APA Conference Report (Part 2):


One of the great features of APA conferences is the APA-AAPT Teaching Hub sessions. The AAPT (American Association of Philosophy Teachers) is dedicated to the teaching of philosophy and the Teaching Hub at this year’s APA Eastern had a number of interesting panels. The AAPT also collaborates with PLATO (Philosophy and Learning Teaching Organization) which advocates and supports pre-college philosophy, and P4Y was very happy and grateful to participate in a PLATO-sponsored panel focused on introducing and discussing our own work!

This event took place January 9, 2020. 5:30–7:30 p.m., and was organized by PLATO board members Roberta Israeloff (Squire Family Foundation) and Stephen Miller (Oakwood Friends School, Marist College). Stephen Miller chaired the session.

There were three presentations. Karen Detlefsen (Professor of Philosophy and Education at Penn and P4Y Director) gave an overview of P4Y and its growing list of initiatives and collaborations. She also went into more depth on our work with K-12 teachers in Philadelphia toward developing philosophically rich lesson plans and curricula (working in conjunction with the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia). Dustin Webster (Penn Graduate School of Education and P4Y Instructor) spoke about our work on the High School Ethics Bowl. Aided by Penn students enrolled in a special ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course, we have worked as coaches and facilitators with area high school students to form teams for a new Philadelphia regional ethics bowl (taking place February 8th!). Steve Esser (P4Y Associate Director) then discussed the lesson plans developed for a Philosophy and Ethics of Science high school course. This is currently being taught (as an 8-week elective “mini-course”) to 9th graders at the Science Leadership Academy.

The presentation was attended by a wide-ranging group of people involved in pre-college philosophy and the rich discussion that ensued was extremely valuable to our efforts. Thank you to the planners and to all the great participants!