Newsletter Fall 2010 Philosophy for Children

"Doing" Philosophy with Children

The Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children is a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington's Department of Philosophy. For 14 years, the Center has been introducing philosophy into the lives of young people by "doing" philosophy in K-12 classrooms. The Center's "Philosophers in the Schools" program brings philosophical discussion to classrooms by teaching adults, via their workshops, ways to facilitate philosophical dialogs with young people.

This year, the Center held a summer workshop for teachers and graduate students that explored how introducing philosophy into K-12 classrooms can enrich student learning. Participants engaged in discussions about epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of language, and social/political philosophy. They examined questions such as: What can we know? What is happiness? Are we free? What is a mind? The workshop was very well-attended, and all involved were enthusiastic about the experience. One participant wrote:

The course was wonderful! I appreciated how organized you guys were. I liked the team leader approach. It was great to have you model lessons and then have us practice leading a philosophical discussion. This was one of the most "together" workshops I have ever attended! And it was so much fun.

Another exciting event in the works is the taping of a radio show about philosophy for children for the program,Philosophy Talk, a weekly, one hour radioseries. (See http://www.philosophytalk.org). The show will be taped at the University on November 5, 2010, and will include Philosophy for Children's director, Jana Mohr Lone leading a philosophy session with local elementary school children, as well as a conversation with Philosophy Talk hosts Ken Taylor and John Perry, both philosophers at Stanford University.

For more information about the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, check out their website at: http://depts.washington.edu/nwcenter/index.html

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