching and service awards, and is a recipient of the State of Utah Award for Excellence in Service-Learning.


Title of Paper:
The Cognitive Economy of Ethics Bowl

Abstract:

Ethics Bowl offers students a strong cognitive atmosphere based on collaborative moral inquiry, problem-solving, problem-posing, problem-setting, and collaboratively identifying challenging moral aspects of case studies. The activity, which bears some relationship to Matthew Lipman’s and Ann Margaret Sharp’s “Community of Inquiry Method” of doing philosophy with young people, offers participants an opportunity for a deep orientation to authentic ethical learning that goes beyond cued knowledge and exercises that typify character-based pedagogies that are often the fare of moral instruction in schools. I argue that Ethics Bowl offers students a superior moral education that embraces authentic moral discourse grounded on high levels of complex cognition. Exchanges about the moral significance and moral quandaries presented in the cases are often the basis for deeply personal moral insights, but significantly, entail intrinsic learning goals, intellectual risk-taking, and reflective learning. This activity, also models inclusiveness and civic value as students contribute to a contextual discourse that minimizes traditional power relationships and cooperatively identifies and examines problematic aspects of moral dilemmas.


Janice Moskalik

Bio:

Janice Moskalik (PhD, Philosophy, University of Washington; LLB, University of British Columbia) is an Instructor in the philosophy department at Seattle University. Her main research areas are ethics, philosophy of law, and philosophy for children. She teaches for and is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children; Janice is also a member of the Board of Directors of PLATO.


Title of Paper:
Children, Epistemic Injustice, and Philosophy as a Restorative Justice Practice

Abstract: I argue that children are sometimes discounted as competent knowers in ways that constitute epistemic injustice, and that philosophy for children is a restorative epistemic justice practice. Following Miranda Fricker (2007), I explain how reliance on unfair stereotypes to assess others’ epistemic capacities as inferior, leading to a discounting or silencing of their voices, constitutes epistemic injustice, and contributes significantly to systemic and institutional oppression. I argue that this happens in the case of children: what some might defend as well-meaning, appropriate paternalism towards children constitutes, in at least certain contexts, epistemic injustice, masking what is actually an unjustified overriding of children’s epistemic agency. Recognizing epistemic injustice allows us to think about how to combat oppression through the restoration of epistemic justice. Building on the work of Margaret Urban Walker (2006) and Ben Almassi (2018), I argue that philosophy for children is a restorative epistemic justice practice, as it 1) provides space for children’s voices to be heard regarding questions/issues that are relevant to them as knowers; 2) models respect for children as knowers; 3) has the potential to further empower children to resist being epistemically marginalized in other spaces; and 4) models for the broader community a respect for children as knowers/thinkers. Following the presentation portion of the session I will facilitate a discussion with session participants on epistemic injustice and children, and how philosophy for children as a practice can promote restorative epistemic justice.

William Mottolese

Bio:

William Mottolese teaches English and interdisciplinary humanities, and chairs the English Department at Sacred Heart Greenwich. He taught literature, critical theory, and humanities at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana after earning his PhD at Fordham University, and serves on the faculty of the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn and on PLATO’s Education Committee. He helped found and presently teaches Sacred Heart’s Seminar in Literature and Thought.


Title of Paper:
Philosophy and the Teaching of Writing in the High School Classroom

Abstract:

High school philosophy teachers have a powerful opportunity to teach writing skills through rigorous philosophical reading and writing. Philosophy occupies a place in the humanities where critical thinking, logical analysis, and precise written expression intersect in powerful ways. For most high school students, a philosophy paper represents a daunting departure from the types of writing done in English and history classes. Central to my presentation, however, is exploring how philosophical writing in the high school classroom stands in continuity with writing done in English classes and can powerfully reinforce skills taught in a school’s English/Language Arts curriculum, yet can establish some disciplinary conventions and critical thinking practices that are unique to philosophical writing. In my presentation, I plan to chart out what makes effective and pedagogically useful writing in high school philosophy, exploring what writing skills, disciplinary conventions, and thinking practices a teacher can emphasize. I am an English teacher with extensive experience teaching writing. For the last decade or so I have taught a heavily philosophical interdisciplinary humanities course in which three of the five major papers assigned are philosophy essays. My students grow tremendously as writers for having to write these papers. Thus, I want to open a discussion about what makes these writing experiences so pedagogically meaningful and how we teach students to write excellent philosophy.


Deborah S. Mower

Bio:

Deborah S. Mower is the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Associate Professor of Ethics at the University of Mississippi. She specializes in moral psychology, applied ethics and public policy, and moral education. She is on the Executive Committee for PLATO and is a former President of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. She published two co-edited volumes [Civility in Politics and Education (2012) and Developing Moral Sensitivity (2015)] and co-directed a 2016 NEH Summer Institute on Moral Psychology and Education.


Title of Paper:
Using In-Group Favoritism to teach Philosophy and Ethics

Abstract:

Psychological research from the last fifty years demonstrates that our actions are highly influenced by our conception of our identity as individual selves and as members of groups. Both consciously and unconsciously, we categorize ourselves and others as being members of various social groups and distinguish between individuals based on whether they are members of our own group (in-group status) or members of a group to which we do not belong or identify with (out-group status). As demonstrated in multitudes of studies, we treat those of our in-group with preference and favoritism. Although one need not be prejudiced against others, in-group preference has an important role in systemic disparities for our interactions with other persons and group dynamics. In this presentation, I first detail the research on the phenomenon of in- group preference. Second, I address the ethical implications on a variety of topics taught within K-12 education and why teachers should be aware of this phenomenon. Lastly, I discuss ways that research on this phenomenon could be used as effective classroom tools to teach students about the philosophical and ethical issues of personal identity, group identity, and in-group favoritism. The discussion time will be devoted to exploring other topics within K-12 education that may be affected by or related to this phenomenon, as well as additional ways to use the phenomenon as an effective teaching tool.


Thomas Ouellette

Bio:

Thomas Ouellette, Producing Director of the Rollins College Annie Russell Theater, has taught directing and acting at Rollins since 1996. Orlando audiences have seen him onstage in Clybourne Park, Mass Appeal and Next Fall. National credits include the Folger Shakespeare Theatre and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC. In Orlando, he has recently directed Race, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Arms and the Man, To Kill a Mockingbird


Title of Paper:
Theater of Ideas

Abstract:

William Arrowsmith (1963) presents Euripidean tragedy as a “Theater of Ideas” and philosophical education for the Athenian masses. What could a fusion of Theater and Philosophy look like in schools today? The session’s leaders, a Philosopher and a Stage Director, will frame discussion around their own “Theater of Ideas,” a co-taught, college first-year seminar. This course pairs Greek ethics and modern plays, from Zoo Story to Dear Evan Hansen, to provide undergraduates with “big ideas” for leading a P4C program at two neighboring schools. Presentation participants will think creatively about philosophy/theater collaborations on three fronts:

1) Modes of cognition. Is a philosophical discussion a dramatic performance? Is a play philosophical inquiry? Philosophy often proceeds abstractly via analysis and critique, mapping ideas in “concept space”. Theater is concrete and fosters empathy as it shows the perspectives of characters embedded in narratives. How may each each discipline’s approach complement the other’s?

2) Intellectual virtues. P4C discussions are governed by “philosophy rules,” which instill virtues of sensitive listening, flexible thinking and purposeful response. Novice P4C leaders, however, can struggle with setting aside lesson plans and running with children’s ideas. How may theater improv games, with their “Yes, and...” mindset, help develop P4C technique? How may P4C practice enhance theater improv practice?

3) Spaces of Practice. Where are Theater and P4C currently practiced in preK-12 schools? How may the two be combined: linked philosophy and theater clubs/courses, paired philosophy and theater readings in literature courses, philosophical “talk backs” with actors and directors?


Bailie Peterson

Bio:

Bailie Peterson earned her PhD in 2017 from UMass Amherst, and now teaches philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado.In addition to pre-college philosophy and pedagogy, her interests include metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of religion.Currently, she is working on a project exploring retention and success of first generation college students.


Title of Paper:
Philosophy and the Summer Slide: Bringing Summer Philosophy to the Students who need it most

Abstract:

I am researching the possibility for summer philosophy programming to combat issues faced by students in my local school district. My project connects current research from the study of philosophy for children with approaches to addressing the “summer slide,” (the tendency for students, and those from low-income families in particular, to lose some of the progress that they made during the school year over the summer months). Although my project seeks specific applications within my district, sharing my results with the PLATO community will allow for a broad discussion of methods and approaches to summer philosophy instruction. In particular, I would like to discuss approaches that build on existing summer education programs like those offered by Upward Bound; considerations of particular challenges and methods for summer programs overall; and considerations specific to the particular student populations I would like to reach, including those from financially disadvantaged backgrounds and potential first generation college students. A community of inquiry approach would fit well with my presentation goals, as I would like to briefly discuss my research and provide updates on the ways this connects to two methods of supporting these goals currently under development, before opening up to general discussion. Because the potential for summer philosophy programming to increase the success of high school students is worth further exploration, the collaborative environment of the conference would be especially beneficial to my project.


