What is freedom? Teaching kids philosophy in a pandemic

Philosophy for Children Zoom Class

Jana Mohr Lone, director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, discusses teaching philosophy with children during a pandemic.

“We don’t really need ‘going to school,’” Ella Wagar, a 10-year-old from Seattle, told her online peers during a recent Zoom session. “What we really do need are friends. If you don’t have friends, it sucks; you play alone, you eat alone.”

The children were exploring the difference between needs and wants in light of the pandemic in a weekly philosophical conversation guided by Jana Mohr Lone, the founder of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children.

The group decided that playing sports and eating candy are wants, whereas exercise, food and friends are fundamental needs — especially now.

Read the entire article in The New York Times: “What Is Freedom? Teaching Kids Philosophy in a Pandemic: Thinking about big questions empowers children to feel more confident about the value of their own ideas, teachers say.”

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