Philosophy 11-18 | F18

Ages: 11-18
Day, Time: fridays, 10:45-11:45
Location: computer room
COST: $95


Debi Talukdar

Debi Talukdar is a Ph.D candidate at the College of Education, University of Washington. Her research focuses on using philosophical inquiry in teacher professional development. She is also a philosophy teacher and board member with the UW Center for Philosophy for Children through which she regularly facilitates philosophy sessions at various schools in Seattle. Additionally, Debi teaches on-site and online introductory courses in the Early Childhood and Family Studies program at the UW College of Education. Previously, she has worked with teachers and students at schools in India, and with the residential childcare system in the UK. When she is not working Debi enjoys yoga, theater, and taiko drumming.

class description

What is fairness? Who decides what is normal? Who am I? Students wonder about philosophical questions that explore fundamental ideas about the human condition all the time. While philosophical questions are not easily answered, they lend themselves to rich reflection since there are multiple ways in which they can be considered. Thinking about these questions collaboratively in a community of inquiry bolsters students’ abilities to reason deeply about their values and assumptions; construct sound and valid arguments; and evaluate the arguments of others while respecting perspectives different from their own – skills essential to becoming critical, creative, and analytic thinkers. Philosophy also cultivates better listeners, and more thoughtful contributors to discussions. Through personal and group reflection, students have the opportunity to co-construct knowledge. I will be bringing in new material so the class is appropriate for both new and returning philosophers.

A typical session begins with the presentation of a thought-provoking prompt – a story, an activity, or a thought experiment. Students will then identify questions the prompt raises for them, which eventually lead to a student dialog facilitated by the instructor. At the end of the session, we will think about what conclusions have been drawn, what questions we continue to wonder about, and where the discussion has left us. We will often engage in short in-class writing assignments where students reflect individually on the questions brought up in session. I will not lecture on traditional philosophy, but I may sometimes refer to various thinkers’ ideas in the course of discussion to help students consider various viewpoints. There is no assessment on this course but we will dedicate our last session to consider the depth and breadth of thinking we’ve covered.

Required Skills for Students to Be Successful in This Class:

Compliance with Family Rights & Responsibilities.



field trips:


additional fees/supplies:

Students will be expected to bring their own writing utensil.

parent involvement:

This class is intended for students only.

Age Variances:

Please see our Age Variance Policy.