Who am I? Why am I here? What is a good life?
University of Washington’s is dedicated to introducing philosophy to K-12 students by using children’s books and activities to inspire exploration of life’s essential questions. Philosophy encourages young people to trust their own questions and ideas about the world, empowering them to think for themselves about the meaning of their experiences.
Center for Philosophy for Children
The Center’s “Philosophers in the Schools” program educates university students about ways to introduce philosophy in K-12 classrooms, and then sends these students into schools around Seattle, at no charge to the schools, to conduct philosophy sessions. The Center also runs workshops for teachers, parents and other interested adults about ways to facilitate philosophy discussions with young people.
On Our Site
Over 100 lesson plans for using children's literature to introduce philosophy
Active games and exercises for engaging children in philosophy
Tips for successful pre-college philosophy sessions
Philosophy for Children Blog
Lakeside student Courtenay Roche's blog post about participating in the Washington State Ethics Bowl.
Washington State Ethics Bowl 2014 Video:
The benefits of teaching philosophical inquiry to kids on Philosophy Talk radio. An interview with Director Jana Mohr Lone
Raising a Philosophical Child: Session of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy APA Pacific Meeting San Diego, CA - Watch the video here
Access and listen to National Humanities Center Webinar for Teachers on Literature and Essential Philosophical Questions: http://americainclass.org/seminars/literature-and-philosophical-questions
The Philosophers in the Schools was featured on NPR and the Seattle Times.
New resources for parents and grandparents!
Talk on Raising a Philosophical Child given by Jana Mohr Lone at Town Hall Seattle
TEDx talk on philosophy for children given by Program Director Sara Goering
Books By Center Staff
“Once you get kids thinking about philosophical concepts, there is no limit and their new ways of thinking will impact every discipline of learning.”
- Librarian, John Muir Elementary School, Seattle
“There are so many different ways people think about things. That's what's great about philosophy, you realize that everyone sees things so differently."
- Fourth grade student at Whittier Elementary School, Seattle
“I have watched students who never participate in anything at school become excited and exuberant over the chance to express their ideas and ask their questions about why they are here, free will, the nature of illusion, consciousness, and their very existence.”
– Teacher at Nova High School, Seattle