Programs for Educators

Online Intensive Program


About the Program:
PLATO offers an annual ten-week, entirely virtual program for educators, Philosophy in Schools. The 2023 program will begin in spring 2023 and run for 10 weeks. 

This course entails philosophical and pedagogical discussions about such topics as how to foster a community of philosophical inquiry, choosing prompts, the nature of philosophical questioning, philosophical sensitivity, epistemic injustice, social inequalities, and philosophical recognition of young people. 

After the program has ended, PLATO will provide ongoing resources and mentorship for all participants. 

The program will involve synchronous two-hour weekly Zoom meetings, on Wednesdays from 4-6 pm Pacific time, beginning this spring and running for 10 consecutive weeks. There will also be an asynchronous forum for further interaction among participants and an online Capstone event at the conclusion of the program. 

The spring intensive is taught by Dr. Jana Mohr Lone and Dr. Karen S. Emmerman.

Jana Mohr Lone is the Executive Director of PLATO and Affiliate Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. She is the author of the books Seen and Not Heard (2021) and The Philosophical Child (2012); co-author of the textbook Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (2016); co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012); and has published dozens of articles about children’s philosophical thinking. Since 1995 Jana has leading philosophy sessions with students from preschool to college, as well as working with educators, administrators, and parents around the United States and internationally. She is the founding editor-in-chief of PLATO’s journal Questions: Philosophy for Young People.

Karen S. Emmerman is the Education Director of PLATO.  She is part-time faculty at the University of Washington in Philosophy and the Comparative History of Ideas, Philosopher-in-Residence at John Muir Elementary School, and Associate Editor of the journal Pre-College Philosophy and Public Practice. Karen taught for a semester at Nova High School and has facilitated several teacher trainings in pre-college philosophy. In addition to pre-college philosophy, Karen researches and writes on ecofeminist animal ethics.

Questions? Please contact

Application Process





The cost for the program is $1,500.00 US.  Applicants must be admitted to attend.  

A non-refundable fee of $300 US is required to confirm your enrollment by February 17, 2023. The remaining payment is due March 2, 2023.

PLATO values the experience and expertise of its instructors and is committed to compensating them for their work. Scholarships are available for students who require financial assistance. If you require financial assistance, please include a request indicating your reason(s) for the request and the extent of financial assistance you need.

Payment for the Online Intensive Program can be made by visiting our payment portal.

If you have questions, please email us at

Programs for Schools


PLATO offers programs around the United States and internationally for schools, organizations, teachers, administrators, parents and families, and other adults interested in facilitating philosophical inquiry with young people, including workshops, public presentations, demonstration philosophy sessions in K-12 classrooms and other forums, and mentoring.

Programs are developed to fit the needs of each group. PLATO also serve as an ongoing resource for schools or organizations interested in building a philosophical culture.

Past programs have included all or some of the following:

  • Workshops for up to 18 teachers for anywhere from 3-15 hours

  • Information evening for teachers and/or parents

  • Public lecture (one hour plus, including Q&A)

  • Demonstration classes (two, in different grades or age groups)

  • Ongoing year-long mentorship for a school or organization (10 months), including unlimited email messages and a monthly online seminar for up to 18 participants

Sample Public Lecture

Philosophical Children

Children and youth frequently ask big questions — Can you be happy and sad at the same time? Why do people die? Are thoughts real? Encouraging young people to articulate and discuss their questions opens spaces for them to think critically for themselves about their own experiences and encourages deep and well-reasoned reflection about some of life’s essential questions.

This talk will examine the importance of philosophical thinking in children and consider how adults can help cultivate young people’s wondering and questioning. The talk will also explore ways that children’s literature can be the perfect vehicle for stimulating discussion and critical thinking about the philosophical questions on young people’s minds.

Sample Workshop

SAMPLE EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Philosophy in the Classroom

This 10-hour workshop introduces ways to bring philosophy into young people’s lives, which involves reading stories and using other philosophically suggestive prompts, including activities and games, and then leading philosophical discussions with students about the big questions the material raises. The workshop focuses on ways in which to establish communities of philosophical inquiry in classrooms and introduces a conception of what constitutes a philosophical question and a philosophical discussion, basic reasoning tools, and methods for stimulating philosophical inquiry.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be equipped to begin leading philosophy sessions with young students. The workshop emphasizes learning by doing. We will form our own community of philosophical inquiry, and will spend most of the workshop discussing philosophical questions such as: When do we know something? What is the self? What is friendship? What is the mind? The workshop will also provide an introduction to some of the traditional branches of philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics.


Please contact us at for information about fees for these programs.

Summer Workshops


PLATO has run dozens of workshops in Seattle and around the country for teachers, parents, and other adults interested in philosophical inquiry with young people. 

PLATO runs an annual in-person three-day workshop each June at the University of Washington.  PLATO is also offering a three-day online workshop in August.

The 2022 Online Workshop on Philosophy with Young People will be held from Wednesday—Friday, August 24-26. The preliminary schedule is from 11:30 am—6 pm ET (8:30 am—3 pm PT) (with three thirty-minute breaks) each day.

The online workshop facilitators will be Ariel Sykes and Dr. Aaron Yarmel. Ariel, who is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors and chairs the PLATO Academic Advisory Board, is Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School and works with teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school level to integrate ethics across the disciplines. Ariel has a BA and MA in philosophy and education, has been a philosophy for children practitioner for over ten years, and has taught ethics at the college level. Aaron is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values at The Ohio State University and was the founding director of Madison Public Philosophy, a P4C organization. He serves on PLATO’s Advocacy Committee, is a college ethics bowl coach, and judges middle school and high school ethics bowl tournaments.

