Thomas Wartenberg
Mount Holyoke College

For nearly twenty years, I have been working with elementary schools to bring philosophy to young children. My interest in this project began when my son, now 22, first entered kindergarten. In light of the cuts to the local school budget, I thought that a picture book-based philosophy program might enhance important aspects of the curriculum that were in danger of being eliminated. After doing a workshop with teachers at my son’s school, the Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton, MA, I began working with a second grade teacher at the school, Mary Cowhey. We met weekly to plan classes, after which I would work alongside her with the children.

That was a pretty modest beginning and I had no additional aspirations for working with young children. But at every step, I have been propelled to increase my involvement in this project by the interest and support it has elicited until it has become one of my primary areas of teaching and writing. And I am now heavily involved in what I have come to understand is a worldwide movement to introduce philosophy into pre-college classrooms.

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  Thomas Wartenberg / The American Society for Aesthetics ©2016

courtesy of  The American Society of Aesthetics ©2016