Programs for Educators

Online Professional Development Program

Introductory Course

Introductory Online Professional Development Course

PLATO offers a virtual intensive introductory program for educators, Philosophy in Schools. 

This course in philosophical pedagogy runs each spring for 11 weeks, and includes such topics as how to foster a community of philosophical inquiry, choosing prompts, the nature of philosophical questioning, philosophical sensitivity, epistemic injustice, and philosophical recognition of young people. The course is designed to be relevant for all levels of K-12 education. 

After the course, PLATO provides ongoing resources and mentorship for all participants. 

Schedule:
The Introductory Course involves synchronous 2.5-hour weekly Zoom meetings (with a 15-minute break in the middle) on Wednesdays from 6:30-9 pm ET. The spring 2024 course runs from March 13 through May 22, 2024. There is an asynchronous forum for further interaction among participants and an online Capstone event at the course’s conclusion.

The course involves 25 hours of professional development training. At the conclusion of the Introductory Course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for 25 hours of attendance. Certificates may be submitted for a school’s or district’s approval towards professional development credits, the requirements for which vary by state. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of their school, organization, and/or state.

PLATO’s classes have enriched my teaching repertoire and my personal intellectual life.
In the classroom, I’ve become a more skilled facilitator and my class discussions, whether we are explicitly discussing philosophy or not, have become deeper and more focused but also much more creative.”

— 2023 Introductory Course Participant

Application Deadline: the 2024 Spring Introductory Course deadline has now passed.

Please check back in fall 2024 for information about the 2025 Spring Introductory Course.


Faculty:
The Introductory Course is taught by Dr. Jana Mohr Lone and Dr. Maughn Rollins Gregory.

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.

Maughn Rollins Gregory is a Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (USA), where he has directed the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children since 2001. He is co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (Routledge 2017) and the Routledge series Philosophy for Children Founders, which includes In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education (Routledge 2018) and Gareth B. Matthews, The Child’s Philosopher (Routledge 2021). He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the John Dewey Society and as the inaugural Research Coordinator for the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children. 


Questions? Please contact info@plato-philosophy.org.

Advanced Course

Advanced Online Professional Development Course

PLATO’s Advanced Online Professional Development Course is offered to participants with training and experience in philosophy in schools. Applicants who have completed the Introductory Course are automatically eligible to register. Other interested educators who have completed education programs about philosophy in schools that were not run by PLATO should email info@plato-philosophy.org expressing their interest in the Advanced Course and describing their educational backgrounds in the field.

The Advanced Course runs from August through May each year and entails further training in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully lead philosophy sessions in K-12 classrooms as well as with young people in other contexts. The course involves 20 hours of professional development training.

At the conclusion of the Advanced Course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for 20 hours of attendance. Certificates may be submitted for a school’s or district’s approval towards professional development credits, the requirements for which vary by state. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of their school, organization, and/or state. 

After the program, PLATO provides ongoing resources and mentorship for all participants. 

Schedule:
The Advanced Course involves synchronous 2-hour monthly Zoom meetings (with a break in the middle) on the third Tuesday of each month from August through May, from 7-9 pm ET. The course includes discussions of theoretical and pedagogical readings and the use of prompts appropriate for K-12 classrooms.

To Register:
No application is required. Register online by choosing the Advanced Course and making payment on our payment portal.

Fees:
The cost for the Advanced Online Training Course is $1,200.00 US for PLATO members, $1,400 US for non-members (donate to become a member here). 
PLATO offers financial assistance upon request.
Please see the Payment Tab for more details. Payment is due by August 10 of each year, and the course begins in mid-August.


Faculty:
The Advanced Course is taught by Dr. Jana Mohr Lone and Dr. Maughn Rollins Gregory.

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.

Maughn Rollins Gregory is a Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (USA), where he has directed the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children since 2001. He is co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (Routledge 2017) and the Routledge series Philosophy for Children Founders, which includes In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education (Routledge 2018) and Gareth B. Matthews, The Child’s Philosopher (Routledge 2021). He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the John Dewey Society and as the inaugural Research Coordinator for the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children. 


