Resources – Teaching and Learning

This page contains resources to help teachers plan a philosophy course, unit, lesson; and to encourage the creation of a philosophy club or discussion group. It includes materials that can be used as primary texts to be interpreted, analyzed, and discussed; as well as materials that can be used for background information and materials for tapping into the various streams of philosophical discourse going on around us.

Primary philosophy texts

1. By philosophers past

Educational Philosophies Reader
Edited by Grace Roosevelt (March, 2011)
Roosevelt teaches at the Metropolitan College of New York. The Reader is used in the Values and Ethics course taught to both undergraduate and graduate students at MCNY and includes short, accessible, and provocative selections from the works of Plato, Locke, Rousseau, Mann, Washington, Du Bois, Dewey, and Freire.

The book can be ordered from: lulu.com.

Guide to Philosophy on the Internet
Although this site hasn’t been updated recently, it remains one of the most comprehensive web resources. Maintained by Peter Suber at Earlham College in Indiana, the site includes primary texts, lesson plans, syllabi, bibliographies, philosophical associations, and much more that will be helpful to anyone planning to teach philosophy.

Early Modern Philosophy
This site contains classic philosophic texts – Descartes, Hume, Locke, Kant, among others – translated into readable English by Jonathan F. Bennet, a distinguished British philosopher.

Agora Publications
“Agora Publications offers dramatic performances of the dialogues of Plato and David Hume to help recapture this valuable Socratic tradition. We revise the texts to make them more accessible to contemporary readers and listeners while leaving them unabridged and striving to be faithful to their original meaning. In this way we contribute to the marketplace of ideas and continue the rich philosophical tradition in which careful and precise thinking blend with literary and poetic creation.”

2. By contemporary philosophers

Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology
by Steven M. Cahn, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Ethics in Practice: An Anthology
by Hugh LaFollette, editor (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006)

Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists
by Susan Neiman (Harcourt, 2008)

Common Morality: Deciding What to Do
by Bernard Gert (Oxford University Press, 2007)


Non-Traditional Primary Materials

1. Stories/literature/cases

a. Collections

Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering
This site is addressed to engineers but it has a great deal of useful information for those interested in teaching ethics (click on Education, then Pre-College Materials).

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

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.

b. Particular pieces

  • Think About It!
    by Amy Leask
    a series of philosophy books for children
  • The If Machine
    by Peter Worley
  • Sleeping Ugly
    by Jane Yolen
    ethics
  • The Hundred Dresses
    by Eleanor Estes
    ethics
  • Hitler’s Daughter
    by Jackie French
    ethics
  • After the Rain
    by Sheila Gorden
    ethics
  • Daphne’s Book
    by Mary Downing Hahn
    ethics
  • Stepping on the Cracks
    by Mary Downing Hahn
    ethics
  • Standing Up to Mr. O
    by Claudia Mills
    ethics
  • Dinah Forever
    by Claudia Mills
    ethics
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon
    by Crockett Johnson
    epistemology
  • Emily’s Art
    by Peter Catalanotto
    philosophy of art
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
    by Eleanor Coerr
    ethics
  • The Bridge to Terabithia
    by Katherine Paterson
    ethics
  • Shiloh
    by Phyllis Reynold Naylor
    ethics
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
    by Jon Scieszka
    ethics
  • Boodil, My Dog
    by Pija Lindenbaum
    ethics
  • Frederick
    by Leo Lionni
    social and political philosophy
  • Knuffle Bunny
    by Mo Willems
    philosophy of language
  • The Important Book
    by Margaret Wise Brown
    metaphysics
  • The Tinman in The Wizard of Oz
    by Frank Baum
    metaphysics
  • Duck, Death and the Tulip
    by Wolf Erlbruch
    metaphysics
  • The Man Who Kept His Heart in a Bucket
    by Sonia Levitin
    metaphysics
  • The View from the Oak
    by Herbert Kohl
    metaphysics
  • The Dream in Frog and Toad Together
    by Arnold Lobel
    metaphysics
  • The Little Prince
    by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    metaphysics
  • The Big Orange Splot
    by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
    ethics
  • Albert’s Toothache
    by Barbara Williams
    metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophy of childhood
  • Really Really BIG Questions
    by Stephen Law
    introduction to philosophy
  • Morris the Moose
    by B. WIseman
    epistemology
  • Stormy Night
    by Michele Lemieux
    metaphysics
  • Stellaluna
    by Janell Cannon
    personal identity and friendship
  • The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments
    by Arnold Lobel
    and almost everything by this author; metaphysics – color

2. Philosophical biographies

Examined Lives
by James Miller (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2011)

3. Film and video

Philosophical Films
This very helpful site lists contemporary films that can be shown as examples of philosophical principles; each entry contains a synopsis of the particular film, the philosophical issue targeted, reviews and helpful discussion questions.

