We run workshops in Seattle and around the country for teachers, parents, and other adults interested in facilitating philosophical dialogues with young people. Since its founding, the Center has run dozens of workshops for teachers and parents about ways to do philosophy with pre-college students.

Center staff often travel to other areas of the region and country to provide intensive training for schools, which might include, for example, a week of demonstration philosophy classes, afterschool workshops with teachers, programs for parents, and follow-up support over the succeeding year.

For more information about our workshops and programs, contact Director Jana Mohr Lone

Sample Workshop Format

This workshop is an intensive introduction to methods for bringing philosophy into pre-college classrooms. Philosophy sessions use children’s books and various activities to inspire discussions that emerge from the children’s own questions, based on the understanding that questioning is central to independent thinking. The workshop will focus on ways in which to establish philosophical “communities of inquiry” in classrooms, and will introduce a conception of what constitutes a philosophical discussion, basic reasoning and logic tools, and the method of Socratic dialogue. The workshop will also provide some general introduction to the discipline of philosophy.

The workshop emphasizes learning by doing. We will form our own community of inquiry, and will spend most of each day discussing philosophical questions such as: When do we know something? What is justice? What is the self? What is friendship? What is the mind? We will learn how to engage in philosophical dialogues with children by doing it ourselves. The workshop will also provide an introduction to some of the traditional branches of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and logic.

Sample Workshop Schedule

Day 1

9:00am – 9:30am Coffee/Tea and Pastries + Introduction
9:30am – 10:15am Community of Philosophical Inquiry
10:30am – 11:15am Are you a philosopher? Games and activities
11:30am – 12:15pm Personal Identity – “Double Trouble” and Ship of Theseus
12:15pm – 12:45pm LUNCH (provided)
12:45pm – 1:30pm Middle/High School Epistemology: Plato’s Cave
Elementary School – Philosophy of Mind “Cookies” in Frog and Toad Together
1:45pm – 2:30pm Middle/High School – Ethics: The Bluest Eye
Elementary – Ethics: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
2:45pm – 3:30pm Social inequalities/race and racism: Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

Day 2

9:00am – 9:30am Coffee/Tea and Pastries
9:30am – 10:15am Middle/High School – Metaphysics: A Wrinkle in Time
Elementary – Metaphysics: Morris the Moose
10:30am – 11:15am Middle/High School Metaphisics & ethics: Nature of happiness
Elementary – Metaphysics & epistemology: The Bear That Wasn’t
11:30am – 12:15pm Gender: The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
12:15pm – 12:45pm LUNCH (provided)
12:45pm – 1:30pm Refugee politics: The Color of Home by Mary Hoffman
1:45pm – 2:30pm Thinking about animals: an activity
2:30pm – 3:00pm Final questions and concluding remarks