Benjamin Raphael

Bio:

Benjamin Raphael is a 10th English Teacher in the South Bronx. His pedagogical focus centers on discerning the connection between student literacy efforts and philosophical inquiry. A graduate of Rutgers University (BA Philosophy & English) and Teachers College, Columbia (MA Teaching of English), he is currently pursuing a second Master’s Degree at the Graduate Center, CUNY where he researches school mission and values impact on student learning and growth.


Title of Paper:
Dewey & James: Instruction in Philosophical Thinking

Abstract:

Expert Educators commonly promote given pedagogical “philosophies” as a means of setting curricula expectations and enforcing the use of specific educational methods (e.g. inquiry based learning, as opposed to direct instruction – to offer one example). Yet, it is decidedly uncommon to encounter the teaching of philosophy in the classroom. To reiterate, though students are likely subjected to a form of education that is, in most cases, heavily influenced by a specific pedagogical philosophy, the explicit teaching of philosophy is rarely promoted. This appears to be a contradiction of sorts. If we are to take into account the views of certain modern philosophers who have influenced the foundations of said pedagogical philosophies, we can quickly deduce a line of argument for why it is essential to integrate the study of philosophy into K12 curricula. In my paper and companion discussion I intend to make use of the opinions of both John Dewey and William James to argue that the explicit instruction of “philosophic thinking” has the capacity to provide younger students with the tools to subvert a “short-sighted method” of reasoning— one that otherwise seeks to limit their personal growth, entrapping them in an all too common, mechanistic form of habitual “blindness” (Dewey, 49 & 331 & James, 149). Examples will be drawn from a relevant Unit Plan that focuses on Binary Developments in Literature (12 th grade). Potential Discussion Themes Include: Philosophy in the English Classroom, Integrated Philosophic Thinking, and the disruption of Student Binary Thought by way of curriculum design.


Hooman Razavi

Bio:

Hooman Razavi was born in Iran though lived most of his life in Canada. His background is in science (biochemistry) but is currently working toward his MA degree in education. He considers philosophy to be the foundation of all subjects and was drawn to study it during his undergraduate years. He enjoys reading ancient philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of education, and philosophy of technology.


Title of Paper:
Forthcoming

Abstract:

Forthcoming


Paul Reale

Bio:

Paul Reale is the Founder and Director of Mindbridge Education in Toronto, Ontario, where he teaches philosophy for children in an afterschool program designed for both elementary and secondary students. By offering a unique curriculum rooted in philosophy for children, he encourages students to question not only themselves, but also the world around them. Mr. Reale holds both an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History from the University of Toronto.


Title of Paper:
Historical Thinking as an Essential Component of Philosophy for Children

Abstract:

This paper argues that historical thinking should be an essential component of philosophy for children. Historical thinking requires that students place philosophical ideas in their intellectual, cultural, economic and political context. Such contextualization not only provides students with a more nuanced appreciation of ideas and thinkers, but also entails epistemic and cognitive processes that help them critically evaluate their own time and place. Specifically, we operationalize Hans-Georg Gadamer’s notion of effective historical consciousness. According to Gadamer, historical thinking is a dialectical process wherein understanding the past is not just a matter of appreciating its particularities, but of appreciating such particularities in relation to our own. Meaningful understanding is thus achieved by means of, as it were, rubbing one’s own sensibilities against those of another age, for only in so doing can we uncover the contours of our own biases in the first place. We argue, furthermore, that Gadamer’s dialectical notion of historical thinking must be applied explicitly in philosophy for children. Students must undertake a self-conscious process of moving back and forth between contextualizing philosophical ideas and evaluating how such contextualization is itself informed by their own worldviews. Our pedagogic approach, therefore, seeks to develop a critical mind with empathy not only for others in their community, but also an historical one for those in the past. We outline specific examples for dialectical historical thinking in philosophy for children. Specifically, we highlight the method’s usefulness for teaching epistemology, which serves to mediate between skeptical and realist modes of understanding.


Katherine Roberts

Bio:

Katherine Roberts is currently enrolled at UA Little Rock and plans to graduate in spring 2020 with a BA in both psychology and Philosophy. Katherine is Vice President of the student-led Socratic Society on campus, which includes primarily philosophy students, but is open to all. Additionally, she was honored at the Phi Sigma Tau award ceremony in 2017.


Title of Paper:
Diversity in the Discipline of Philosophy with High School Ethics Bowl

Abstract:

High School Ethics Bowl is the first exposure to philosophy for many high school students in Arkansas. This project will examine whether High School Ethics Bowls have the potential to promote diversity among students of philosophy. I will also analyze the cases, the structure of the bowl, and the participants’ impressions of their experience presenting philosophical arguments in an academic setting to determine the ways in which High School Ethics Bowls do or do not provide an inclusive environment. I will also collect demographic data about the participants in the Arkansas 2019 High School Ethics Bowl and compare that with available data about the demographic diversity of college graduates with philosophy BAs and with philosophers working in the profession. This project can potentially help future Bowl organizers anticipate and mitigate barriers to participation for members of under-represented groups.