4. News/magazine materials

Do You Have Free Will? Yes, It’s the Only Choice
John Tierney: Education News; March 21, 2011
Read the article
Are we free to act or are our actions pre-determined? Philosophers are still trying to ask the right questions.

The art of social change
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).

Is Pure Altruism Possible?
Judith Licthenberg: The New York Times Opinionator; October 19, 2010
Read the article
How altruistic are we?

Why Health Care Will Never Be Equal
N. Gregory Mankiw: The New York Times; September 19, 2009
Read the article
Are the benefits and costs of the American health care system ethical?

A Matter of Life and Debt
Margaret Atwood: The New York Times; October 22, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/opinion/22atwood.html
To heal our economic wounds, we must repair the broken moral balance that let this chaos loose.

Why How Matters
Thomas Friedman: The New York Times; October 14, 2008
www.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/opinion/15friedman.html
The Puritan ethic of hard work and saving still matters.

Birds Do It. Bees Do It. Dragons Don’t Need To.
Neil Shubin: The New York Times; February 24, 2008.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24shubin.html
The big question that virgin births raise is this: If some females can get along without males, why does any species have males?

When a Murderer Wants to Practice Medicine
Lawrence K. Altman, M.D.: The New York Times; January 29, 2008.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/health/views/29docs.html
A Nazi sympathizer entered a famed Swedish medical school in 2007, seven years after being convicted of a hate murder. Should a murderer ever be allowed to practice medicine?

Moral Principle vs. Military Necessity
David Bosco: The American Scholar, Winter 2008.
http://www.theamericanscholar.org/wi08/codes-bosco.html
The first code of conduct during warfare, created by Civil War–era Prussian immigrant Francis Lieber, reflected ambiguities we struggle with to this day. David Bosco is an assistant professor at the American University School of International Service and a contributing writer to Foreign Policy magazine.

The Moral Instinct
Steven Pinker: The New York Times; January 13, 2008.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/magazine/13Psychology-t.html
Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of “The Language Instinct” and “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature.”

Are We Born Moral?
John Gray: New York Review of Books; May 10, 2007.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=20171

Mind Makes Right: Brain Damage, Evolution, and the Future of Morality
William Saletan: Slate.com; March 31, 2007.
http://www.slate.com/id/2162998/

Ethics Newsline
Jonathan Haidt: The Third Culture; Edge.org.
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt07/haidt07_index.html
Jonathan Haidt is a professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.

Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion
ethicsnewsline.wordpress.com/
“Ethics Newsline, published weekly by the Institute for Global Ethics, is the premier online source for news and information on ethics and current events. A new edition is available every Monday night.”


Coursebooks and Course Websites

1. Coursebooks

Philosophy for Kids : 40 Fun Questions That Help You Wonder About Everything!
by Dr. David White (Prufrock Press, 2000)

The Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids
by Dr. David White (Prufrock Press, 2005)

Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy
Through Children’s Literature
by Thomas E. Wartenberg (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009)
More information: www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org

Thinking Critically(10th edition)
by John Chaffee (Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2009)

Ethics In Action: A Case-Based Approach
by Peggy Connolly, David R. Keller, Martin G. Leever, Becky Cox White (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)

Ethics in the First Person:
A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practical Ethics
by Deni Elliott (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006)

Philosophy for Teens
by Sharon Kaye and Paul Thomson (Prufrock Press, 2006)

More Philosophy for Teens
by Paul Thomson, (Prufrock Press, 2007)

Applying Ethics: A Text With Readings
by Jeffrey Olen, Julie C. Van Camp & Vincent E. Barry (Wadsworth, 2007)

Moral Problems: A Coursebook
by Michael Palmer (University of Toronto Press, 1994)

Creating the Ethical School
by Bongsoon Zubay and Jonas F. Soltis (Teachers College Press, 2005)

2. Course websites/videos


Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?
by Michael J. Sandel
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009)
More information: www.justiceharvard.org

Free Online Logic Course
NYU philosophy professor David Velleman created a self-paced, online logic course for students and teachers: use it at home or in class to learn a new language that will prove more useful than you can imagine.


General Background Materials

Ethics Update
ethics.sandiego.edu/video
These are from the website of Lawrence M. Hinman, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Values Institute at the University of San Diego.

