Resources – General Interest

Asking the Big Questions: Why Philosophy Matters

Precollege philosophy is thriving in at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH, and in nearby schools. Watch students and teachers talk about what they love when they do philosophy together.
Watch the Video

It’s Time To Teach Philosophy
Read the article
Philosophy deserves a place in the curriculum – for many reasons.

Second Graders Learning Philosophy
Watch this video or listen to this podcast of second graders discusssing the basics of philosophy with Mount Holyoke College’s Dr. Wartenberg

School Teaches Students How to Argue
Watch the video

Art McFarland: WABC New York Eyewitness News; January 4, 2010
Read the article or watch the video
Most schools do what they can to prevent arguing and fighting. But at the Columbia Secondary School, the arguing involved is for a class in philosophy.

In Middle School, Philosophy Is Part of the Lunch Menu
Nelson Hernandez: Washington Post; January 4, 2010
Read the article
During lunchtime at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, MD, the youngsters sitting in a small circle were tackling the really deep questions: Ethics. Fairness. How to split dessert.

Columbia Teachers’ College Philosophy Outreach Program
Columbia Arts & Humanities Gazette; October 8, 2009
Read the article
These two articles explore a new cooperative philosophy outreach program at Columbia University and Teachers College.

Philosophy Returns to Mount Greylock
Meghan Foley: The North Adams Transcript; October 8, 2009
Read the article
A philosophy course taught at Mount Greylock High School in North Adams, MA, was made possible by a grant from the Squire Family Foundation.

Philosophy Students Explore ‘Big Questions’
Mary Ann Zehr: Education Week; August 2009
Read the article (requires subscription) Read Mary Ann Zehr’s blog (with non-subscription link to article)
The Education Week article highlights both the SFF-sponsored national pre-college philosophy teachers network, and philosophy curriculum at the Center for Talented Youth (Johns Hopkins University).

Loyola Blakefield Wins Baltimore High School Ethics Bowl
Lionel Foster:; May 2009 Read the article
80 students from 10 Baltimore City and Baltimore County high schools competed in the 2nd Annual Baltimore High School Ethics Bowl hosted by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore.

New Jersey high schoolers solve the dilemma of the runaway train
Sergio Bichao:; May 28, 2009
Read the article
Students at Woodbridge’s Colonia High School try to find ethical solutions in day-long program

Philosophy encourages high school students to think outside the box
Merle English: Newsday; April 16, 2009
Read the Newsday article
More and more high schools are offering philosophy courses and clubs, with a special focus on ethics

Philosophy Program Inspires Middle Schoolers
Sara Hoover: University of Memphis News; December 2008 Middle-school students are participating in a new philosophy discussion program at the University of Memphis.

Frog, Toad & the Big Questions: Grant to help foster philosophical education for kids
Bob Flaherty: Daily Hampshire Gazette; June 11, 2008.
In this profile of Dr. Thomas E. Wartenberg of Mount Holyoke College, learn about the SFF grant to support his work on philosophy for children.

A Natural Bent for Deep Thought
Bob Flaherty: Daily Hampshire Gazette; June 11, 2008
This are article explores current innovations in ethics education for youths in Massachusetts.

Teaching Philosophy to High School Students: Indiana University’s Summer Philosophy Institute
Stephen Hicks and Monica Holland: Teaching Philosophy, 12:2, 1989

The Summer Philosophy Institute of Colorado: Building Bridges
Robert Figueroa and Sara Goering: Teaching Philosophy, 20:2, 1997

An Interview with Roberta Israeloff and Jana Mohr Lone: About PLATO
Michael F. Shaughnessy: Education News; March 9, 2011
Read the article
The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) a national support and resource network, brings together those who teach philosophy at the pre-college level.

Fifth Period: Life and Death Decision-making
Jordan Lite: Miller McCune; April 4, 2010
Read the article
High school students across the country debate bioethics in their science classrooms.

Imagine Magazine

Read online

The Center for Talented Youth; April 2010 Johns Hopkins University
Read the magazine online
SFF grantee The Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University has published the latest issue of Imagine Magazine. The new issue is entirely devoted to philosophy with pre-college students. Find out how to start a philosophy club, why ethics matters, and more. Single issues are for sale through JHU Press: (800) 548-1784 or online at
(individual issues are listed below the subscription options).

Can We Teach Ethics?
by Howard B. Radest (Praeger, 1989)
TED Conference about Philosophy for Kids

Watch the video

Watch University of Washington’s Professor Sara Goering speaks at TED Conference about Philosophy for Kids: Sparking a Love of Learning.

University of Memphis Philosophical Horizons

Watch the video

Watch pre-college philosophy in action at the University of Memphis Philosophical Horizons program.

