Image of children sitting on the floor in a classroom, raising their arms.

Philosophy in the Schools

Philosophy in the Schools is the model for partnerships among the IAPC and primary and secondary schools in the region of Montclair State University. This model contemplates two levels of school participation in Philosophy for Children (P4C) as well as ways in which individual teachers who do not belong to such schools may participate.

Philosophy for Children is most successful when it becomes part of the culture of a school. For this reason, the IAPC prefers to establish new relationships with cohorts of teachers within a school. Each new partner school begins as a “First-Tier School” with the expectation of becoming a “Second-Tier School” at some point. Teachers from schools without such a cohort may participate by joining a First-Tier School cohort.

First-Tier Schools

The relationship with each school may be somewhat different, but is described generally in the following guidelines:

  • A cohort of at least eight teachers in the school commit to learning and practicing P4C for at least one school year.
  • The IAPC gives introductory workshops in P4C and classroom communities of inquiry at the school.
  • IAPC-certified graduate students conduct P4C once per week in each classroom of cohort teachers.
  • Each cohort teacher leads an additional philosophy session in her/his classroom once per week with periodic supervision.
  • The cohort has regular (bi-weekly) Philosophy for Teachers (P4T) meetings for the first year, with one or more IAPC personnel attending. These may be structured as study groups and may bear credit toward Montclair State’s P4C Certificate Program.
  • Cohort teachers participate in IAPC evaluations of students, graduate students, and themselves.
  • The IAPC offers follow-up workshops, mini-courses, conferences, etc. to support new cohorts and to introduce First-Tier schools to the wider P4C community.

Second-Tier Schools

Second-Tier Schools enter the strongest partnership with the IAPC, as described in the following guidelines:

  • A cohort of teachers in the school practices philosophy in their classrooms with periodic supervision or assistance from the IAPC.
  • The cohort organizes its own Philosophy for Teachers program, which may be structured as study groups, research groups, or Montclair State off-campus courses. IAPC staff is available for assistance. Experienced P4C teachers in non-participating schools may be invited to join these P4T communities.
  • Second-Tier schools have ongoing support from the IAPC including visits from IAPC staff, refresher workshops and invitations to IAPC events.
  • Teachers perform regular evaluation studies of philosophy in their classrooms, with IAPC assistance.
  • Teachers open their classrooms for Montclair State University doctoral student research.
  • Experienced P4C Teachers supervise Montclair State graduate students in their first semesters of practicing P4C with children, with the oversight of IAPC staff.
  • Experienced P4C Teachers supervise P4C Student Teachers.
  • Experienced P4C Teachers help other teachers in the school who begin practicing philosophy.
  • Experienced P4C Teachers may be invited to assist in workshops, teaching mini-courses, writing papers, conducting research, etc. for the IAPC.
  • Second-Tier schools are demonstration sites for IAPC visitors (local, national and global).

Teachers involved in either First-Tier or Second-Tier schools earn Professional Development Hours.

The cost of becoming a First or Second-Tier School varies depending on the number of teachers involved, the availability of P4C Graduate Students, and the arrangements made between the teachers and the school districts. The costs of the initial workshop and for follow-up workshops are:

  • Curriculum materials needed for teacher workshops and for classroom use
  • Travel and per diem expenses for IAPC Staff, if applicable