PLATO In The News
Penn’s ‘philosophers in residence’ engage Philadelphia youth with the hard questions
Ph.D. students Jacqueline Wallis and Afton Greco are embedded at the Academy at Palumbo in South Philadelphia, where they give philosophy lessons on curriculum-relevant topics and run an after-school Philosophy Club.
Philosophers share experiences facilitating intergenerational dialogue in schools, communities, and the public sphere
Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) conference held at UW earlier this summer. PLATO, a nonprofit affiliated with the UW department of philosophy, conducts programs for students, educators, and families.This year’s conference, “Ethics in Schools, Communities, and the Public Sphere,” featured 65 speakers from across the world.
Ask children if they ran the world, would they run it differently?
Interview with PLATO executive director Jana Mohr Lone.
UCSC Hosts High School Regional Ethics Bowl
Is it ethical to dine out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you think the government should be able to restrict or ban platforms like TikTok? Is contributing to fast fashion wrong, even if it is the only thing you can afford? These are all questions that college and high school students grapple with in an ethics bowl.
On the importance of training children in critical thinking
Practicing philosophy with children helps them have some control over their world.
Recently Published Book: Seen and Not Heard
Since 1996, Jana Mohr Lone’s work has centered around the conviction that we ought both to challenge our beliefs about children’s limited capacities and enlarge our understanding of the meaning of philosophy and who is qualified to engage in it. She has authored several books on the topic, including her most recent Seen and Not Heard: Why Children’s Voices Matter which explores what children’s perspectives can contribute to philosophical thought.
Happiness: Can our imagination make us happy?
Happiness is something that everyone wants. Sometimes, though, our imaginations create anxiety and actually prevent us from experiencing happiness. We make things worse than they actually are because of what we create in our minds. Yet, at other times, it is our actual experiences that create our suffering and our imaginations play no role. The power of the imagination is unique to each individual and can be a source of our happiness or despair.
Jana Mohr Lone advocates for children’s voices in new book, ‘Seen and Not Heard’
In her new book, Jana Mohr Lone asks, how would the world benefit if children were recognized as independent thinkers? How would their lives change “if what they said was not often ignored or patronized?”
Children Are Natural Philosophers
Children ask a lot of questions, and too often we dismiss them instead of embracing their wonder. Jana Mohr Lone joins host Krys Boyd to talk about why children offer unique viewpoints on life’s philosophical mysteries, and why it’s important to take them seriously.
Philosophy with Children
Kids don’t just say ‘the darndest things’. Playful and probing, they can be closer to the grain of life’s deepest questions.
Philosopher Michael Burroughs Awarded a Whiting Programs Fellowship
Dr. Michael Burroughs (California State University, Bakersfield) has been awarded one of the Fellowships for his project Humanities Beyond Bars.
Why I shut down an argument in my philosophy for children class
Amy Reed-Sandoval, assistant professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, discusses teaching philosophy for children in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
San Quentin college students defend Ethics Bowl championship against UC Santa Cruz (before COVID)
Student debate teams from the College Program at San Quentin and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) matched wits once again on the prison chapel stage in front of a live audience on February 14, 2020.
7 Values to Teach Your Child By Age 10
There are certain values we’d love for our kids to have. But how do we go about teaching them? Experts offer ways to instill important values as they grow.
Holding Ethics Conversations With Your Scouts
Your Scouts can recite the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their sleep, but can they apply those timeless values when they face tough decisions?
Episode 3 – Jana Mohr Lone – Philosophy for Children
In Limbo is a space dedicated to exploring the philosophical dimensions of pandemic situation. Our hope is to offer a series of conversations that throw light on the numerous ways in which different philosophical domains receive and study the pandemic.
What Is Freedom? Teaching Kids Philosophy in a Pandemic
Thinking about big questions empowers children to feel more confident about the value of their own ideas, teachers say.
Why are kids asking such big questions during the pandemic?
Talking with kids about what they are thinking without always feeling compelled to offer answers can help them explore their own concerns and ideas.