Philosophy Toolbox
Created by APA’s Committee for Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy the tool kit is a dynamic web resource for teachers and students created by volunteers interested in promoting philosophy in the schools. Our current focus is at the high school level but the site will be expanded to include sections on elementary and middle school levels in 2008-2009. We welcome advice, contributions, and volunteers who will help this website become a virtual philosophy community for teachers and students.

Philosophy Pages
This compendium of information about the Western philosophical tradition includes links to many other philosophical sites.

Philosophy for Children
This site, created and maintained by Professor Thomas Wartenberg of the Department of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is subtitled “Philosophical Questions from Children’s Stories.” It shows how educators and parents can use children’s literature as a springboard for philosophical discussions. Watch this video or listen to this podcast of second graders discusssing the basics of philosophy with Dr. Wartenberg.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This comprehensive overview of teaching philosophy to children challenges the view that the material is beyond the ken of young students. It also provides resources and links.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a non-profit organization run by the editors. The Encyclopedia receives no funding, and operates through the volunteer work of the editors, authors, and technical advisors… All articles are copyrighted by The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the authors of the original articles. The IEP has these reprint stipulations: (1) For educational course packets reproduced by either college-run print shops or private copy services such as Kinko’s: all IEP material can be used free of charge, and contacting the IEP is not required. (2) For published books that will receive ISBN numbers, such as textbook anthologies: authors or publishers should contact the IEP general editor by e-mail; the editor’s current e-mail address is on the IEP web page. (3) Copies cannot be posted elsewhere on the Internet without permission from the general editor.

Guide to Philosophy on the Internet
Although this site hasn’t been updated recently, it remains one of the most comprehensive web resources. Maintained by Peter Suber at Earlham College in Indiana, the site includes primary texts, lesson plans, syllabi, bibliographies, philosophical associations, and much more that will be helpful to anyone planning to teach philosophy.

Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering
This site is addressed to engineers but it has a great deal of useful information for those interested in teaching ethics (click on Education, then Pre-College Materials).

EthicShare
EthicShare, a collaborative website, contains research materials, discussions, current articles and events about ethics and is a very comprehensive resource for anyone teaching or interested in the field.


Sites of Ongoing Philosophy-Minded Discourse

1. Journals

POIESIS
POIESIS is a subscription based reference and publishing service offering searchable access to the full text of hundreds of current, recent, and back issues of a growing number of philosophy journals and series. Every word in every available issue is fully searchable, including thousands of articles, book reviews, and dissertation listings, as well as all abstracts, footnotes, and bibliographic listings. Uniquely structured around dozens of philosophy titles, POIESIS includes journals and series published by philosophical societies, departments, university presses, and commercial publishers in several countries.”

Journal of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
www.cceia.org/resources/journal/

The Philosophers’ Magazine
www.philosophersnet.com

Philosophy Now
www.philosophynow.org

Questions: Philosophy for Young Children
www.pdcnet.org/questions.html

Teaching Philosophy
www.pdcnet.org/teachph.html

Journal of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
www.cceia.org/resources/journal/

JThink About It!
by Amy Leask
a series of philosophy books for children

Philosophers’ Imprint
Philosophers’ Imprint collects a series of scholarly articles by some of today’s most notable and influential philosophers which are offered free of charge.

American Association of Philosophy Teachers
AAPT has created several sites suggesting works of literature (novels, short stories, poems and essays) that can be used to illustrate philosophical principles and initiatite philosophical discussion.

2. Blogs

The Philosopher’s Stone
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/the-stone
The Stone, launched by The New York Times, features writings by contemporary philosophers on issues both timely and timeless.

Adventures in Wonderland!
http://sites.epals.com/p4c/
Adventures in Wonderland! is a blog for fourth-grade students created by three schools: May Howard Elementary in Savannah, GA; Elias Park Primary School in Singapore, and Roscoe Wilson Elementary School in Lubbock, TX. The focus of the blog is on philosophical inquiry.

Blog Philos
www.blogphilos.blogspot.com
Join teacher Michael Burroughs and his philosophy class at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis TN as they blog about philosophy.

Mt. Greylock High School Philosophy
http://mountiesphilosophy.blogspot.com
This blog is the public space for students in the Mt. Greylock Regional High School Introduction to Philosophy course to interact, critique, challenge, defend, refine, and think out loud, hosted by teacher Gerol Petruzella.

Wondering Aloud: Philosophy with Young People
www.philosophyforchildren.blogspot.com
Jana Mohr Lone, director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, writes a blog about doing philosophy with young people, including posts about philosophy classes with pre-college students, thoughts about doing philosophy with young people, and ideas for how to introduce philosophy in K-12 classrooms and with your own children.