S - Z

Farzaneh Shahrtash

Bio:

Farzaneh Shahrtash is a researcher, children’s book publisher and a teacher with almost 30 years of teaching science to both teachers and students. Although she majored in physics, she became interested in Philosophy for Children in 2000 and finally wrote her dissertation about P4C-Science Education: Scientific Literacy in Primary School Science in 2015.


Title of Paper:
Philosophy for Children in Science Classrooms (via Skype)

Abstract:

The latest scientific literacy is defined as “the ability to engage with science-related issues and with the ideas of science as a reflective citizen.” Thus a scientifically literate person can understand the science relevant to environmental and social issues, communicate clearly about the science, and make informed decisions about social issues. The key components of such science education are the development of knowledge and understanding science concepts, nature of science (NOS), the consequences of scientific decisions (social, ethical and technological) in a socio-cultural context. In another way, scientific literacy wants to bring the fact and value, together in a Deweyan scientific inquiry structure. To achieve this goal, science educators decided to introduce socio-scientific issues in science curriculum in order to cultivate ‘informed decision making’ citizens. In these circumstances judgments are required. It is as if the NOS questions are philosophical, therefore, science education should provide discursive approaches and add the real-world application of such concepts to societal and ethical ideals. On the other hand P4C is a philosophical approach and its methodology known as ‘Community of inquiry’ (COI) has the potential to inquire the philosophical issues in any subject matter. However, P4C is facing the theory/practice dualism which makes it departed from testing the social solutions in action, therefore, it can be adjusted by ‘wisdom-oriented’ objectives of science education. Although COI is already a successful pedagogy and is specialized for cultivating value judgment in both epistemic and non- epistemic values it is still far from ‘good judgment’ education in practice. Minimally, the product of P4C is a ‘reasonable philosophical judgment’; maximally, it is putting that judgment into practice through phronēsis process. So, in response to the new scientific literacy aims we can use P4C-Science for practicing good judgments in primary school classroom. P4C-Science is supposed to cultivate philosophical tools and scientific inquiry skills and dispositions both cognitively and affectively while deep conceptual knowledge and scientific argumentation are not required.


David Shapiro

Bio:

David Shapiro is a tenured founding faculty member in philosophy at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA; and education director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children in Seattle. Mr. Shapiro has been doing philosophy for children in K-12 classrooms since 1995. At UW, his courses introduce students to the study and practice of philosophy for children and provide them with opportunities to observe and eventually lead pre-college philosophy sessions themselves.


Title of Paper:
Cross-Pollinating Philosophy for Children in India and the U.S.

Abstract:

In this presentation, I plan to report on and engage participants in a discussion about the Fulbright-Nehru grant project I took on from December 2018 to March 2019 through Mysore State University, in which I worked with Indian college and pre-college students to bring philosophical inquiry into elementary and middle-school classrooms in Mysore, Karnataka, India. My project had three main components:

  1. I taught a college-level “Philosophy for Children” course that I regularly teach at the University of Washington to Mysore Statue University students.
  2. I led P4C lessons with pre-college students in India, including (as I do when I teach the UW class) college students in the lessons, so they could gain experience and practice in doing P4C themselves.
  3. I researched classical and contemporary children’s literature in India in order to find new books and stories to use in P4C lessons in the US.

My plan for the presentation is to talk a little bit about the project, and to use at least one of the India-sourced materials I researched in order to lead a P4C lesson with participants.


Ariel Sykes

Bio:

Ariel Sykes currently works with the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) at Montclair State University where she is an endorsed practitioner and helps run the summer training institute for teachers. Ariel has both her B.A. (from Mount Holyoke College) and M.A (from Teachers College, Columbia University) in Philosophy of Education. She currently offers philosophy for children programming throughout the New York-New Jersey region and has worked in the field of P4C for eleven years. She worked on part of a U.S Department of Education funded grant to research and develop a professional development curriculum around dialogic teaching and argumentation (which has its basis in P4C pedagogy). As an adjunct Ethics, Education and English professor she integrates the community of philosophical inquiry into her classrooms.


