Programs for Educators

Workshops

Description

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, both in person and online. 

Our next online workshop will be held in 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 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. This workshop is interactive, and all participants will leave with lesson plans tailored for their classrooms.

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.

Space is limited.

“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 November 2022 online workshop is $275 for non-members, or $240 for PLATO members (become a member here).

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 info@plato-philosophy.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.

Sample Format

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

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









    Online Intensive Program

    Description

    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. 

    Schedule:
    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. 

    Faculty:
    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 info@plato-philosophy.org

    Application Process

    Apply online.

    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.

    Payments

    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 info@plato-philosophy.org.




      Webinars

      Webinars

      Administrative Support for Bringing Philosophy into Schools

      Join us on October 12 at 4 pm PT/7 pm ET for a webinar about ways to develop support for philosophy in classrooms from administrators.

      Panelists:
      Cristina Camarano, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Salisbury University
      John Rockwell, Teacher, Green Brook Middle School, New Jersey
      Katie May, Principal, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle
      Colin Pierce, Senior Advisor for K-12 Programs, Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning

      Register today!

      Past Webinars

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

      Roundtables

      Autumn 2022 Roundtables

      Join us for biweekly online conversations about various topics in philosophy and philosophy for children, beginning October 6 from 4-5 pm PT/7-8 pm ET.
       
      A facilitator will give a brief introduction to a topic, and then participants will be invited to engage in a discussion.
       
      These are drop-in events. You do not need to register or be a PLATO member to attend. Links below.

       
      Thursday, October 6
      Who is doing philosophy and who is a philosopher?
      Facilitator: 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.

       
      Thursday, October 20
      How can P4C contribute to community building?
      Facilitator: Claire Katz 
       

      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.

       
      Thursday, November 3
      How can philosophy help students manage uncertainty?
      Facilitator: 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.
       
       
       
      Thursday, November 17
      How does doing philosophy impact your teaching practice?
      Facilitator: 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. 

      School Programs

      Description

      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.

      Contact

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