Middle School Students

Online Philosophy Series


PLATO is offering an online philosophy series for middle school students (ages 12-14) in the 2023-24 school year. Each class will meet weekly for six weeks on Zoom. We welcome students from any part of the world.

Spring 2024: Ethics of Important Relationships: Friends, Parents, and Teachers

Tuesdays – Class begins April 16 and the last class is May 21
4:30-5:45 pm Pacific Time

Humans are social beings who live in relationship with others. Some of these relationships are among the most influential in our lives – connections to friends, parents, and teachers. In this class, students will explore the ethical dimensions of these important relationships. What do teachers owe to their students? What do parents owe to their children? What makes someone a good friend? What do children owe to their parents and teachers? Is it ever appropriate to lie to someone you care about and value?

Instructor: Debi Talukdar will be teaching the spring series. Debi is PLATO’s Program Director and has been facilitating philosophical discussions with young people since 2014.

Class Structure

These classes will be interactive and collaborative, requiring attention and participation of all students. Students should have their cameras on during class, as visual presence both enhances a sense of community and increases accessibility for all participants.

Barring unforeseen circumstances and illness, we expect students to attend all six sessions in a series. Consistent attendance is important for building community and deepening our discussions over the weeks we meet.

Philosophical conversations involve topics about which reasonable people can disagree. All participants are expected to arrive prepared to listen carefully, thoughtfully engage with others’ ideas, and bravely share their own thoughts.

Session facilitators will ensure we maintain a respectful and intellectually safe community of inquiry. Students will experience the joys of thinking together about the ethical and other philosophical questions on our minds.

Registration and Payment

The cost for a six-week class is $250 for non-members, or $220 for PLATO members (become a member here).

Please use the form to the right (or below on mobile) to register for the fall, winter, and/or spring class, and then pay by clicking here or clicking the “Make Payment Here” button at the bottom of the form.

Please register and make payment by the following deadlines:

Spring Class: Deadline Thursday, April 11, 2024

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is not complete until payment is made. No refunds will be given after the registration deadline.

PLATO values the experience and expertise of its instructors and is committed to compensating them for their work. Scholarship funds are available for families who require financial assistance. If you require financial assistance, please send an email indicating your reason(s) for the request and the extent of financial assistance you need to info@plato-philosophy.org.

Questions? Email info@plato-philosophy.org.


    Ethics Case Writing


    Any middle student from any country can participate in PLATO’s student ethics case writing project. 

    The purpose of the project is to develop an open-access library of case studies focusing on ethical dilemmas relevant to middle and high school students that can be used in middle and high school classrooms and other ethics forums.

    Accepted cases are published on PLATO’s website, with credit to the writers. Writers of accepted cases will also receive a one-year PLATO membership.

    All published cases become the property of PLATO.

    For more information, see the case writing project page.


    The 2024 deadline is August 31. To submit a case, see the case writing project page