Programs for Educators

Online Intensive Program

Description

About the Program:
PLATO offers an annual ten-week, entirely virtual program for educators, Philosophy in Schools. This is the first year of the program, which will begin in April 2022 and run for 10 weeks. 

The program 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 two-hour weekly Zoom meetings, on Wednesdays from 4-6 pm Pacific time, beginning April 20, 2022, and running for 10 consecutive weeks. There will also be an asynchronous forum for further interaction among participants and an online Capstone event at the conclusion of the program. 

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

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. WE WILL REOPEN THE APPLICATION PROCESS IN AUTUMN 2022 FOR THE SPRING 2023 COURSE.

 

 

Payments

The cost for the program is $1,200.00 US.  Applicants must be admitted to attend.  

A non-refundable fee of $200 US is required to confirm your enrollment by March 4, 2022. The remaining payment is due March 25, 2022.

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.

Programs for Schools

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.

Summer 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. 

We run an annual in-person three-day workshop on Philosophy in Schools each June at the University of Washington.  PLATO is also hoping to offer online summer workshops.

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

The 2022 in-person workshop will be held at the University of Washington from Monday—Wednesday, June 27-29. The tentative schedule is 9:30 am —  4:00 pm each day.

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

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

Please register for the workshop using the form on the right (or below on mobile).

Space is limited. Once we have 22 participants, registration will be closed.

See the Payment tab for fees. No refunds will be given after June 17, 2022.

PLEASE NOTE: Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination will be required to attend the June workshop. See the University of Washington policy here.

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

Sample Format

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

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

Sample 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

Payment

Registration fees for the 2022 in-person workshop on June 27-29 are as follows:

$200 General registration

$150 Preschool through high school classroom teachers

$100 Graduate and undergraduate students

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

Register Here











    Biennial PLATO-AAPT Seminar

    Description of the Program

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

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

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

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

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

    2022 Seminar

    2022 PLATO-AAPT Seminar Details:

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

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

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

    Application and Logistics

    APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. CHECK BACK HERE IN LATE 2023 FOR INFORMATION AND APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2024 SEMINAR!  

    Webinars

    Description

    Since 2021 PLATO has hosted and co-hosted free webinars on a broad range of topics, attracting participants from around the world.

    We plan to continue host 4-6 webinars each year between September and May. Recordings will be available soon after each event.

    Past Webinars

    The Joys and Challenges of Philosophy in Middle School
    On April 21, 2022, PLATO hosted a panel of five educators from around the country who discussed their experiences bringing philosophy into middle school classrooms, including success stories, innovative prompts, and some of the challenges they have faced. View the recording here.

    Splendor of Gender? Gen Z’s Perspectives on Changing the Meaning of Gender
    On February 17, 2022, in collaboration with the American Philosophical Association (APA), PLATO co-hosted a panel discussion on Splendor of Gender? Gen Z’s Perspectives on Changing the Meaning of Gender. The panel featured six high school students from around the country, all of whom are members of PLATO’s Student Advisory Council. The students offered new perspectives on how gender has changed as a lived experience for their generation. View the recording here.

    Public Philosophy, Education, and Social Justice
    On February 10, 2022, in collaboration with the Public Philosophy Network (PPN) and the Kegley Institute of Ethics, PLATO co-hosted a panel discussion on Public Philosophy, Education, and Social Justice. The event featured an in-depth panel discussion of cultivating impactful and innovative philosophy programming, with a focus on advancing social justice. View the recording here.

    Engaging Younger Philosophers: Philosophy in Pre-College Settings
    On November 20, 2021, PLATO co-hosted a webinar with the APA Committee on Pre-College Instruction on Philosophy on Engaging Younger Philosophers: Philosophy in Pre-College Settings with panelists Erik Kenyon, Stephen Kekoa Miller, Sarah Vitale, and Jonathan Wurtz. The webinar focused on the panelists’ recent work doing philosophy outside of traditional academic settings. APA members can view the recording here.

    Teaching High School Philosophy
    On October 25, 2021, PLATO hosted a panel discussion with five high school teachers from across the United States about successfully incorporating philosophy in high schools. View the recording here.

    Why Kids Are Good for Philosophy
    On June 15, 2021, PLATO hosted a virtual panel discussion on Why Kids Are Good For Philosophy. The recording can be viewed here.

    Meet the Authors
    On May 4, 2021, PLATO hosted a Meet the Authors event, where authors discussed the central themes from their books, published as part of the Big Ideas for Young Thinkers series. The recording can be viewed here.

    Registration

    Registration for PLATO’s first webinar in autumnl 2022 will be posted here in early autumn.