Questions? Please contact info@plato-philosophy.org

Certificate of Mastery

Certificate of Mastery

PLATO offers a Certificate of Mastery Program as an add-on to the Advanced Online Training Course. Those interested participate in a second 90-minute monthly meeting, from September through June, in addition to the schedule for the Advanced Course. In this monthly meeting, participants work with mentors to evaluate and refine each participant’s developing facilitation skills. This might include a variety of settings, such as videos or audio recordings of you teaching in a live K-12 classroom or in an online class for young people. Participants must have regular access to a group of young people to hold philosophy sessions, either online or in person, in a classroom or some other setting, with the ability to record some of these sessions. Monthly mentor meetings will be scheduled by the participants and mentors at times convenient to them.

To earn the Certificate of Mastery, participants must document a minimum of 40 hours in K-12 classrooms, online settings, or other settings serving young people, in which participants have observed, assisted with, and/or facilitated philosophy sessions. At least 20 of the 40 hours should involve facilitating philosophy sessions as the lead instructor, and a reasonable number of these sessions recorded (video or audio) for use at the mentor meetings.

Upon fulfullment of all of the above requirements, the participant’s skills and progress will be evaluated by the mentor. The mentor will determine if the participant has reached a mastery skill level and is now equipped to lead philosophy sessions independently with young people, entitling the participant to the PLATO Certificate of Mastery, which confirms the participant’s expertise and completion of a total of 100 hours of combined training and classroom experience. 

If you would like more information about the Certificate of Mastery Add-On Program, please contact Executive Director Jana Mohr Lone at jana@plato-philosophy.org.

To Register:
No application is required, but before registration please contact us at info@plato-philosophy.org with information about the school, classroom, or group of students with whom you will be working.
The deadline for registration is September 10 of each year, 5 pm PT.
Register online, once you have communicated with us about your plans, by choosing the Certificate of Mastery Program and making payment on our payment portal. Please see the Payment Tab for more details.

Fees:
The cost for the Certificate of Mastery Add-On Program is $750.00 US for PLATO members, $850 US for non-members (donate to become a member here). PLATO offers financial assistance upon request.

Payment

Introductory Online Professional Development Course
The cost for the Introductory Course is $1,700.00 US for PLATO members, $2,000 US for non-members (donate to become a member here). Applicants must be admitted to attend. Please do not make payment until your application has been accepted. If you are accepted to the program, a non-refundable fee of $400 US will be required to confirm your enrollment by February 15, 2024. The remaining payment is due February 28, 2024.

 

Advanced Online Professional Development Course
The cost for the Advanced Course is $1,200.00 US for PLATO members, $1,400 US for non-members (donate to become a member here). Applicants who have completed the Introductory Course are automatically eligible to register. Other interested educators who have completed education programs about philosophy in schools that were not run by PLATO should email info@plato-philosophy.org expressing their interest in the Advanced Course and describing their educational backgrounds in the field.
Registration and payment are due by August 1 of each year.

 

Certificate of Mastery Program
The cost for the Certificate of Mastery Add-On Program is $750.00 US for PLATO members, $850 US for non-members (donate to become a member here). Registration and payment are due by September 10 of each year.

 

Financial Assistance
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 for the Introductory Online Professional Development Course, please include a request indicating your reason(s) for the request and the extent of financial assistance you need. If you require assistance for the Advanced Course or the Certificate Program, please send an email detailing your request to info@plato-philosophy.org.

 

Payment for the Introductory Online Professional Development Course, and registration and payment for the Advanced Online Professional Development Course and the Certificate of Mastery Program can all be made on the  PAYMENT PORTAL.

If you have questions, please email us at info@plato-philosophy.org.

Workshops

General Information

PLATO Workshops
PLATO regularly hosts workshops that offer training and education about philosophical inquiry with young people. 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.

UPCOMING
June 2024 Annual Summer Introductory Workshop

Are you an educator interested in incorporating philosophy into your classroom or a philosopher looking to start working with K-12 students? Would you like help thinking through the different approaches to philosophy for children (P4C) so that you can select the one that works best for you and your community? If so, our annual introductory online workshop is for you.

