Summer 2023 Online Workshop: Philosophy with Children August 16-18, 2023
Are you an educator interested in incorporating philosophy into your classroom or a philosopher looking to start working with children?
This introductory discussion-based workshop is a three-day interactive journey through the history of philosophy for children, the diverse settings in which it is practiced, and the major theoretical approaches upon which its practitioners rely. Participants will be introduced to different approaches to engaging in philosophical discussions with young people inside and outside school settings, including picture book philosophy, philosophy using games and activities, discussions using case studies and philosophical thought experiments, and frameworks for developing philosophical questions.
Participants should expect to engage using video/audio on Zoom for the entirety of the workshop. There will be about 30 minutes of homework the first two days.
Schedule: August 16, 17 & 18, Noon – 5 pm ET
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.
“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 August 2023 online workshop is $350 for non-members, or $300 for PLATO members (become a member here).
No refunds will be given after August 6, 2023.
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 August 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 email@example.com.
Watch the introductory talks to past roundtables:
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.
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.
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.
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 16 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 16 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.
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