Title of Paper:
Questions in Art: Philosophical Inquiry in the Art Museum Presentation & A New Framework for Question Generation and Selection within Philosophical Inquiries Workshop

Abstract:

Questions in Art: Philosophical Inquiry in the Art Museum Presentation: This presentation will highlight a collaboration between a university and a local art museum that integrated philosophical inquiry into established museum education practices. Over the course of three years, “The Questions in Art” program engaged patrons of all ages with big questions that naturally arise when we interact with art, as both viewers and creators. Experiences ranged from single one-hour gallery based inquiry sessions (as part of school field trips or during “adults night out”) to five session series that pair gallery discussions with art making activities (as a multi-visit field trip for local schools or part of a home-school partnership or general after-school class series). Topics included those of aesthetics, such as: (1) the viewer and the creator, (2) the art and its context of creation (i.e. historical, cultural, personal, political), and (3) the social-political elements of museums and (4) the purpose of art. Other topics included themes arising from the art itself, such as: (1) beauty, (2) justice, (3) personhood, and (4) narrative. This presentation will illustrate how philosophical discussions that emerge from art objects and art making. I will include “lessons learned” from developing this program, examples from the experience, as well as how I responded to concerns from art administrators and art educators. Participants will be asked to engage in a discussion around the potential for philosophical inquiry to be brought into art spaces.

 

A New Framework for Question Generation and Selection within Philosophical Inquiries Workshop: This workshop will explore a new framework for categorizing philosophical questions that aims to help both participants and facilitators have more successful inquiries. While some frameworks will label questions based on the question’s respective philosophical field (i.e. “an ethics or right/wrong question”), this framework categorizes questions based on what the question demands of us during the inquiry itself. I believe that it is necessary to make both participants and facilitators aware of the possible trajectory a question may have within an inquiry to help them decide what question(s) to select and help guide them in engaging with the question. Furthermore, I find this framework increasingly important when working with participants and facilitators new to P4C. Inquiry is a shift from what many people are used to and this framework provides a scaffold to help participants and facilitators feel prepared to engage in inquiry. If participants know the possible inquiry trajectory they can better decide what type of question they are interested in. Additionally, practitioners can choose questions that focus on particular skills that they want participants to practice. This framework also includes tips for facilitation techniques related to each question category. For example, facilitators with a definition question are reminded that they should ask for examples or counter-examples to test the reasonableness of a definition. This workshop will present the question framework, offer a justification for this framework and examples of how this framework works in practice. Participants will be asked to apply this framework to a set of questions and reflect on its efficacy in practice.


Debi Talukdar

Bio:

Debi Talukdar is an instructor and Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education at the University of Washington. She chairs PLATO's Research and Advocacy Committee and serves on the board of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children. Debi has been facilitating philosophical discussions with K-12 students in Seattle for several years and is the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.


Title of Paper:
Philosopher-in-Residence: Reflectionns on growing a program and questions of sustainability Presentation & Storytelling for reflective inquiry and meaning construction Workshop

Abstract:

Philosopher-in-Residence: Reflectionns on growing a program and questions of sustainability Presentation: This is the first year Thurgood Marshall Elementary School has a philosopher- in-residence: me. The position is supported by a grant from the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children. Currently, I spend two days of the week facilitating philosophical discussions in 8 classrooms. I am also gathering interest for a philosophy professional learning community for the teachers, as well as planning a community event at the school to introduce parents to philosophy for children. This multi-year role is unique because it allows me to witness growth in children’s philosophical thinking as they move from one year to the next, as well as develop a close relationship with the school. Additionally, I am a resource for teachers to help their students think philosophically about topics or ideas they encounter in other spaces at school. In this presentation I will first reflect on my first year growing the PIR program and share some rewards, challenges, and learning. Then I will facilitate a discussion on what might be needed to start and sustain something similar at other schools and organizations, and if the philosopher- in-residence program can be envisioned in other ways.

Discussion questions:

1. What conditions are necessary to make a PIR program successful? What are some challenges a program like this might face?

2. Who might you select to be a PIR? Any specific considerations?

3. Who are the stakeholders? What are ways to get stakeholders on board?

4. How sustainable is a PIR program? How can it be made more sustainable? How would you fund something like this?

 

Storytelling for reflective inquiry and meaning construction Workshop: Storytelling for reflective inquiry and meaning construction Workshop:Storytelling, an ancient art, is gaining popularity as a valid qualitative methodology in social science research. At a basic level, we tell stories to ourselves, our children, and each other to discover the meaning of human existence, dispel fears, speculate on our origins, remember dreams, and determine our purpose. Through stories, we attempt to understand where and how we belong -- to our families, larger communities, and the natural world. Countless cultures world over use storytelling for knowledge construction. For example, long traditions of oral history have transmitted wisdom and knowledge across generations. As a methodology and inquiry tool, storytelling helps us make explicit thoughts and assumptions that were previously unexamined. We are able to construct meaning and develop theories through an analysis of themes that emerge from stories. Reflecting on a question through a personal lens can feel reinvigorating. Also, it can help us reimagine an issue and shine light on perspectives that are left out of the dominant narrative. The relational and dialogic dimensions of stories play a special role in bringing people closer and creating a bridge for accessing and understanding another person’s lived experience. In this interactive workshop we will encourage all participants to write a story about their personal experiences with pre-college philosophy in the hope that articulating what may have been (until this moment) implicit will challenge them, and inspire reflection and new insights. We will use the stories to connect our collective wisdom to larger topics and issues in the field of precollege philosophy. We will divide the time into four periods: Part 1: Framing storytelling as a form of reflective narrative inquiry Part 2: Allowing participants to write their own stories Part 3: Inviting participants to share their stories Part 4: Facilitating a conversation around common themes by drawing attention to “plots” and “characters” that emerge across stories. As a group, we will discuss how storytelling can be used as a tool for philosophical reflection in classrooms. Due to its flexible and interpretative nature, narrative inquiry can be used in a variety of ways. We will encourage participation to let us know if they use this technique in their classes and to share their sense of its success and usefulness.