Over the course of three days, workshop facilitators Ariel and Aaron will take you on an interactive, accessible, and supportive journey through the history of P4C, the diverse settings in which it is practiced, and the major theoretical approaches upon which its practitioners rely. You will learn about the different approaches of engaging in philosophical discussions with young people inside and outside of school settings. Note that this is a topical survey course rather than a dialogue facilitation training course. 

Schedule
June 26-28, from 12pm – 5 pm ET each day via Zoom

June Workshop Facilitators
Ariel Sykes is the Director of Mindbridge Education. She has worked in the philosophy for children community for 17 years and specializes in dialogic teaching strategies, argumentation, and ethics instruction. She received her B.A from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in the field of Philosophy and Education. Ariel is the co-founder of the New York City High School Ethics Bowl and an endorsed practitioner of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. She is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors. 

Aaron Yarmel (PhD, MSc, MA) is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values at The Ohio State University, where his research interests include philosophy for children, social change, and two-level utilitarianism. In addition to overseeing all CEHV programs, Aaron leads its efforts on dialogue facilitation and skill building, outreach, and the ETHOS Fellows program. He is also the Founding Director of Philosophy Counseling and Consulting, an organization that offers philosophical counseling and dialogue facilitation workshops. Outside his academic work, Aaron has been an animal rights activist and a vegan since 2011. He is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors.

 

“One of the most mind-bending, practical, and inspiring workshops of my professional career!”
— 2023 Workshop Participant

“The workshop allowed me to be part of a real community of inquiry in philosophy.”
— 2023 Workshop Participant

“I felt as though I learned so much from each teacher but also from the participants themselves… left feeling very inspired and ready to take on this school year.”
— 2022 Workshop Participant

“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

Questions? Please contact us at info@plato-philosophy.org.

Payment

The registration fee for the June 2024 Online Workshop is $250 for non-members, or $210 for PLATO members (become a member here). Registration closes at 5 pm PT June 20, 2024.

No refunds will be given after June 20, 2024.

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

Please register for the June 2024 Online Workshop using the form on the right (or below on mobile) and make payment on the PAYMENT PORTAL.

Workshop Approach

PLATO workshops involve methods for bringing philosophy into K-12 classrooms and emphasize learning by doing. Each workshop group will form its 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?

Philosophy sessions use philosophical texts, children’s books, film and other art forms, and various activities to inspire discussions that emerge from young people’s own questions, based on the understanding that questioning is central to independent thinking. Our workshops focus on developing ways to establish philosophical “communities of inquiry” in classrooms. Discussions generally involve a range of philosophical topics, including ethics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and logic.

 

Register Here









    PLATO Graduate Student Fellowships

    Description

    In 2013, a fellowship program for graduate students involved in introducing philosophy into K-12 schools was established at the University of Washington.

    In 2024 PLATO expanded the program to create a national fellowship program. Fellowships are open to any graduate student at a US college or university who is working with a program to bring philosophy into schools. 

    For academic year 2024-2025, each PLATO Graduate Student Fellowship is $5,000.

    Fellow Responsibilities

    PLATO Fellows are expected to play a significant role in helping to develop and/or support the philosophy in the schools program in their communities. Each PLATO Fellow’s specific responsibilities will be determined by the program and the PLATO Fellow.

    Fellows are required to submit reports to PLATO in December and May of the fellowship year, detailing the work in which they have been involved.

    For more information, please contact PLATO Executive Director Jana Mohr Lone at jana@plato-philosophy.org

    Application Information

    Application Deadline: the 2024 fellowship application deadline has now passed.

    Please check back in fall 2024 for information about the 2025 application process.

    Past Fellows

    PAST GRADUATE FELLOWS

    2022-2023
    Melissa Diamond
    Rotem Landesman
    Brian Tauzel

    2021-2022
    Erica Bigelow
    Melissa Diamond

    2019-2020
    Elina Castellano
    Ari Hock
    Nic Jones

    2018-2019
    Natalie Janson
    Nic Jones
    Jordan Sherry-Wagner
    Christina Zaccagnino

    2017-2018
    Natalie Janson
    Jordan Sherry-Wagner
    Christina Zaccagnino

    2016-2017
    Bridget DuRuz
    Darcy McCusker
    David Phelps

    2015-2016
    Bridget DuRuz
    Joey Miller
    Dustin Schmidt
    Debi Talukdar

    2014-2015
    Di’ Anna Duran
    Janice Moskalik
    Debi Talukdar

    2013-2014
    Janice Moskalik
    Alain Sykes

    Webinars

    Upcoming Webinars

    All PLATO webinars are free and open to the public.
     