PLATO workshops are open to teachers, graduate students, educators of all kinds, and others interested in exploring how introducing philosophy can enrich the lives of young people. Participants learn about how to introduce philosophy to young people, and engage in philosophical discussions on topics such as: “What can we know? What makes something right or wrong? Are we free? What is a mind? How do we define happiness?”

“Your workshop was life changing.”
— 2021 Workshop Participant

“This was the best workshop I have ever attended. Thank you for a powerful experience.”
— 2018 Workshop Participant

Please register for the online August workshop using the form on the right (or below on mobile) and see the Payment tab for fees.

Space is limited. Registration will close on Friday August 18 at Noon PT. Once we have 20 participants registered, we will create a waiting list.

Questions? Please contact us at


The registration fee for the 2022 online workshop on August 24-26 is $150. No refunds will be given after August 15, 2022.

Financial assistance is available if needed. If you require financial assistance, please send an email to indicating your reason(s) for the request and the extent of financial assistance you need.

Please register for the workshop using the form on the right (or below on mobile). Payment for the 2022 Online Summer Workshop can be made by visiting our payment portal.

Sample Format

This workshop is an intensive introduction to methods for bringing philosophy into preK-12 classrooms. Philosophy sessions use children’s books and various activities to inspire discussions that emerge from the children’s own questions, based on the understanding that questioning is central to independent thinking. The workshop will focus on ways in which to establish philosophical “communities of inquiry” in classrooms, and will introduce a conception of what constitutes a philosophical discussion, basic reasoning and logic tools, and a general introduction to the discipline of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and logic.

The workshop emphasizes learning by doing. We will form our own community of philosophical inquiry, and will spend most of each day discussing questions such as: When do we know something? What is justice? What is the self? What is friendship?


Sample Workshop Schedule

Day 1

9:00am – 9:30am Coffee/Tea and Pastries + Introduction
9:30am – 10:15am Community of Philosophical Inquiry
10:30am – 11:15am Are you a philosopher? Games and activities
11:30am – 12:15pm Personal Identity – “Double Trouble” and Ship of Theseus
12:15pm – 12:45pm LUNCH (provided)
12:45pm – 1:30pm Middle/High School Epistemology: Plato’s Cave
Elementary School – Philosophy of Mind “Cookies” in Frog and Toad Together
1:45pm – 2:30pm Middle/High School – Ethics: The Bluest Eye
Elementary – Ethics: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
2:45pm – 3:30pm Social inequalities/race and racism: Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

Day 2

9:00am – 9:30am Coffee/Tea and Pastries
9:30am – 10:15am Middle/High School – Metaphysics: A Wrinkle in Time
Elementary – Metaphysics: Morris the Moose
10:30am – 11:15am Middle/High School Metaphisics & ethics: Nature of happiness
Elementary – Metaphysics & epistemology: The Bear That Wasn’t
11:30am – 12:15pm Gender: The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
12:15pm – 12:45pm LUNCH (provided)
12:45pm – 1:30pm Refugee politics: The Color of Home by Mary Hoffman
1:45pm – 2:30pm Thinking about animals: an activity
2:30pm – 3:00pm Final questions and concluding remarks

Register Here

    Biennial PLATO-AAPT Seminar

    Description of the Program

    Description of the Program:
    Every two years, PLATO sponsors a summer teaching and learning seminar for teachers at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) Biennial Conference. Whether you have been teaching philosophy in your school for a while or are just thinking about starting a class or club in philosophy, this seminar will offer you valuable opportunities to plan and engage. Through readings and interactive experiences over four days, seminar participants will explore philosophical issues, experiment with new pedagogical approaches, and engage in a community of reflection aimed at developing and improving philosophy teaching in schools. 

    “The seminar will open up your eyes to specific methods of questioning that will light up your students’ learning.  I have already reworked one lesson that didn’t foster student engagement as I had hoped last year.  The class felt alive!”   -2018 Seminar Participant

    Topics include preparing to teach (for example, syllabus design), developing learner-centered philosophy classes, various methods for introducing philosophy to high school students, using traditional and non-traditional methods of assessment, and engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. We hope that the friendships and collegial relationships built here are an invaluable part of this experience.

    The seminar is open to both full and part-time classroom teachers and librarians, as well as to administrators, substitute teachers and other classroom professionals.
    All applicants must be members of PLATO (join here).

    Questions? Please contact us at

    2022 Seminar

    2022 PLATO-AAPT Seminar Details:

    • Location: Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio (near Columbus)
    • Dates: July 27 – 31, 2022
    • Seminar Facilitators: Wendy Turgeon and Stephen Miller
    • Participants: Maximum of 15
    • Application Due March 25, 2022
    • APPT Conference Website

    The seminar is open to both full and part-time classroom teachers and librarians, as well as to administrators, substitute teachers, and other classroom professionals. 
    All applicants must be members of PLATO (join here).

    “The balance between one’s exposure to professional philosophers/professors and the PLATO group’s own work was a rich experience that inspired one’s professional development and helped in a very personal manner: to come to a better appreciation of philosophy in a historically anti-intellectual society.” – 2018 Seminar Participant

    Application and Logistics