Diane Terorde-Doyle

Bio:

Diane Terorde-Doyle graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Psychology and received an Early Childhood graduate degree from University of Central Florida. First an adjunct at Seminole State College, she became Director of the Rollins College Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center, focusing on self-regulation and executive function skills in young children. She has co-authored Ethics for the Very Young, as well as articles for the Association for Curriculum Development Express e-Newsletter.


Title of Paper:
Ethics for the Very Young, (EVY) the Who, What, Where and Why of Philosophy with Young Children Presentation & Toolkits, Institutes, Courses, Camps: Exploring Issues in the Dissemination of Philosophy for Children Workshop

Abstract:

Ethics for the Very Young, (EVY) the Who, What, Where and Why of Philosophy with Young Children:Ethics for the Very Young or "EVY" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) is an ethics curriculum and model for doing philosophy with young children, 4 to 7 years of age. The curriculum builds on Tom Wartenberg’s model of using picture books to elicit philosophical discussion among elementary-school children. EVY's lessons are the fruit of collaboration between preschool teachers, college faculty and undergraduate philosophy students. Wartenberg's approach to dialogical reading of story books is augmented and framed by Games and Art projects that let young children "think with their bodies" and scaffold dialogue on various topics ranging from self-control to bravery, friendship and self-care. Participants will explore the use of games such as Red Light Green Light to practice the three rules that guide children's discussions: listen, think, respond. They will think creatively how to re-purpose typical pre-K activities to elicit deeper ethical thinking from young children. Finally, participants will discuss the implications of EVY's approach for early childhood programming and policy development within their home contexts.

 

Toolkits, Institutes, Courses, Camps: Exploring Issues in the Dissemination of Philosophy for Children Workshop: In this workshop, we will begin by listing the pervasive and core elements of pre-collegiate philosophy programs, as defined by PLATO and publications in the field, Prekindergarten through 12 th grade. Then, workshop leaders will review a few previously-published dissemination strategies which exist in PLATO-based and similar programs. We will also summarize the NSF/IEA Companion Guidelines on Replication & Reproducibility in Education. The leaders, who are experts in preschool and higher education, will then discuss their experience in dissemination trials of national program models in their fields, share what worked best, and talk about issues we are facing in dissemination of Ethics for the Very Young. Then, we will discuss, in small groups, the current state of dissemination in the Philosophy for Children movement, and how it might be improved. We will close with a summary of group findings, and an invitation to further work on this issue.


Maria DaVenza Tillmanns

Bio:

Maria DaVenza Tillmanns' dissertation is on Philosophical Counseling and Teaching. She has over twenty publications in Dutch, British and American journals. In Holland, she conducted a Philosophy for Children program at two International Schools. She was philosopher-in-residence at La Jolla Country Day School and currently at El Toyon Elementary. She conducted philosophy for and with children programs for teens. Recently, she developed a course in philosophy with children for the National City GATE certified teachers, which started January 2019.


Title of Paper:
Examples of Aporia Questions Using Picture Books

Abstract:

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. – Albert Einstein

In philosophical discussions with elementary school children, I use questions not just to uncover hidden assumptions the children may have, but to lead them to a place of aporia. If some children assume that to be brave is to be fearless, I not only ask why they assume this, but go on to ask how it is that we can be called brave, if we’re not even afraid? What’s there to be brave about? With this question, I try to bring the children to a place of “aporia,” a place of puzzlement. Aporia empowers thinking. Philosophy is the pursuit of clear thinking; it is also the pursuit of wisdom, a deeper truth (see quote). Wonder captivates us and connects us to the world. In “doing” philosophy with children, this sense of wonder is expanded upon. In Journey of the Universe, Swimme and Tucker state, “For or a young mammal, behavior is open-ended in a way that is rarer in adults… In a word, what often occupies their consciousness is play.... they enter into many kinds of relationships out of sheer curiosity.” Shobhan Lyons states in her article, “What makes a philosopher?”, in Philosophy Now, “Linking philosophy and truth is a common approach; but I believe that philosophy is less a search for truth and more an engagement with possibilities; ...” Examples of aporia questions for 8 picture book stories. “Dragons and Giants,” in Frog and Toad Together, Arnold Lobel: Are Frog and Toad brave? An aporia question is, whether you can be brave without being afraid? If you are not in the least afraid, what makes you brave? Another aporia question is, whether Frog and Toad would be foolish rather than brave if they were not to jump out of the way of the snake, the avalanche or the hawk. A third aporia question has to do with the question how we know we are foolish or brave when dealing with what is dangerous.


