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Take one of Arnold Lobel's great Frog and Toad stories, Dragons and Giants. In his amusing and ironic way, Lobel poses the question of what courage is. What if kids were to ponder this issue and to think about whether their lives require them to be brave?  Though the question of the nature of courage has been discussed by philosophers all the way back to Aristotle, it is also one that is relevant to children’s lives.  Kids have interesting things to say that can enrich all of our understandings of the nature of courage.


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We have assembled question sets for children’s books that raise philosophical issues.  All you need to do is to read one of the children’s books suggested by our site aloud to a group of elementary school children.  Then use the question sets to guide you in encouraging the children to discuss the issues.  We have also provided guidelines for each book which identify and discuss the philosophical issues raised by the stories.

Click on the picture below to see a short segment from the video, Teaching Children Philosophy. In this video, fifth graders from the Jackson Street School in Northampton, Massachusetts discuss with students from Professor Thomas Wartenberg's Philosophy for Children course at Mount Holyoke College whether judgments about art are purely subjective or not.  You will see that children’s literature raises many deep philosophical issues, and, as it turns out, kids love discussing them.


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ow explore the rest of the site and learn more about philosophy and "doing" philosophy with children.  There are sections specifically for children, for teachers, and even for parents.  Enjoy!   

This site has been created and is maintained by
Professor Thomas Wartenberg of the Department of Philosophy at
Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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