How UW is helping children grapple with big philosophical questions during COVID-19
This month, the Center released a guide for parents on how to navigate questions their youngsters may be having during the pandemic. The document covers topics like fear, loneliness, boredom, and death, and includes books and videos that may stoke philosophical discussion.
UW Center for Philosophy for Children helps families explore ‘big questions’ around COVID-19
Recent weeks have seen events that are affecting people of all ages. The UW Center for Philosophy for Children is offering materials to help families broach big questions and feelings that may be surfacing as kids experience the current realities of sickness and isolation.
How Philosophy for Children Improves Me as a Philosopher
Assistant Professor Cristina Cammarano, Salisbury University reflects on why doing philosophy for children is important for her and for philosophy.
When Kids Ask Hard Questions, Don’t Be Afraid to Lean in
The director of the UW Center for Philosophy for Children encourages families to embrace kids’ deep questions, uncomfortable as it may be.
For a day, they were individuals, not just inmates
Ethics Bowl program Kegley Institute of Ethic hosted at Tehachapi Prison.
What Would You Do?
You’re invited to a party. Your friend isn’t. Should you go? This problem is what is known as a moral dilemma—a tough situation in which the right thing to do isn’t clear.
A Philosophy Day in the Neighborhood
Guided by a multidisciplinary research team, Rollins students have been introducing preschoolers to the wisdom of the ancients, using traditional early-education activities to examine concepts that great philosophers sought to bring to early civilization: fairness, bravery, self-control, civility.
Texas A&M philosophy camp helps students think outside the box
Summer program examines themes behind ‘Harry Potter’ series
What Students Gain From Learning Ethics in School
Bringing ethics education into schools benefits students in a variety of ways.
Saigon International School Professional Development Conference
Jana Mohr Lone gave the keynote address at the Saigon International School’s Professional Development Conference on November 16, 2018, discussing the importance of questioning and philosophical inquiry in schools.
Rollins College Teaches ‘Ethics For Children’ on Fox 35 Orlando
Watch how professors and Rollins students teach 4 to 5-year-olds at the Hume House Child Development Center philosophy in this Fox 35 segment.
Philosophy for Children: Reclaiming the Discipline Outside of Higher Education
Colorado College concluded this year’s Philosophy Colloquium Talks with a lecture from Dr. Jana Mohr Lone on March 28.
UW Creates Certificate of Mastery in Philosophy for Children
The Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington is now offering a Certificate of Mastery in Philosophy for Children.
How to win at civil debate
For an American teenager today, there are precious few examples of positive, collaborative civil discourse in online media or the entertainment industry. But for motivated high school students in Seattle, there’s the High School Ethics Bowl, a six-year-old competition sponsored by the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children.
Alone Together: Sound Effect, Episode 171
Center director Jana Mohr Lone takes a deeper look at a Frog and Toad story and its philosophical implications on the podcast Sound Effect.
CONGRATULATIONS! State championship for Chief Sealth International High School Ethics Bowl Team
Congratulations to the Chief Sealth International High School Ethics Bowl Team, which just won the state championship! Their proud coach, social-studies teacher Matthew Baudhuin, sent the news and photos.
Philosophical Inquiry in Childhood
Children begin speculating about philosophical questions early in their lives. Almost as soon as they can formulate them, most children start asking what we call “big questions.”
How to find truth in today’s partisan world
Professor Kyle Robertson discusses teaching an ethics bowl course and holding an ethics bowl in with a team of prison inmates in San Quentin against a group an undergraduate ethics bowl team from UC Santa Cruz.
In Polarized Times, the Ethics Bowl Embraces the Gray Areas
There are times in life when the answers aren’t black and white. Your friend is getting married, and asks you to be best man–but you don’t approve of his fiancee. Should you speak up about your reservations? Should you be quiet and agree to be best man?
Playdough to Plato
Center-led classroom philosophy discussions are tinged with the flavors of Descartes, Confucius, and Kant, and have recently covered topics such as race, human rights and fairness. “Because they are so new to the world,” says Jana Mohr Lone, “children really wonder a lot. Often they’re asking what we think of as philosophical questions without the context of these thousands of-years-old conversations.”