Wendy C. Turgeon

Bio:

Wendy C. Turgeon has been involved in PLATO since it began.  As a staunch advocate for pre-college philosophy she has focused her research and writing on teaching, introducing philosophy through art and literature and her newest interests are environmental philosophy and fairy tales.  She teaches philosophy at the college level at St. Joseph’s College in New York.


Title of Paper:
Doing Environmental philosophy across the curriculum

Abstract:

Many students are interested in the environment but are well aware of the contentious nature of the debate over issues such as climate change, extinction of species, animal rights, use of fossil fuels. These topics often come up in a wide range of classes: from history to science. Philosophical thinking can really assist in the careful refection on such topics when they arise, in any class, but seldom are disciplinary teachers comfortable with the tools of philosophy. There are a number of ‘philosophy for children’ theorists and practitioners who have developed materials but do they address issues before the foundational concepts are well understood? This presentation will offer an account of how to develop a conceptual approach to building philosophical thinking skills and provide opportunities to connect concepts to issues for both children and young people. What sorts of philosophical distinctions must be in one’s toolbox to think clearly about climate change, CFOs, land development, GMOs? How might an anthropocentric view of ethical responsibilities support or conflict with a biocentric viewpoint? Such concepts as sustainability, nature, rights/welfare, future generations, intrinsic/instrumental valuing will be among those that can be examined through activities and games and multi-media sources. Concepts and questions like these will be used in presenting a model for an environmental philosophy experience. In addition to presenting this model, the presentation will provide ample opportunity for participants to contribute other concepts that they deem as important for thinking philosophically about the environment.


Sarah Vitale

Bio:

Sarah Vitale is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ball State University. Her research focuses Marx and post-Marxism, especially on the notions of production, labor, and human nature, as well as contemporary feminism. She is Co-Editor of the Radical Philosophy Review, and her publications include “Castoriadis, Marx, and the Critique of Productivism” (Telos 174). Vitale is the founder of the Ball State Philosophy Outreach Project, a precollege philosophy program that also hosts an annual conference.


Title of Paper:
Indiana High School Outreach Program

Abstract:

I will discuss the outreach program I started in Muncie, Indiana. The relevant issue is starting a pre-college philosophy program. The purpose of my session will be to explain what I have done in order to share with others who are interested in starting their own programs and to get feedback from others on how I can improve the program in Indiana.

The project has four elements, and I expect there to be discussion themes around each:

(1) We maintain a weekly high school philosophy club at the local high school.

(2) We make outreach visits to schools through Indiana. To date, we have made 16 outreach visits. We have visited schools both with existing clubs and we have visited high school classes. We led open-ended discussions with the high school students on topics such as censorship and ethics, and then the Ball State students field questions about their own experiences with philosophy and college in general.

(3) We have started an annual conference. In spring 2018, we hosted the inaugural Conference for Pre-College Philosophical Engagement at Ball State. Grant. The conference was free to high school students from throughout Indiana.

(4) Finally, the program has created various resources for high school learners and teachers, including handouts for teachers interested in integrating philosophy education into their classrooms and a packet for high school students interested in learning more about philosophy


Hollie Joy Wagner

Bio:

Hollie Joy Wagner is a M.Ed. candidate in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education program at the University of Washington, and holds a B.A. from the Evergreen State College. Her work focuses on praxis from the Center for Philosophy for Children and Theater for Change to inform educational policy. Hollie comes to the education field with a background in philosophy and theater and is excited to learn from and collaborate with innovative and interdisciplinary educators.