    Our last webinar in 2023-24, on “Philosophy for Children and the Challenges/Opportunities of AI,” was held on March 21.
     
    A schedule of 2024-25 webinars will be posted in the fall. Please find all past webinars here.
     

    Past Webinars

    Recordings of all of PLATO’s past webinars can be found on this page.

    Roundtables

    Upcoming Roundtables

    Join us for biweekly online conversations about various topics in philosophy and philosophy for children.
     
    A facilitator will give a brief introduction to a topic, and then participants will be invited to engage in a discussion.
     
    These are free drop-in events. You do not need to register or be a PLATO member to attend. Links below.
     

    May 16 Drop-In Roundtable
    The Virtue of Honesty
    Facilitator: Dr. Wes Siscoe, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    Virtual 4-5 pm PT / 7-8 pm ET
    Join us using this meeting link!

    Robert Weston Siscoe is a postdoctoral fellow with the Virtues & Vocations project, a national forum for scholars and practitioners across disciplines to consider how best to cultivate character in pre-professional and professional education at the University of Notre Dame; and a FWF Research Fellow with the University of Graz. Siscoe received his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Arizona. His research explores the connections between rationality and virtue ethics, and his work has appeared in MindPhilosophical StudiesPhilosophers’ Imprint, and the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, amongst other venues.  He is also a pedagogy contributor at the Blog of the American Philosophical Association, the Daily Nous, Philosophy, Ethics, and Academia, and The Philosopher’s Cocoon.

     

    May 30 Drop-In Roundtable
    How to Support Families in Being Philosophical
    Facilitator: Dr. Karen Emmerman, PLATO Education Director
    Virtual 4-5 pm PT / 7-8 pm ET
    Join us using this meeting link!

    Karen S. Emmerman, PLATO’s Education Director, started teaching philosophy classes at John Muir Elementary in Seattle in 2010 and has worked as their Philosopher-in-Residence since 2013. She has taught a high school philosophy class and has facilitated teacher trainings in pre-college philosophy for many years. Karen teaches a course in philosophy for children at the University of Washington and mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She was the Education Director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. Karen is part-time faculty in the philosophy department at the University of Washington and writes in ecofeminism, animal ethics, and philosophy for children as well as serving as associate editor of the journal Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice.

    Past Roundtables

    Watch the introductory talks to past roundtables:

    May 2, 3034
    Free Will

    Dr. Kyle Robertson is a Continuing Lecturer in the UC Santa Cruz Philosophy and Legal Studies departments and a staff member at the Center for Public Philosophy. As a part of the Center, he founded and directs the Northern California High School Ethics Bowl program, teaches as part of Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison, runs local pre-college philosophy programs, and regularly speaks and publishes on public philosophy. He also works with a variety of national organizations in public philosophy including the Public Philosophy Network, PLATO, and the National High School Ethics Bowl.

     

     

    April 18, 2024 
    Assessing a P4C Session

    Dr. Joe Oyler is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Deputy Head of Department and Course Leader for the Master of Education programme. He teaches courses in Pedagogy, Philosophy of Education and Research Methods at the undergraduate and graduate level. His teaching and research interests revolve around the use of discussion based, collaborative practices and philosophical content as ways of exploring the world and our place within it. His current research aims at developing a deeper understanding of how experienced facilitators engage students in inquiry dialogue.

     

     

    April 4, 2024 
    The Current Political Climate and Challenges to P4C

    Dr. Sarah Vitale is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she teaches classes on philosophy for children, critical theories, existentialism, and social institutions. Her research focuses on Marx and post-Marxism, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is co-chair of the Radical Philosophy Association and the director of the Philosophy Outreach Project, which promotes philosophy in high schools. Outside of Ball State, Dr. Vitale is the Chair of Muncie Resists, an Indivisible organization dedicated to promoting progressive values in Indiana and beyond.

