Newsletter Spring 2015 Center for Philosophy For Children


The Center's Philosophers in the Schools program is in the midst of another year of growth, with faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and volunteers leading regular philosophy sessions in about 50 public elementary, middle and high school classrooms around Seattle this year, including several middle schools new for the Center. The Center's philosopher-in-residence program in the Seattle public schools, started last year and continuing 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. in philosophy from the UW in 2012 and has worked with the Center since 2010, as the John Muir philosopher-in-residence. We are hoping to expand this program to other schools in the next several years. We are also teaching weekly philosophy classes at the school at Seattle Children's Hospital, and this summer several people working with the Center will be involved in doing philosophy sessions at summer camps for young people.

The Center organized and ran the 2015 Washington State High School Ethics Bowl in January, sponsored by the UW Philosophy Department, Program on Values, College of Education, School of Law, and College of Arts & Sciences Social Sciences Division, as well as the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. 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. A longer description of this year's High School Ethics Bowl appears elsewhere in this newsletter.

The Center just held a spring workshop for teachers in March, and more than 20 participants learned more about introducing philosophical inquiry to young people. We are also involved in programs for parents around the region.

The biennial PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) Conference will take place at UW June 29 and 30, hosted by the Center. The conference theme is "Equity and Inquiry," and noted educator Jonathan Kozol will be the keynote speaker. Speakers from all over the country and around the world will present ideas for introducing philosophical inquiry into K-12 classrooms. The public is welcome to attend! Preregistration is required.

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 workshops for teachers.

We hope you will consider supporting our work. We really appreciate your gifts - thank you very much!