P4C UNT is a new project devoted to the study and implementation of philosophy with children, including a focus on its intersections with environmental philosophy and environmental ethics. So far, our work includes:
Early Childhood Education:
At the Koan School, a private non-profit school in Denton, Texas, Rika Tsuji and Benn Johnson are experimenting with the development of a philosophy with children program. They lead classes weekly, wherein the students ideas about philosophical matters are explored, without traditional references to philosophical canon or technical jargon. We also implemented the p4c Hawaii model of evaluation of dialogues.
High School Education
At the Koan School, Rika Tsuji and Benn Johnson are leading philosophy for children sessions weekly with high school students, investigating questions provided by the students. So far, we have examined personal identity, the legitimacy of authority, gender essentialism, whether there are fundamental differences between humans and animals, and more.
P4C with Engligh-Language-Learners (ELL)
Rika Tsuji and YMCA Osaka Tennoji Language Center (Japan) collaborated together to have a philosophy with children session with those who speak and learn English as a second language in May, 2018. The students had never had philosophy discussion classes prior to the session, and yet they came up with many interesting questions related to the weekly class topic "health and safety."
Rika Tsuji and Miyagi University of Education has collaborated to have p4c sessions for ELL. Some students of MUE formed a student club called philosophy with students in MUE (p4s MUE) after our first experimental session. Along with Dr. Taketo Tabata and Dr. Yasushi Kobayashi in MUE, we have been working on p4c with ELL sessions online by using the app ZOOM since the first session. We are hoping to connect with students in other parts of the world through p4c dialogues.
Rika Tsuji and Benn Johnson have been teachers at Biocitizen School, in Northampton, MA, a summer camp which implements a new form of "field environmental philosophy," to educate students about their environments through "deep biotic immersion".
Local Public Schools
Dr. Adam Briggle and others also occasionally work with local K-12 school teachers in the Denton public school system to incorporate philosophical dialogues in their classrooms. They have taught lessons on the tragedy of the commons, animal ethics, and social justice.