     

     

    March 28, 2024
    Introduction to Existentialism

    Stephen Kekoa Miller has taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at Oakwood Friends School and Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York for 19 years. Stephen is the Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization). Stephen has served on the Teachers Advisory Council of the National Humanities Center and currently serves on the Ethics Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie and has just begun serving as the Chair of the Committee on Precollege Philosophy for the American Philosophical Association. Stephen speaks and publishes in the areas of pre-college philosophy, philosophy of emotions, ethics education, moral imagination and virtue ethics.

     

    March 14, 2024
    Research in Pre-College Philosophy

    Michael VazquezDr. Michael Vazquez is a Teaching Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of Outreach at the Parr Center for Ethics. He is also a lecturer on the Social Foundations of Education for Penn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2020. Michael specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. He also draws actively on his community engagement efforts to conduct research in philosophy of education and to develop innovative practices for the teaching and learning of philosophy.

     

     

    February 29, 2024
    Religion and Philosophy for Children

    Dr. Erik Kenyon is author of Augustine and the Dialogue (Cambridge, 2018) and co-author of Ethics for the Very Young: A Philosophy Curriculum for Early Childhood Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). He taught philosophy and classics at Rollins College from 2012 to 2020. Erik currently teaches middle-school Latin and humanities at Friends Academy in Dartmouth, MA. He serves on the research committees of PLATO and the National Middle School Ethics Bowl. His current book project, Philosophy at the Gym, explores the intersection of ethics and athletics in ancient Greece.

     

     

    February 15, 2024
    Working with Multilingual Learners

    Dr. Brian Tauzel is an Assistant Professor, researcher and teacher educator specializing in equity for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Focal areas include teacher collaboration, district policy, and social studies curricular & pedagogical development for immigrant youth and English learners. He received his PhD from the University of Washington, MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and BS from Cornell University. 

     

     

     

    February 1, 2024
    Is it Possible for a Philosophy Instructor to be Neutral?

    Karen S. Emmerman, PLATO’s Education Director, started teaching philosophy classes at John Muir Elementary in Seattle in 2010 and has worked as their Philosopher-in-Residence since 2013. She has taught a high school philosophy class and has facilitated teacher trainings in pre-college philosophy for many years. Karen teaches a course in philosophy for children at the University of Washington and mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She was the Education Director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. Karen is part-time faculty in the philosophy department at the University of Washington and writes in ecofeminism, animal ethics, and philosophy for children as well as serving as associate editor of the journal Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice.

     

    ""Debi Talukdar, PLATO’s Program Director, was previously Program Director at the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. She has been facilitating K-12 philosophy classes since 2014 and was the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle, from 2018-2021. She also facilitates educator workshops and organizes a monthly seminar for individuals interested in philosophy with young people. Debi is a former instructor at the University of Washington College of Education and former ensemble member at Theater for Change UW. She currently lives in Oakland, CA. 

     

     

    January 18, 2024
    Virtues and How They Manifest in Personal & Professional Life

    with Dr. Brian Collins

    Dr. Brian Collins Dr. Brian Collins is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at California Lutheran University. His primary research interests are in Ethics and Political Philosophy with an emphasis on ‘political obligation’ and the intersection of ethical and political philosophical theories. His teaching interests include topics in Ethics and Political Philosophy, History (primarily Early Modern and Ancient), Applied Ethics (particularly Business, Environmental Ethics, and Restorative Justice), Existentialism, and Pre-College Philosophy. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Philosophy from The University of Iowa and B.A. from St. Olaf College.

     

     

    December 14, 2023
    Fostering Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Classrooms
    with Evan Dutmer


    Evan DuterEvan Dutmer is Senior Instructor in Ethics and Curriculum Leader in the Department of Leadership Education at Culver Academies, where he also holds a J.D. Williamson ’63 Fellowship. Evan’s ethics teaching and research are rooted in a practiced neo-Aristotelian character education model centered around personalized virtue acquisition modules for each student: all with the aim of empowering young people to grow in virtue practice and flourish as human beings. He received his PhD in Ancient Philosophy from Northwestern University in 2019.