Title of Paper:
Acting Up: Exploring identity and empathy through philosophical theater

Abstract:

Humans are capable of seeing themselves in the act of seeing, of thinking their emotions, of being moved by their thoughts. They can see themselves here and imagine themselves there; they can see themselves today and imagine themselves tomorrow. This is why humans are able to identify (themselves and others) and not merely to recognise.” - Augusto Boal

For Boal, following from the work of philosopher-educator Paulo Freire, theater IS praxis, and such provides an opportunity to actively learn by doing. Just as the aim of many pre-college philosophy teachers is to demonstrate how philosophy need not exist in the isolation of ivory towers, ours is to demonstrate how theater need not exist solely for trained actors or on a stage with lights and costumes. We also ask participants to take this concept a step further, by considering the ways in which teachers engaging in such exercises along with their students can co-create spaces for the embodiment of critical consciousness to exist. Teacher training involves a process of self-actualization that is reflexive and evolves as the students evolve along with their mutually shared environment; this is a way to sum up the purposes and objectives of critical consciousness. We aspire to frame theater as a holistic teaching and co-learning practice that reaches students, teachers, and community members alike. Much research has been conducted on arts curriculum as a means towards social justice education. However, relatively little of this has explored the dramatic arts. We feel that the impacts of this model can be expanded by considering how theatrical play towards critical consciousness can be applied across disciplines. The applications are as variable as the experiences of those involved. Theater of the Oppressed exercises are being used in unique and pertinent settings within schools across the world, as well as in alternative education spaces such as refugee camps and juvenile correctional facilities. In this workshop we will discuss innovative ways to bring simple theater exercises into any classroom while exploring timeless philosophical themes such as empathy, collaboration, agency, community, perception, liberation, and justice. We will do so by collaboratively engaging through theatrical play in a fun, safe, and exploratory environment.


Thomas E. Wartenberg

Bio:

Thomas E. Wartenberg was president of PLATO from 2016-2018. Among his publications are Big Ideas for Little KidsA Sneetch is A Sneetch and Other Philosophical Discoveries.He is the editor of the Big Ideas for Young Thinkers book series in which his anthology Philosophy in Classrooms and Beyond: New Approaches to Picture-Book Philosophy appeared. His work is featured in a PBS documentary: http://wgby.org/bigideas. He received the 2011 APA/PDC Prize and the 2013 Merritt Prize.


Title of Paper:
Picture Books Go To College: Introducing Philosophy to Undergraduates

Abstract:

Within the philosophy for children tradition, a widely help presumption is that universities are a natural place for philosophy to be taught, and we consider our work to be the extension of philosophy into non-traditional places, from primary schools to summer camps. Introducing philosophy into these non-traditional spaces requires reflection on what philosophy is as a discipline, so that learners other than university students can be supported in their engagement in philosophical reflection and discussion. Such considerations have resulted in innovative claims about the “core” of philosophy itself and what it means to “teach” it. Those of us who have engaged in such non-traditional philosophy teaching and are also university professors have had our university teaching affected by the transformation in our understanding of philosophy occasioned by our work in non-traditional settings. However, these efforts have received less attention than they should. In this talk, I will describe one way in which my own work with primary school children changed my university-level teaching. After many years using picture books to prompt philosophical discussions with primary school children, I implemented a university-level philosophy for children course for first-year undergraduates based upon picture books. This was a departure because picture books are not seen as suitable fare for a university-level philosophy course. Yet, as I will show, this proved not to be the case, for these “simple” texts turned out to be an excellent way to get university students to deeply engage in philosophical reflection in a sustained manner.


Christina Zaccagnino

Bio:

Christina Zaccagnino is a graduate student at the University of Washington studying curriculum and instruction for science education, and a continuing fellow at the UW Center for Philosophy for Children. Previously a middle school science teacher, she looks forward to returning to teaching and hopes to take on an instructional leadership role while continuing to do philosophy with kids.


Title of Paper:
A Deeper Involvement with Science and the Role of Philosophy

Abstract:

Many have speculated about the benefits of philosophy for science learning, usually pointing to improvements in logical reasoning, imaginative thinking, questioning, problem-solving, and wonder (e.g. Sprod, 1997; Gazzard, 1988). While these skills are essential, I believe philosophy’s true contribution to science learning is the potential for students to develop a “‘deep-based relation to the object of study’ as part of a larger orientation to life, the world, and existence” (Witz, 1999). Some educational researchers call this a ‘deeper involvement with science’: the discovery of a profound meaning in science that is “embedded within a relationship that exists between [the] self, science, and the world” (Kozoll & Osborne, 2006). A ‘deeper involvement with science’ shares characteristics with philosophical experiences, including wonder, multiple perspectives, and connections among aspects of existence, and leads to science becoming an essential part of one’s identity and worldview. Philosophy for Children, by encouraging students to reflect on “big questions” and to develop their “philosophical selves” (Mohr Lone, 2012) places students in an ideal position to develop a deeper relation to science based in their identities and life worlds. My master’s thesis research aims to understand how and why students engage their philosophical selves in one fifth-grade science classroom and how that engagement relates to identity development and a deep-based relation to science. I hope to introduce the findings of my research during this presentation. Participants will also be engaged in discussion about their own deep-based relations to objects of study and the role that philosophy may play therein.