Can we (Or Should We) Teach Children Philosophy? with Jana Mohr Lone
The questions we tackle today are: “Do you have to be a grownup to study those questions? Can kids think about them? Should kids think about them?” Plug in and listen as we discuss how teaching kids philosophy could impact the entire world.
Kids answer tough questions at library’s Philosophy for Children series
Adults often seem surprised when children offer bits of insight that seem wise beyond their years. But as one local philosophy professor knows, kids are plenty capable of critical thinking, if only the adults around know how to foster it.
How Do We Talk to Our Kids about Political Issues that are Stressing Us Out?
No matter where we fall on the issues, our kids are bound to pick up on our agitation. How can we alleviate their fears while still being truthful? And just how upfront should we be? Local experts offer some guidelines for parents to help our children understand the world and offer some reassurance.
Teach Kids Philosophy, It Makes Them Better at Math
The nature of truth. Theories of fairness. The essence of bullying. These are big, weighty subjects, and apparently 9- and 10-year-olds just eat them up. As in, according to a Quartz piece by Jenny Anderson, placing grade-schoolers in weekly philosophical discussions has surprising effects on their academic performance.
UW philosophers explore racial inequity with young students who are living it
A long-running philosophers in schools program has focused on racial inequity and social justice issues at a campus with clear divisions between race and class.
A grade-school philosophy teacher shares the most profound things kids have ever said
As a philosophy teacher to grade-school students, Jana Mohr Lone is no stranger to getting her mind blown.
Schools Aren’t Teaching the Most Important Subject for Kids
Not too long ago, Jana Mohr Lone was at an education workshop in her hometown of Seattle when someone gave her a note.
Schools are Finally Starting to Teach Kids Philosophy
Schools are generally taught to teach kids what to think, but what if they taught them how to think instead?
The Philosophical Child
From time to time, we all ponder life’s most difficult questions. “Is there a god?” “How can I live a good life?” “What happens when you die?”
Dear Moms & Dads: Stop Underestimating Your Children
The room was filled with parents eager to hear what Dr. Jana Lone, director for the Center for Philosophy for Children, had to say about understanding their philosophical children.
Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU’s Gabriel Spitzer.
Schools are starting to teach kids philosophy – and it’s completely changing the way students think
America may be great at many things, but education isn’t one of them. It’s here that standardized testing creeps behind students like a shadow and where fun experiments take a back seat to rote memorization.
Someone Saved My Life: Sound Effect, Episode 28
Jana Mohr Lone is the Director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children. She explains to Gabriel Spitzer how the book “Four Feet, Two Sandals” reveals the dilemmas of saving lives and poses questions about how we value one another.
How you talk to children about death – life’s final act
Jana Mohr Lone discusses engaging children in conversations about death on KPLU’s Sound Effect
12 Best Philosophical Picture Books for Kids – And How to Get the Most Out of Them
Jana Mohr Lone list her 12 favorite picture books for inspiring philosophical conversation with children. Listening to stories being read aloud, an experience many of us had when we were children, is conducive to creating an open and relaxed atmosphere for thinking about deep and fundamental questions.
Innovators Among Us: Preparing Students for Life after Graduation
Jana Mohr Lone and Sara Goering help UW students think deeply, from multiple perspectives, and with an open-minded spirit of inquiry. In turn, their UW students help K-12 children do the same.
Ethics Takes Center Stage at Competition
Should college athletes be paid? To what extent should politicians’ sexual indiscretions be forgiven? Is it ethical to arm rebels in countries where we’re not at war? These sorts of ethical questions have no easy answers, as high school students discovered at the first annual Washington State High School Ethics Bowl, held on the University of Washington campus in February.
UW philosophers help small children ponder life’s big questions
Most people think of philosophy as a subject for college, not kindergarten. But University of Washington philosopher Jana Mohr Lone believes young children benefit just as much from discussing big questions about life.