     

     

    November 30, 2023
    How High Schools Can Engage More Students
    with Richa Shukla and Nava Rezaiamiri

    Richa ShuklaRicha Shukla is a senior at University High School in Normal, Illinois. She has been interested in philosophy from a young age, and she joined PLATO Student Advisory Council to introduce more philosophy education in her community. Richa hopes to make philosophy accessible for many, because it encourages many to think critically about the world around them.

     

     

    Nava RezaiamiriNava Rezaiamiri is a sophomore at Atlanta International School. Her interest in philosophy has grown out of her passion for equity and social justice. She has taken several classes on philosophy, and she hopes to make similar opportunities accessible to other students through the PLATO Student Advisory Council.

     

     

     

    November 16, 2023
    Cultivating an Ease with Changing Course
    with Marisa Diaz Waian & Mitch Conway
    Marisa Diaz-Waian is the founder and director of a public philosophy non-profit called Merlin CCC, a speaker for Humanities Montana, and serves on the Academic Advisory Board for PLATO.  A community philosopher and generalist by nature, training, and practice, her work frequently has an interdisciplinary, environmental, and intergenerational bent.  She earned a Masters in Philosophy from San Diego State University and has a special interest in ethics, ancient philosophy, existentialism, humor, and “fuzzy” topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Marisa happily hangs her hat at Merlin Nature Preserve where she lives and serves as its trustee and steward.


    Mitchell ConwayMitchell Conway is a Facilitator at Cottonwood Agile Learning Center, a Community Philosopher at Merlin CCC, and a Philosophy Instructor at Carroll College. He is a student of philosophy, a theater maker, and a teacher who cares ardently about empowering young learners; his work often interweaves education, story, and inquiry. Mitch serves on PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board on the Editorial Board for the journal Questions. He has a Masters degree in Philosophy & Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and he trained at the Institute for the Advanced of Philosophy for Children.

     

    November 2, 2023
    The Current Political Climate & Challenges to P4C
    with Sarah Vitale

    Dr. Sarah Vitale is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she teaches classes on philosophy for children, critical theories, existentialism, and social institutions. Her research focuses on Marx and post-Marxism, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is co-chair of the Radical Philosophy Association and the director of the Philosophy Outreach Project, which promotes philosophy in high schools. Outside of Ball State, Dr. Vitale is the Chair of Muncie Resists, an Indivisible organization dedicated to promoting progressive values in Indiana and beyond.

    October 19, 2023
    How P4C Can Help Students Develop a Comfort with Failure
    with Laurie Grady

    Laurie GradyLaurie Grady has been teaching English for over 20 years in the Philadelphia area. She is committed to the instruction of critical and philosophical thinking and communication in all of the courses she teaches, including AP Language & Composition and Literature & Philosophy. Laurie serves on PLATO’s Board of Directors, Media Committee, and Program Committee. She is passionate about communicating the potential of philosophical inquiry to other teachers and is dedicated to exploring practical ways of expanding philosophy into more schools, classrooms, and homes.

     

    October 5, 2023
    Practices of a Successful Facilitator
    with Ariel Sykes
    Reference Tools
    Ariel Sykes is the Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School and serves on PLATO’s Board of Directors. She has worked in the philosophy for children community for over ten years and specializes in dialogic teaching strategies, argumentation, and ethics instruction. She received her B.A from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in the field of Philosophy and Education. Ariel is the co-founder of the New York City High School Ethics Bowl and an endorsed practitioner of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children.

     

    June 1, 2023
    P4C and Music
    with Jack Flesher

    Jack Flesher

    Jack Flesher (he/they) is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at UW and has completed Graduate Certificates in Ethics, Public Critical Race Scholarship, and Philosophy for Children. He is also the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Seattle, WA, and has been a judge for the Washington State High School Ethics Bowl for the past two years. Jack’s favorite thing about philosophy is that moment when you feel so sure that you finally understand a big idea only to have someone else offer a completely new perspective that you’ve never considered that completely rocks your world and makes you stop and think anew yet again. 

