November 2022 Philosophy for Children Curriculum Writing Workshop
Are you an educator looking to write stand-alone philosophy lessons or incorporate philosophy into your existing curriculum? Over the course of three days, this interactive workshop will help you navigate the wealth of resources and options available and encourage you to push through existing curricular plateaus while, at the same time, introducing you to a network of passionate and thoughtful educators who may become lifelong colleagues.
All participants will leave with lesson plans tailored for their classrooms. Space is limited. Registration closes at 5 pm PT October 31.
Saturdays November 5, 12, and 19 from 1-3:30 pm ET | 10 am – 12:30 pm PT
Facilitators: Ariel Sykes and Aaron Yarmel
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.
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.
Please register for the online November 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 email@example.com.
The registration fee for the November 2022 online workshop is $275 for non-members, or $240 for PLATO members (become a member here). Registration closes at 5 pm PT October 31.
No refunds will be given after October 31, 2022.
Financial assistance is available if needed. If you require financial assistance, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 November 2022 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 2023 program will begin on Wednesday March 8, from 3:30-6 pm PT/6:30-9 pm ET, and run for 11 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 2.5-hour weekly Zoom meetings (with a 15-minute break in the middle), on Wednesdays. 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.
All applications should be submitted online, using the form to the right (or below on mobile).
Applications must include the following:
- Contact information
- Statement of Interest. In 500 words or less, describe what you hope to gain from the program.
Note: Experience in philosophy, K-12 teaching, or philosophy for children is preferred but not required for the program.
- If you require financial assistance, please include a request indicating your reason(s) for the request and the extent of financial assistance you need.Complete applications must be submitted no later than December 16, 2022, at 5 pm Pacific time. Late applications will not be considered.
Complete applications must be submitted no later than December 16, 2022, at 5 pm Pacific time. Late applications will not be considered.
Notifications will be sent no later than January 20, 2023.
The cost of the program is $1,700.00 US for PLATO members, $2,000 US for non-members (donate and become a member here). If you are accepted to the program, a non-refundable fee of $400 US will be required to confirm your enrollment by February 1, 2023. The remaining payment will be 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.
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 will be required to confirm your enrollment by February 1, 2023. The remaining payment will be 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 email@example.com.
What Makes a Question a Good Question? (with PLATO Partner Organization The Right Question Institute)
Monday, January 30 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
More information to come soon
What’s Best For You? Different P4C Approaches
Tuesday, March 21 at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT
More information to come soon
Recordings of all of PLATO’s past webinars can be found on this page.
Autumn 2022 Upcoming Roundtables
Watch the introductory talks to past roundtables:
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 the Academic Advisory Board of PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization). 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information about fees for these programs.