What’s an Ethics Bowl?

Watch the video

An Ethics Bowl is a collaborative yet competitive event, more nuanced than debate, in which teams are presented with a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas and are asked to analyze them; they are then judged on the basis of their analyses. An exciting tournament, it is also a way for students to gain valuable insight into ethical and philosophical issues. This video shows students from Bethpage High School participating in an ethics bowl.

Columbia Secondary School on WABC New York Eyewitness News

Watch the video

Read the article or watch the video

Art McFarland of WABC New York’s Eyewitness News reports on the new philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School (January 4, 2010).

Bethpage High School Philosophy Club

Watch their video on global warming Bethpage High School was named the “Most Philosophical School in America” in 2006. The students in the Philosophy Club begin with the premise: “it isn’t the question that is important; it is the journey that the question takes that makes the difference. That is where the real learning happens and the liveliest discussions occur.”

The Value of Philosophy Education
Ethics — by the Numbers: Survey of Ethics Education in Schools
Bongsoon Zubay: Independent School, Fall, 2007. Single copies of the magazine can be purchased at the National Association of Independent Schools website:

Philosophy Program Benefits Teachers and Students
John C. Tucker: Columbia Record; November 9, 2009
Read the article

Learn Philosophy: The classic discipline can help with contemporary dilemmas and modern careers
Diane Cole: U. S. News & World Report; December 18, 2008
The importance of logic and ethics skills is getting national attention. Squire grantee Dr. Thomas Wartenberg is featured in this article in U.S. News & World Report

Just think: it’s important
Laura Parker: The Sydney Morning Herald; August 25, 2008 Link to full article on
Why is philosophy as a subject such a fizzer in schools?

In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined.
Winnie Hu: The New York Times; April 6, 2008.
Once scoffed at as a luxury major, philosophy is being embraced by a new generation of college students who are drawing lessons from the age-old discipline as they try to make sense of their world.

More seek philosophy degrees as a basis for kicking off other careers
Monte Whaley: The Denver Post; November 21, 2011
Read the article
Philosophy majors are not just contemplating the meaning of life – they are also launching careers in law, medicine, business and high technology.

Philosophy Valued At One Community College
Margot Adler: NPR All Things Considered; January 4, 2011
Read the article
As state universities cut back on humanities programs in order to deal with budget shortfalls, LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY, is going in the opposite direction. At LaGuardia, philosophy is king.

Imagine Magazine: Read online
The Center for Talented Youth; April 2010 Johns Hopkins University
Read the magazine online
SFF grantee The Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University has published the latest issue of Imagine Magazine. The new issue is entirely devoted to philosophy with pre-college students. Find out how to start a philosophy club, why ethics matters, and more. Single issues are for sale through JHU Press: (800) 548-1784 or online at (individual issues are listed below the subscription options).

Further Reading
The Thinker, by Jonathan Mahler: The New York Times; September 19, 2008
How did Auburn University become a hotbed of philosophical talent? Read this essay from the Sunday Magazine’s College Issue.

A review of Experiments in Ethics by Princeton’s Kwame Appiah
Paul Bloom: The New York Times; February 3, 2008.
Imagine that you are standing next to a railway track and you see a runaway trolley… Today, the quandry of moral dilemmas is no longer the purview solely of the philosopher.

How We Decide
by Jonah Lehrer (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2009)
Excerpt provided by www.delanceyplace.orgRead the article
Are we free to act or are our actions pre-determined? Philosophers are still trying to ask the right questions

A review of Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen
Jonathan Haidt: The New York Times Book Review; October 24, 2010
Read the review

In his latest book, Princeton philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah asks: Morally, who are we? And how do we change? Read an excerpt from Appiah’s book (NYT October 22, 2010).

Philosophy on the Radio
Paulette Tobin: Humanities Magazine; May/June 2010
Read the article
At North Dakota’s Institute for Philosophy in Public Life, philosophical discussions are part of the daily conversation.

Digging Out Roots of Cheating in High School
Maura Casey: The New York Times; October 12, 2008
Surveys show that cheating in school has soared since researchers first measured the phenomenon in the 1960s.

White-collar ex-con: Jail looms for mortgage execs
Mike Celizic:; October 8, 2008
Walter Pavlo, a former MCI manager who served time in a federal prison for concealing business improprieties now lectures on ethics.

Decades Later, Still Asking: Would I Pull That Switch?
Benedict Carey: The New York Times; July 1 , 2008
Stanley Milgram’s Shock Experiments Still Provide Insight.

Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior
Nicholas Wade: The New York Times; March 20, 2007.