     

    May 18, 2023
    Ethical Dilemmas: Case Studies
    with Alex Chang

    ""Alexandra Chang is a middle school English teacher in Michigan. Previously, she taught for four years in Boston Public Schools. Alex studied philosophy and education at Carleton College, where she first began teaching philosophy in local schools. As a teacher, Alex continues to develop philosophy lesson plans for middle school students, as well as consider the intersection between philosophy, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices. Most recently, Alex has collaborated with A2Ethics in Ann Arbor to develop a workshop for local teachers interested in expanding the use of philosophy in their core classes.

     

    May 4, 2023
    How can P4C Help US Embrace Failure?
    with Dustin Webster

    ""Dustin Webster is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania where he serves as the Co-Director for Penn’s Project for Philosophy for the Young. In addition to philosophy for children and pre-college philosophy, Dustin’s research interests include normative evaluations of using education for social mobility, the relationship of education to work, character and virtue education, and educational ethics. He has a professional background in K-12 education with experience in a variety of contexts, including most recently as a 5th grade teacher. Dustin received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education where he studied the philosophy of education.

     

    April 20, 2023
    P4C and Cultivation of Character and the Virtues
    with Cassie Finley

    ""

    Cassie Finley is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Iowa. She is the director of the Iowa Lyceum, a free precollege philosophy summer program run by University of Iowa graduate students. She has published on the Iowa Lyceum and graduate student education, and has current projects in public and precollege philosophy in the works. She also developed (with Jen Foster, USC) the free public philosophy workshop series, “Cogtweeto.” Her research interests include virtue education, metaphilosophy, social epistemology, ancient Greek philosophy, and philosophy of technology.

     

    March 2, 2023
    How Can P4C Develop Imagination and Curiosity?
    with Wendy Turgeon

    Wendy Turgeon specializes in philosophy for children and the history of philosophy, Wendy C. Turgeon is presently the chair of the Department of Philosophy at St. Joseph’s College, where she has been teaching courses since 1991. One of the leading proponents of the freshman honors program, Dr. Turgeon coordinates the program in addition to teaching one of its core courses. She has also incorporated global education into many of the philosophy classes at the College and is a passionate advocate for study abroad. Dr. Turgeon was also instrumental in creating the College’s minor in women’s studies.

     

    with Mitch Conway
     
    Mitchell ConwayMitchell Conway is a Facilitator at Cottonwood Agile Learning Center, a Community Philosopher at Merlin CCC, and a Philosophy Instructor at Carroll College. He is a student of philosophy, a theater maker, and a teacher who cares ardently about empowering young learners; his work often interweaves education, story, and inquiry. He has a Masters degree in Philosophy & Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and he trained at the Institute for the Advanced of Philosophy for Children. In addition to serving on the Academic Advisory Committee for PLATO, he is also on the Editorial Board for the journal Questions.  
     
     
     
    January 26, 2023 Roundtable
    with Michael Vazquez
     
    ""Michael Vazquez is Teaching Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of Outreach at the Parr Center for Ethics. He is also a lecturer on the Social Foundations of Education for Penn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2020. Michael specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. He also draws actively on his community engagement efforts to conduct research in philosophy of education and to develop innovative practices for the teaching and learning of philosophy.
     
     
     
    January 12, 2023 Roundtable
    P4C in the Online Setting: Exploring Possibilities
    with Debi Talukdar
     

    ""Debi Talukdar, PLATO’s Program Director, was previously Program Director at the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. She has been facilitating K-12 philosophy classes since 2014 and was the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle, from 2018-2021. She also facilitates educator workshops and organizes a monthly seminar for individuals interested in philosophy with young people. Debi is a former instructor at the University of Washington College of Education and former ensemble member at Theater for Change UW. She currently lives in Oakland, CA. 

     

    November 17, 2022 Roundtable
    How does doing philosophy impact your teaching practice?
    with Colin Pierce

    ""Colin Pierce has been an educator for 14 years and is a passionate advocate for equity in education and elevating youth voice and agency in the matters most important to them. He taught at Rainier Beach High School in south Seattle for eight years and coached teams in the Washington State Ethics Bowl for seven. Born in Oakland, California, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College. He currently works for the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning and serves on the Washington State Leadership Board, among other volunteer activities. 

