Philosophy 280: Philosophy for Children



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The focus of this course is on what it's like to teach philosophy to elementary school children.  You will need to attend all the class meetings since these will include practice sessions in which you will be trained to do the teaching.  There will be nearly weekly assignments that you also need to turn in on time.

You will also be working in a group and need to meet with your group members outside of class time to practice and prepare to teach.

Teaching philosophy to elementary school children in the Jackson Street School in Northampton is a crucial element of this course. You will have a chance to do this and you need to work on doing it well.

The major written pieces of work you will have to turn in are listed below:

1.  A book module for a book of your choosing from the MLK books. You will also have to design the web pages for the book and work with Alice Park, the course tech mentor, to post the book module to the kidsphil webpage.

2.  A reflective journal of your experience learning to teach philosophy to children.  This is meant as a record that will aid you in writing your term paper.

3.  A term paper on a topic of your devising (again, subject to my approval) that reflects on your experience in this course and in the elementary school classrooms.  The topic will depend on your own interest and experience.

The books for the course are available at the Odyssey Bookshop, although there are not enough copies. In addition, many readings are available through electronic reserve.

Your grade for the course will be determined in the following fashion:

Book module (introductory material, questions, web design) 20%
Journal     15%
Term Paper 35%
Work in school (facilitation, summaries, chart) 15%
Class participation (at MHC) 15%