At Seattle Elementary, Philosopher Helps Kids Explore The ‘Why’ Questions
Students at Seattle’s John Muir Elementary School are trying to answer life’s big questions. Along with reading and math, the school’s curriculum includes philosophy.
High-School Ethics Bowl a First for Washington State
In the first Washington State High School Ethics Bowl, 100 students spent their Saturday discussing topics from the legalization of marijuana to forgiving political sex scandals to supporting research on genetically engineered meat.
Someone You Should Know: Jana Mohr Lone
Jana Mohr Lone doesn’t have answers for kids, just many questions. As the founder and director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, she is committed to bring philosophy into young people’s lives.
Experts: ‘Selfie syndrome’ not necessarily narcissistic
A lot of young people seem to be obsessed with taking pictures of themselves and posting it to Instagram and Facebook. But some experts say, it doesn’t mean they’re narcissistic or vain – in fact, it’s perfectly normal.
Are the humanities really in decline?
The Heart of the Matter” attempts to further the conversation about the importance of humanities. The report “calls on parents, teachers, scholars, the media and the public at-large to join a cohesive and constructive national discussion of these issues.” We spoke with several academics in an attempt to do just that.
SheSource Online Braintrust
SheSource is an online braintrust of female experts on diverse topics designed to serve journalists, producers and bookers who need female guests and sources.
Encouraging critical thinking in K-12 schools
Are thoughts real? When professor Jana Mohr Lone’s four-year-old son started asking such questions, it prompted her to consider how critical thinking and dialogical skills are taught to young children.
Philosophy and Children: The Art of Questioning
Almost all very young children are alive with questions; they seem to naturally recognize that this is the way to investigate and understand the world. At some point, however, most children absorb the message that questions are often not particularly welcome. They learn that having a question means that there is something they should have already grasped but have not.
Raising a Philosophical Child
Children grow up full of questions and wrestle with deep, thoughtful issues—What does it mean to be good? Why do people die? Who am I? That’s natural, says Jana Mohr Lone, director of the UW’s Center for Philosophy for Children and faculty at the University of Washington’s Department of Philosophy, because to mature emotionally, kids must develop their desire and ability to think abstractly about themselves and their experiences. But as parents, how do we answer those questions?
‘The Philosophical Child’: A book for when your child asks, ‘Why are we here?’
Children are natural philosophers, says Jana Mohr Lone of the University of Washington Department of Philosophy. Lone, an affiliate faculty member and director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, says she wrote her new book, “The Philosophical Child,” to help parents, teachers and other adults conduct conversations with children about life’s mysteries.
NW Books: Parenting advice on philosophical questions
“The Philosophical Child” by Jana Mohr Lone (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, $32.95). University of Washington’s Jana Mohr Lone, director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, gives her advice to parents on how to approach philosophical questions with children. The book offers guidance on answering abstract questions such as “What is happiness?” and “What does it mean to be real?”
UW|360 – November 2011: Philosophy for Children
Professor Jana Mohr Lone, founder of the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children, brings philosophy lessons to Seattle public school students in K-12 classrooms.
But Why? Raising kids who think
Children have the capaciry to boggle the brain of even the most intelligent adult. If something like, “Why’s lying so bad?” doesn’t give you pausee, “Do I have to tell the truth, if the truth isn’t nice?”just might.
Teaching Philosophy To Kids
Jana Mohr–Lone is the founder of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, and she teaches philosophy to kids. She’s also a professor at the University of Washington. She’ll tell us how kids can understand and use philosophy.
Fourth Grade Philosophers Hit the Airwaves
For 15 years, Jana Mohr-Lone (PhD, ’96) has guided philosophical discussions of everything from art to happiness in K-12 classrooms. Now the rest of us can hear one of those discussions on Philosophy Talk, an hour-long radio program.
Why Study Philosophy?
The United States is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t require high school students to take philosophy, so the subject is often a mystery to students. But most of us actually start asking philosophical questions early on.
Media Inquiries
Media inquiries to PLATO may be directed to Executive Director Jana Mohr Lone