March 2023 Online Workshop: Teaching Philosophy in High School Classrooms
This two-day workshop is for high school educators looking to incorporate philosophical themes and discussions into their classrooms. Participants will leave this workshop with lessons and activities around two central texts: Allegory of the Cave and The Lottery. Any level of experience is welcome. The workshop will provide useful strategies and opportunities for individual feedback on designing and facilitating philosophical classroom sessions.
Space is limited. Registration closes at 5 pm PT February 24, 2023.
Saturday March 4 and Sunday March 5, from 12-4 pm ET | 9 am – 1 pm PT
Facilitators: Ariel Sykes and Wendy Way
Ariel is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors and chairs the PLATO Academic Advisory Board. She 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 been a philosophy for children practitioner for over ten years, and has taught ethics at the college level.
Wendy is a social studies teacher at Bethpage High School, a public school on Long Island. She has taught world history at BHS for 27 years and has taught a philosophy elective for the last 20 years. Wendy is also the advisor for the philosophy club and is the coach for her school’s ethics bowl team. She is always looking for ways to expand the philosophy curriculum and find engaging ways to introduce philosophical concepts to students.
Please register for the online March workshop using the form on the right (or below on mobile) and see the Payment tab for fees.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration fee for the March 2023 online workshop is $250 for non-members, or $210 for PLATO members (become a member here). Registration closes at 5 pm PT February 24, 2023.
No refunds will be given after February 24, 2023.
Financial assistance is available if needed. If you require financial assistance, please send an email to email@example.com 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 March 2023 Online Workshop can be made by visiting our payment portal.
This workshop is an intensive introduction to methods for bringing philosophy into preK-12 classrooms. 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. 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
|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|
|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|
Online Intensive Program
About the Program:
PLATO offers a virtual intensive spring program for educators, Philosophy in Schools.
The program runs each spring for 11 weeks, and 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, PLATO provides ongoing resources and mentorship for all participants.
The program involves synchronous 2.5-hour weekly Zoom meetings (with a 15-minute break in the middle), on Wednesdays. There is an asynchronous forum for further interaction among participants and an online Capstone event at the conclusion of the program.
The spring 2023 intensive 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.
Applications for the 2023 spring intensive are now closed. If you have been accepted to the program, please see Payment tab for details.
The cost for the program is $1,700.00 US for PLATO members, $2,000 US for non-members (donate and become a member here). Applicants must be admitted to attend.
If you are accepted to the program, a non-refundable fee of $400 US is required to confirm your enrollment by February 1, 2023. The remaining payment is due by February 24, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
All PLATO webinars are free and open to the public.
PHILOSOPHY USING PICTURE BOOKS
Wednesday, May 3, 7 PM ET/4 PM PT
Senem Saner, Director, Philosophy for Children Program at California State University, Bakersfield
Wendy Turgeon, Professor and Chair, Philosophy, St. Joseph’s College
Thomas Wartenberg, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Mount Holyoke College
Recordings of all of PLATO’s past webinars can be found on this page.
Facilitated by Cassie Finley
Watch the introductory talks to past roundtables:
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.
What Does It Mean to Live a Philosophical Life?
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.
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 and currently serves on PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board. As a public philosopher, he has also worked with the City of Buffalo’s Commission to Recommend Police Policy and Advance Social Reconstruction (2020), as well as was elected to the Board of Ethics for the City of Buffalo in September 2022.
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 Memphis. She teaches and conducts research in two primary areas: (1) the intersection of philosophy, gender, education, and religion and (2) K-12 philosophy. In 2015, Dr. Katz launched a highly successful K-12 philosophy program, which includes three prongs: educator workshops for K-12 and university teachers/administrators, which have reached more than one hundred teachers and administrators 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.
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
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 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 email@example.com for information about fees for these programs.
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