Newsletter Fall 2014 UW Center for Philosophy for Children

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on

Center's Philosophers in the Schools programcontinues to grow, and this fall faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and volunteers are leading regular philosophy sessions in about 50 public elementary, middle and high school classrooms around Seattle, including several middle schools new to the Center. The Center's philosopher-in-residence program in the Seattle public schools, which started last year and continues this year at John Muir Elementary School, is made possible by a grant from the Squire Family Foundation. We are fortunate to have philosopher Karen Emmerman, who received her Ph.D. from the Department in 2012 and started working with the Center in 2010, as the John Muir philosopher-in-residence. We are hoping to expand this program to other schools in the next several years.

We will host the second Washington State High School Ethics Bowl, sponsored by the UW Philosophy Department, Program on Values, School of Law, and College of Arts & Sciences Social Sciences Division, as well as several law firms, on Saturday, January 31, 2015. An Ethics Bowl is a collaborative yet competitive event, in which teams analyze a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas, deepening the awareness of high school students about interesting ethical, legal and philosophical issues. We expect approximately 20 high school teams to participate, as well as over 50 volunteer lawyers, judges, faculty, graduate students and undergraduates from around our region. UW philosophy majors are helping to coach the teams.

The Center's annual summer workshop, held in June, was our most successful yet. Over thirty teachers participated in the workshop, and many of them are now collaborating with the Center to bring philosophy into their classrooms. We are planning another workshop to be held this spring.

The biennial PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) Conferencewill be held at the UW in June 2015. The conference theme is "Equity and Inquiry," and noted educator Jonathan Kozol will be the keynote speaker. Speakers from all over the country will be presenting ideas for introducing philosophical inquiry into K-12 classrooms.

The Center's work is made possible by the donations of private donors, which have helped fund the growth of our Philosophers in the Schools program, three Philosophy for Children graduate fellowships, and our annual summer workshop for teachers. We hope you will consider supporting our work. We really appreciate your gifts - thank you very much!