The Philosophical Student
http://www.thephilosophicalstudent.blogspot.com/
A blog supported by the Squire Family Foundation where pre-college, college and graduate students and their teachers and professors, as well as parents, school administrators and all those interested in philosophy, can meet to discuss philosophical issues. It is run in cooperation with Craig Merow’s bioethics class at the Germantown Academy in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania.

Rationally speaking
http://inquiry.mcdaniel.edu/teachphilo
This blog “for philosophers interested in teaching” includes a list of podcasts.

Jacob Needleman’s Blog
http://jacobneedleman.com/blog/?tag=philosophy
Blog of philosophy professor, high school philosophy teacher and writer Jacob Needleman.

David Kennedy/Philosophy of Childhood
http://professordavidkennedy.blogspot.com
This blog is a compilation of article by David Kenndy of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children on philosophy of childhood, community of philosophical inquiry/philosophy for children, and the reconstruction of schooling.

PQED (Philosophical Questions Every Day)
www.blogphilos.blogspot.com
PQED, Philosophical Questions Every Day, is a sponsored by the University of North Dakota’s Center for Philosophy in Public Life.

Ethics Newsline
ethicsnewsline.wordpress.com/
“Ethics Newsline, published weekly by the Institute for Global Ethics, is the premier online source for news and information on ethics and current events. A new edition is available every Monday night.”

3. Radio shows

Why: Philosophical Discussions about Everyday Life
www.philosophyinpubliclife.org
Maughn Gregory, former director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, talks about philosophy for children on Why: Philosophical Discussions about Everyday Life, a radio program sponsored by the University of North Dakota’s Institute for Philosophy in Public Life.

Public Ethics Radio
www.publicethicsradio.org
Launched in August 2008, Public Ethics Radio is an innovative online audio broadcast that features scholars and thinkers who engage with ethics in public life. Each episode connects vibrant debates in philosophy with real-world politics, on issues such as military intervention, international trade, and political corruption.

Philosophy Talk
www.philosophytalk.org
Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series produced at Stanford University. The hosts’ down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects. This is not a lecture or a college course, it’s philosophy in action! Philosophy Talk is a fun opportunity to explore issues of importance to your audience in a thoughtful, friendly fashion, where thinking is encouraged.

Listen in as 4th grade Seattle students at the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children discuss what makes us unique and what makes us happy on Stanford University’s acclaimed radio show, “Philosophy Talk.”

4. Other

Why: Philosophical Discussions about Everyday Life
ethics.sandiego.edu/video
These are from the website of Lawrence M. Hinman, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Values Institute at the University of San Diego.

Project High-Phi
Project High-Phi, based at the University of Virginia, supports philosophical inquiry in American high schools and offers many resources to teachers and students.

EthicShare
EthicShare, a collaborative website, contains research materials, discussions, current articles and events about ethics and is a very comprehensive resource for anyone teaching or interested in the field.

Ask Philosophers
If you have a philosophical question, a philosopher will send you an answer.

Kids Philosophy Slam
www.philosophyslam.org
“The Mission of the Kids Philosophy Slam is to give kids a voice and to inspire kids to think by unlocking their intellectual and creative potential through a unique and powerful philosophical forum.”

Questions: Philosophy for Young Children
www.pdcnet.org/questions.html
“Questions is a unique forum for the philosophical questions – and answers – of young people and their teachers. Each topical issue contains philosophical discussions, drawings, philosophical writing by students, and articles offering advice and ideas for teachers and parents interested in facilitating philosophical discussions with young people.”


Skills Guides

Writing To Reason: A Companion for Philosophy Students and Instructors
by Brian David Mogck (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008)

A Rulebook for Arguments
by Anthony Weston (Hackett, 2000)

A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox
By Anthony Weston (Oxford University Press, 2007)

Philosophy Toolbox
Created by APA’s Committee for Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy the tool kit is a dynamic web resource for teachers and students created by volunteers interested in promoting philosophy in the schools. Our current focus is at the high school level but the site will be expanded to include sections on elementary and middle school levels in 2008-2009. We welcome advice, contributions, and volunteers who will help this website become a virtual philosophy community for teachers and students.

Guide to Philosophy on the Internet
www.philosophyslam.org
Although this site hasn’t been updated recently, it remains one of the most comprehensive web resources. Maintained by Peter Suber at Earlham College in Indiana, the site includes primary texts, lesson plans, syllabi, bibliographies, philosophical associations, and much more that will be helpful to anyone planning to teach philosophy.

Ethics Updates
Ethics Updates is designed primarily to be used by ethics instructors and their students. It is intended to provide resources and updates on current literature, both popular and professional, that relates to ethics.