The 2012-13 school year is off to an energetic start! For teachers and others interested in learning about doing philosophy with children, the new national organization I’ve been involved in founding, PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), is now accepting members. Click here more more information on the organization and membership:

We are holding a second (the first was at Columbia in 2011) PLATO conference, February 19-20 at Loyola University in New Orleans. The conference theme is PLATO and Pedagogy: The Evolving Field of Pre-College Philosophy. Sessions will include invited speakers as well as submitted papers and presentations/workshop sessions. Topics include: How can philosophy reach a wider pre-college audience? How might pre-college philosophy contribute to improving K-12 education generally? Can philosophy fit into the framework of established K-12 educational institutions? How can we ensure that pre-college philosophy curricula have integrity? What do teachers need in order to teach philosophy well at the high school, middle school, and/or elementary school levels? What is needed to ensure that teachers have access to the training, resources and collaboration necessary for pre-college philosophy to grow and thrive?

The talks given at the first PLATO Conference have been edited and compiled into Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People, just published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book seeks to illuminate the ways in which philosophy can strengthen and deepen pre-college education, examining various issues involved in teaching philosophy to young people at different grade levels, including assessing what teachers need in order to teach philosophy and describing several models for introducing philosophy into schools. Ways to explore specific branches of philosophy—ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, and logic—through literature, thought experiments, and games and activities, as well as traditional philosophy texts, are described. The book’s final section considers student assessment and program evaluation, and analyzes the contributions pre-college philosophy can make to education in general.

And my book, The Philosophical Child, should be out next week. Happy fall!

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