The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children pursues a three-fold mission:
- Publish systematic curriculum and teacher preparation materials in Philosophy for Children, inquiry-based teaching, classroom dialogue and multi-dimensional thinking and contract for the translation, cultural adaptation and publication of these materials by IAPC Affiliate Centers;
- Offer a number of forums of professional development in these areas;
- Partner with schools and other institutions to conduct courses and comprehensive programs in these areas for students of all ages;
- Consult with universities that offer Philosophy for Children courses and degree programs; and
- Coordinate this work with that of IAPC Affiliate Centers, universities with Philosophy for Children courses and degree programs, and regional and international Philosophy for Children organizations.
Dissemination and Professional Affiliation
- Promote the work of the IAPC and its Affiliate Centers by conducting demonstrations and awareness sessions at schools and other venues, by producing various media including websites, brochures, newsletters, conference displays, and by appearances in television, radio and other news media;
- Establish memberships, partnerships and other kinds of affiliation with academic, professional, governmental and non-governmental organizations whose work is closely related to the work of the IAPC, as has been done, e.g. with the American Philosophical Association, the Great Britain and U.S. Philosophy of Education Societies, the American Educational Research Association, UNESCO, the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP), the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the Squire Foundation, state and federal departments of education, the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, the New Jersey Center for Character Education, the New Jersey Network for Educational Renewal, and national, regional and international Philosophy for Children organizations.
- Facilitate and encourage theoretical scholarship and empirical research in teaching pre-college philosophy and in educational philosophy, defined as the use of philosophy for obtaining educational objectives including multi-dimensional (critical, creative and caring) thinking, social democracy, and moral and aesthetic judgment;
- Invite visiting scholars to study and to conduct research at the IAPC;
- Investigate alternative approaches to pre-college philosophy;
- Coordinate this work among IAPC Affiliate Centers, universities with Philosophy for Children courses and degree programs, and regional and international Philosophy for Children organizations; and
- Disseminate IAPC-sponsored research in academic and professional venues in philosophy and education
The primary constituency the IAPC aims to serve is schoolchildren—from pre-schoolers to high schoolers and from schools close to the Institute to schools in the 40-odd nations with active Philosophy for Children centers. In addition to working directly with schoolchildren, members of the IAPC work with several constituencies, including professional and pre-professional educators, educational administrators and policy-makers, and faculty and students of education, philosophy and related disciplines.