     

    November 3, 2022 Roundtable
    with Dan Fouts
     
    Dan Fouts has been high school social studies teacher since 1993 in the Chicagoland area, teaching US history, AP government, American studies and, most recently, a philosophy elective which he designed in 2011. Outside of the classroom, he has presented extensively at the state and national level on inquiry-based instruction techniques, in addition to working with PLATO and the American Philosophical Association to bring philosophy into K-12 classrooms in the United States. He is a co-founder of Teach Different, a professional development organization which helps teachers and students master the art and science of classroom conversations using a simple protocol which combines quotes, claims, counterclaims and essential questions.
     
     
     
     
    October 20 Roundtable
     

    Claire Katz is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M, where she currently serves as Interim Department Head of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. A Baltimore native, she majored in philosophy at UMBC. She holds a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (teaching of philosophy to K-12 students) from Montclair State University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Memps throughout Texas; training for university students in facilitating philosophical discussions with pre-college students, which includes an undergraduate course that teaches students to teach philosophy to K-12 students; and developing and running a week-long philosophy summer camp (Aggie School of Athens) for 6th-12th graders.

     

     

     

    October 6, 2022 Roundtable
    Who is doing philosophy and who is a philosopher?
    With Assistant Professor John Torrey

    John Torrey is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a contributing professor in the Africana Studies unit at SUNY Buffalo State. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Morehouse College and an MA and Ph. D in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. His primary research interest is the interconnection between moral arguments and their political limits regarding calls for reparations for Black Americans. He also has done work in applied ethics, philosophy of education, and pre-college philosophy. In addition to his publications on Black reparations, he has published on the theoretical underpinnings of Black Lives Matter and on doing precollege philosophy. He also has participated in precollege philosophy programs since 2010, including organizing the July 2019 Buffalo State Lyceum. He currently serves on PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board. As a public philosopher, he has worked with the City of Buffalo’s Commission to Recommend Police Policy and Advance Social Reconstruction (2020), and was elected to the Board of Ethics for the City of Buffalo in 2022.

     

    Customized Programs

    Description

    PLATO offers customized programs around the world for schools, organizations, teachers, administrators, parents and families, and other adults interested in facilitating philosophical inquiry with young people, including one-on-one coaching and training, workshops, public presentations, consulting, demonstration philosophy sessions in K-12 classrooms and other forums, and mentoring.

    Programs are developed to fit the needs of each group or individual, and include whole school programs, individual teacher coaching, and a range of support and resources for the development of philosophy programs. PLATO also serves as an ongoing resource for educators, schools, and organizations interested in building a philosophical culture.

    Past programs have included all or some of the following:

    • Workshops for up to 16 teachers for anywhere from 3-15 hours

    • Individualized coaching programs for teachers or groups of teachers

    • Consultating sessions with individuals and schools

    • 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 16 participants

    Consulting

    Have the forces of political polarization in our country made you nervous about allowing your students to explore controversial issues in the classroom? Are you someone who would like to guide your students through challenging conversations, but you’re not sure where to start? Are you looking for professional development workshops for your school focused on dialogue? PLATO’s one-on-one consulting services can help.

    We offer consulting services designed to fit your needs, as well as day-long, in-person professional development workshops that include observations and one-on-one feedback.

    Curriculum Design & Development — create new lesson material that meet your students’ interests and needs, or integrate philosophy into a pre-existing curriculum. 

    Coaching & Mentorship — advance your philosophy practice with observations and feedback, custom-tailored training exercises, and/or model demonstrations for individual teachers or school-based teams. This can take place either in person or virtually.

    Assemblies & Events — curated content for one-off events for students of any ages, based on a particular theme that can be executed by our trainers or by someone on your staff. This is a great way to refresh monthly programming that focuses on student interests and enhances student engagement.

    Staff Workshops — introduce the philosophical inquiry techniques at the heart of PLATO’s approach into your organizational context to help tackle big questions and create opportunities for team bonding and dialogue.

    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.

    Contact

    Please contact us at info@plato-philosophy.org for more information about options and fees for these programs.