Click here for the 2017 Conference Program

Every other year PLATO hosts a conference for all those interested or involved in pre-college philosophy. The next conference will be held at the University of Chicago June 23-24, 2017 (details below). To receive information about future conferences please sign up for the listserv at the bottom of the page under “Get in Touch”.
The deadline for submissions has passed.

2017 Conference:

Click to enlarge the poster

Fourth Biennial PLATO conference
Dates: June 23-24, 2017
Location: University of Chicago
Theme: Social justice and pre-college philosophy: where do we go from here? Including racial and other social inequalities in education, as it applies to:

  • pre-college philosophy in classroom instruction
  • philosophy of education
  • programs in public education

Featured Speaker: Dave Stovall on “Resisting the Racial Contract in ‘School’: Critical Race Theory, Community Resistance, and the Future of Education”

Conference Details
Conference sessions will take the form of hands-on workshops, papers, presentations and poster sessions. The conference is funded in part by the Squire Family Foundation and the University of Chicago – specifically the Civic Knowledge Project/Winning Words Program, which is hosting the event.

Registration/Conference Fees (PayPal)

Sorry, Registration Is Now Closed…

Please direct inquiries to

But… we’re still accepting registration fees!

Select the appropriate registration type from the dropdown menu below and remit your payment to PayPal. Note you do not need a PayPal account, you can pay with a credit card – it will just get processed on PayPal’s secure servers.

Select Registration Type
Chicago Teacher ID #

Step 2: Your Information

Please Input Your PayPal Transaction ID from Step 1

Additional 2017 Conference Theme Details

Learn more about this years' theme

The conference theme is “Social Justice and Pre-College Philosophy: Where Do We Go from Here?” The program will include talks by prominent scholars, both local and national, submitted presentations and papers, hands-on workshops, and a poster session.

The philosophical theme of the conference concerns social justice, including racial and other social inequalities in education. We strongly encourage presentations on this theme as it applies to pre-college philosophy in classroom instruction, philosophy of education, or programs in public education.

Submissions on other topics in pre-college philosophy also are welcome.

Conference Format

What to expect from a PLATO conference

The 2017 PLATO Conference will feature concurrent sessions involving hands-on workshops, papers, and presentations on the general theme of social justice and other topics relevant to pre-college philosophy.

There will also be an open poster session to showcase pre-college programs and initiatives not included in the program.

Sessions will be scheduled by relevance and subject matter along the following four tracks (conference participants will be able to move freely between tracks throughout the conference):

  • Philosophy in the elementary school classroom
  • Philosophy in the middle school classroom
  • Philosophy in the high school classroom
  • Theoretical issues in pre-college philosophy

Hotel Accommodations

Discounted rooms are available at the Club Quarters Hotel

Reservation Deadline: May 22,2017

Location: 75 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago,  IL 60601
Cost: Rooms start at $165 per night

Reference Code: PLT622 (this code should ONLY be used when CALLING for a reservation. Do not use this code if booking online.

For more detailed information such as parking, directions and surrounding attractions, visit:

Past Conferences:

Here’s what some participants had to say about the 2015 conference:


  • “I learned multiple new strategies for engaging in the classroom, especially with regard to inclusivity and discussions of social justice.”
  • “I’ve made connections with several colleagues that will lead to national and international collaborations.”
  • “I am not a teacher, but I have learned ways to integrate philosophy and philosophical thought into a classroom, specifically an elementary classroom.”


For more information about past conferences (including presentation topics) please click on one of the conference brochures below, or check out the video about the 2015 conference:


PLATO conference 2015 program 2 cover shot
PLATO-Conference-program-2013 cover shot
PLATO-Institute-program-june2011 cover shot


Call for Proposals

Submit yours today!

We welcome proposals for workshops, presentations/papers, and the poster session from faculty, graduate students, teachers and others practicing and/or interested in pre-college philosophy.

  • Proposals for workshops should be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Proposals for presentations, papers, or posters should be in the form of abstracts of no more than 500 words.

Those submitting proposals are asked to note which of the four tracks above is most relevant to their submission. Possible proposal topics, in addition to those listed above under “Announcement and Conference Theme,” include, but are not limited to:

  • Topics in philosophy
  • Outreach to Underserved Populations
  • Childhood and philosophy
  • Methods for engaging students in philosophical discussions
  • Cross-Curriculum Philosophy
  • Assessment
  • Outcomes: the impact of pre-college philosophy
  • After school philosophy programs
  • High school ethics bowls
  • Creating communities of philosophical inquiry
  • Philosophy and conflict resolution


(school, college, business, organization, etc...)
Allowed file extensions are doc, docx, pdf. Max file size is 16 MB. 800 to 1000 words please. If your workshop proposal is selected, we will contact you at the email address you provide.
Allowed file extensions are doc, docx, pdf. Max file size is 16 MB. 400 - 500 words please! If your Presentation/Poster Session is selected, we will contact you at the email address you provided in the field above.

Translate »