Public Philosophy

My approach to public philosophy is informed by my commitment to praxis, combining philosophical theory and practice to work toward positive change in the world. Since 2000, I have participated in and/or founded several philosophy outreach programs (in the form of community-based research projects, philosophy classes, discussion groups, curricula for use by teachers, and related activities) for K-12 schools, retirement communities, prisons, and a variety of community groups. These programs include the Salisbury University ECI Program, Philosophical Horizons (Memphis, TN), the UNC-Chapel Hill Philosophy Outreach Program, and Philosophical Ethics in Early Childhood (PA and CA, USA, and Verona, Italy).

I currently serve as President of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO), a national non-profit organization that supports the introduction of philosophy and dialogical education in K-12 classrooms. In this role, I support students, teachers, and administrators in their efforts to practice philosophy in schools.

In addition, I am founding editor of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for research on precollege and public-facing philosophy, and have published several public-focused articles on topics in ethics education, child development, and philosophy for children/pre-college philosophy:

How to Survive a Crisis: Reclaiming Philosophy as a Public Practice,” Palgrave Communications 4, (Fall 2018): online.

Toward Engaging a Broader Public: Children and Public Philosophy” (1st author, with Dr. Desiree Valentine), Public Philosophy Journal 1, no. 1 (Spring 2018): 1-14.

Community Voices: Institute Prepares Teachers to Help Students,” (with Dr. Brittney Beck), an op-ed in The Bakersfield Californian regarding the SEEDE Institute, a research and outreach initiative to support social-emotional learning and ethics education in early childhood classrooms. 

Humanities in Class: How to Think and Learn in the Humanities,” (with Allison Cohen), a chapter in this National Humanities Center open-access book on key practices and qualities of philosophy for a public audience.

How to Think Like a Philosopher in the Digital Age” (with Allison Cohen), a podcast on philosophy and technology for the National Humanities Center. 

“Ethics and Childhood: Possibilities for Preschool Ethical Development,” an article on preschool ethics education for the Centre Daily Times, 2017.

“The Real Question Is, ‘Why Not Pre-College Philosophy?,’” a post on the value of pre-college philosophy for the Blog of the American Philosophical Association, 2017.

“Why Philosophy? Why Now?,” a White Paper on the value of philosophical education in pre-college classrooms, 2016.

Interview with Engaged Philosophy, a discussion on civically-engaged philosophy and the Philosophical Ethics in Early Childhood program.

“What is Ethics Education?,” an article on the aims and purpose of ethics education for Penn State News, 2015.