Philosophy Curricula and Resources

SFF Sponsored Curricula

The Squire Family Foundation has funded two curriculum projects:

  • Introduction to Philosophy
    The Center for Talented Youth
    Johns Hopkins University
  • High School Bioethics Project
    The Center for Bioethics
    University of Pennsylvania

All self-contained modules include readings, resources, lesson plans, assessments and suggestions for further study.

Introduction to Philosophy (pre-college)

Developed by:

The Center for Talented Youth
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

This user-friendly curriculum, developed and tested at CTY, covers all the major topics in philosophy, and is suitable for a high school or advanced middle school class.

Each self-contained module includes lesson plans, suggested readings, discussion questions and study guides so that even teachers even teachers with a limited philosophy background will be able to successfully use it. Five modules are available:


High School Bioethics

Developed by:

High School Bioethics Project
University of Pennsylvania
The Center for Bioethics
Philadelphia, PA

This curriculum is composed of four comprehensive and self-contained modules that explore four of the most vital areas in bioethics, such as the right to die, and animal rights. Developed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, it can be used in any high school class.

Each extensively-researched module includes readings, cases, class activities, and references. Even those teachers without a background in this area can use the lessons effectively. Four modules were developed with the support of the Squire Family Foundation:

Learn more: www.highschoolbioethics.org


Other Curricula, Lesson Plans, and Resources of Note

The curricula below, which teachers have generously agreed to share on this site, use a variety of pedagogical approaches and methods.

Teaching Children Philosphy Book Modules

Developed by:

Dr. Thomas Wartenberg
Mt. Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

Dr. Tom Wartenberg (Mt. Holyoke College) and his students developed lesson plans to do philosophy with elementary-school aged children using picture books.

View the modules.


Winning Words

Developed by:

The Civic Knowledge Project
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

This flexible 7 week curriculum is used in elementary and middle schools on Chicago’s South side. To help young students think, speak and act philosophically, the curriculum combines Socratic questioning, debate, discussion, textual study and dramatic reenactment. The goal is to give students the opportunity to express themselves and examine their own beliefs while engaging in rational, civil discourse with others.

Explore the course materials.


Teach Philosophy 101

Villanova philosophy professor John Immerwahr created a resource-rich page for philosophy teachers: it includes readings, activities, and lesson plans. Though it’s targeted at college teachers, much of the material can be adapted for pre-college use.

More information: www.teachphilosophy101.org


Philosophy Resources for Young Children

Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature

Developed by:

Dr. Thomas Wartenberg
Mt. Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

More information: www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org


Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering

Developed by:

Dr. Thomas Wartenberg
Mt. Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

More information: www.onlineethics.org


Philosophy for Kids

Developed by:

Dr. Gareth Matthews
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Amherst, MA

Featuring the groundbreaking work of Gareth Matthews, this website explores how teachers can use children’s literature to introduce philosophical issues.

More information: www.philosophyforkids.com