LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

close up of philosophy books

A motlied assortment of philosophy books. (Image source. More about the photograph)

Resource type:

Online resources

Organizations with teaching resources

Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO)
PLATO is a non-profit organization that endeavors to support and encourage pre-college philosophy instruction. The website contains lesson plans, activities, web resources, and blogs. Check out their page, Teaching High School Philosophy, for high school specific tips.

Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children
This non-profit organization is affiliated with University of Washington’s Department of Philosophy. Their website contains lesson plans, classroom activities, podcasts, reading lists, and a blog related to age-appropriate philosophical concepts.
The Squire Family Foundation
This nonprofit organization endeavors to encourage and support philosophy instruction in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Find links to excellent philosophy resources and access comprehensive modules in a variety of philosophical areas, from Aesthetics to Epistemology.
American Association of Philosophy Teachers
This professional organization is dedicated to the advancement of teaching philosophy. Find teaching materials and lesson ideas in their Teaching Resource Repository.

Websites with teaching resources

Teach Philosophy 101
This website provides a vast array of resources for those who teach philosophy to older students. Find pointers for writing an effective syllabus and learn techniques for encouraging class discussion. This extensive resource also provides sample quiz questions, discussion topics, “change-of-pace exercises,” and tips for teaching different types of students.
Philosopher’s Club
This website includes tips and resources for educators on how to start a philosopher’s club for young people. Resources include guides, sample discussion questions, reading lists, film clips, and a detailed explanation of the Socratic Method.

Contests

Kids Philosophy Slam
The goal of this organization is to inspire kids to think on a deeper level. They hold yearly contests to find “The Most Philosophical Student in America.” Students apply by answering a philosophical question through writing, artwork, or music.
High-Phi
This UVA-sponsored project supports philosophy instruction in American high schools. In addition to providing a variety of piquant articles and links for teachers, it offers an annual essay contest for students.

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Instructional guides

High school-specific

Philosophy for Teens: Questioning Life’s Big Ideas by Sharon M. Kaye and Paul Thomson
This book offers an in-depth, teenager-friendly look at the philosophy behind everyday issues.
More Philosophy for Teens: Examining Reality and Knowledge by Sharon M. Kaye and Paul Thomson
A companion to the best-selling Philosophy for Teens, this book tackles the topics of reality and knowledge in a conversational style that teenagers will appreciate.
The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking by Stephen Law
This book is a good resource for high school teachers interested in introducing philosophy into their classrooms.

General

The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom
by Peter Worley
British philosopher, Peter Worley, is the founder of the Philosophy Shop, a community interest company that advocates for philosophy instruction in primary schools. In this book, Worley discusses the rationale for teaching philosophy to younger students, and explains his unique approach to instruction.
The Philosophy Shop: Ideas, Activities, and Questions to Get People, Young and Old, Thinking Philosophically edited by Peter Worley
This book is an excellent resource for teachers interested in introducing philosophy into their classrooms. It contains discussion questions and activities relating to numerous areas of philosophy (ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, etc.). It is relevant for teachers at elementary, middle, and high school academic levels.
Philosophy in Schools: An Introduction for Philosophers and Teachers edited by Sara Goering, Nicholas J. Shudak, and Thomas E. Wartenberg
This book includes resources for and justifications of pre-college philosophy at elementary, middle, and high school academic levels.
Philosophy in the Classroom by Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp, and Frederick S. Oscanyan
This is a classic book in the world of pre-college philosophy/philosophy for children. It offers justifications for teaching philosophy to children and a detailed philosophy for children curriculum (for elementary, middle, and high school students), as well as arguing for radical changes to our public education system.
Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People edited by Jana Mohr Lone and Roberta Israeloff
This book includes resources for and justifications of pre-college philosophy at elementary, middle, and high school academic levels.

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Books & magazines

Novels providing an introduction to philosophy

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
This cerebral and entertaining tome provides a thorough introduction to Western philosophy. Gaardner uses an engaging coming of age story as the vehicle for his exploration into some of the most fundamental questions in our universe.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
This contemplative narrative traces the physical and emotional journey of a father and son across the American Northwest. A modern classic, Pirsig’s book explores life’s fundamental questions.

Books for fun

Magazines

Imagine Magazine: April 2010 Edition
This particular issue of Imagine, a magazine published by Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth, is focused entirely on pre-college philosophy instruction. Find such articles as “Robots, Zombies, and Descartes” and “Harry Potter and Plato.”

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Podcasts

Ethics Bites podcast: The full series
Working in conjunction with the Institute of Philosophy, philosopher-authors David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton provide five-minute discussions on a variety of ethical issues. This series, which consists of 14 interviews, includes transcripts and a short introductory conversation with Nigel Warburton.
Philosophy Bites
In this free podcast series, David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton interview eminent philosophers on a variety of philosophical topics. Oxford University Press has published a book based on the series, Philosophy Bites.
The Philosopher’s Zone
This weekly radio program, produced by Australia’s ABC Radio National, features engaging philosophical conversations on a wide array of themes. An RSS feed is also available.
Philosophy Talk
Hosted by distinguished philosophy professors Ken Taylor and John Perry, this weekly podcast series covers a variety of intellectually stimulating topics. Click here to listen to it live.
Defining Science - Barbara Forrest: “Only a Theory” (Grades 9-12; Science)
Philosophy professors consider the nature of scientific inquiry in this series of short podcasts. (Philosophy of Science)

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Film

Philosophical Installations
This website, funded by University of Oregon’s Department of Philosophy, provides open access to over 1500 online philosophy videos. Videos are conveniently searchable by topic and thinker.
20 Brain-Bending TED Talks for Philosophy Students
Listen to scientists, academics, and philosophers discuss a variety of complex philosophical topics.
Philosophical Films
This nonprofit organization provides educational resources for teaching philosophy through film. The site contains synopses, reviews, and discussion questions for over 50 contemporary and classic movies that deal with philosophical issues.
The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay
This short claymation film depicts an excerpt from Plato’s Republic, “The Allegory of the Cave.” (History of Philosophy)
The Elegant Universe - Einstein’s Dream (Grades 9-12; Science)
The Elegant Universe series endeavors to explain underlying principles of string theory. (Philosophy of Science)

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