At Seattle Elementary, Philosopher Helps Kids Explore The ‘Why’ Questions


Students at Seattle's John Muir Elementary School are trying to answer life's big questions. Along with reading and math, the school's curriculum includes philosophy. 

Why philosophy? Kids start asking all sorts of "why" questions starting in preschool, says philosopher Jana Mohr Lone: "Why is the sky blue? Why are some things in color and some things aren’t? Can you be happy and sad at the same time?"

National Humanities Center Webinar for Teachers: Literature and Essential Philosophical Questions


This webinar explores various philosophical questions raised by the following three novels: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The novels all inspire consideration of (among others) the following three philosophical themes: Ethics: What kind of person should I be? Personal identity: Who am I? Social and political philosophy: What is the nature of courage?

You can listen to a recording of the webinar and/or download the presentation PDF

National Humanities Center Webinar for Teachers: Teaching The Book Thief


In The Book Thief, Markus Zusak explores issues of life and death, friendship and community, oppression and resistance, and the nature of courage. This webinar will consider these topics within the structure of a community of philosophical inquiry, a structured, collaborative exploration aimed at constructing meaning and acquiring understanding through the examination of philosophical questions. We will begin with a short talk about ways to inspire a robust community of philosophical inquiry in the classroom.

Philosophy Talk: Philosophy for Children


Given their innocent approach to things, do children make good philosophers? Or do they lack the equipment for clear-thinking? Is exposure to philosophy good for children? Or will it undermine their sense of security? John and Ken put these questions and more to an audience of Seattle children and their philosophy teacher, Jana Mohr Lone, founder and director of the Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington.