1st Edition

The Examined Life Advanced Philosophy for Kids (Grades 7-12)

By David A. White Copyright 2005
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In this book, the follow-up to the best-sellingPhilosophy for Kids, Dr. David White delves deeper into the philosophical questions kids (and adults) care about deeply. Through vibrant discussions and debate, the book offers ways teachers can help students grapple with age-old questions about the nature of friendship (Aristotle), time (Augustine), knowledge (Plato), existence of God (Aquinas), perception (Berkeley), freedom and society (Rousseau), and many more.

    The book is divided into three sections. Part 1 presents primary source readings that will encourage discussion and debate; Part 2 offers easy-to-use activities that focus on the direct application of philosophy to areas such as critical thinking, language, and the arts; and Part 3 offers a unique perspective just for teachers—a philosophical look at how teachers can become more reflective philosophers themselves. This is an excellent teachers' handbook for using advanced philosophy in the classroom.

    Grades 7-12

    Preface Acknowledgments General Introduction The Genesis and Scope of This Book Suggestions for Using This Book Part I: Kids and Philosophy Introduction: Young Students and the Adventure of Philosophy Reasons to Study Philosophy Elements of Philosophy Primary Source Philosophy The Readings—Principles of Selection and Organization Some Ideas on Presenting or Teaching Philosophy Chapter 1 “Who Are My Friends Friendship (Aristotle) Chapter 2 “Where Has the Time Gone Time (Augustine) Chapter 3 “Do We Really Know What We Think We Know Knowledge (Plato) Chapter 4 Younger Students and the Existence of God Existence of God (Aquinas) Chapter 5 The Sound of a Tree Falling in the Forest . . Perception (Berkeley) Chapter 6 “I Don’t Want to Do What the Class Wants to Do Freedom and Society (Rousseau) Chapter 7 Freedom and Responsibility: Existentialism and Young Students Choice (Jean-Paul Sartre) Chapter 8 On Social Justice in a Violent World Social Justice and Nonviolence (Martin Luther King) Chapter 9 Feminism and Social Justice Feminism (bell hooks) Chapter 10 Technology: Servant or Destroyer Technology (Martin Heidegger) Part II: Education as Applied Philosophy Chapter 11 Critical Thinking and Artistic Creation Activity—Drama Chapter 12 The Oldest Cave Art: On Giftedness and Excellence Activity—Drawing Chapter 13 The Philosophy of French Funetics: An Essay in Applied Gifted Intelligence Activity—Language Acquisition Chapter 14 “The Bohemian Life”: Opera and Gifted Education Activity—Music Part III: A Philosophical Postlude Chapter 15 Gifted Education: The Event—and Advent—of Theory Chapter 16 “Edutainment”: Gifted Education and the Perils of Misusing Multiple Intelligences Chapter 17 Philosophy and Theory in the Study of Gifted Students Epilogue: Philosophical Visions and the Challenge of Education Additional Readings in Philosophy Index About the Author Common Core State Standards Alignment


    David A. White has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto and has taught philosophy in colleges and universities since 1967. He has written nine books and over 50 articles in philosophy, literary criticism and educational theory. In 1985, he received a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to study the function of myth in Platoís philosophy. Since 1993, he has taught programs in philosophy for the gifted centers and various magnet schools of the Chicago Public School system, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago and Northwestern Universityís Center for Talent Development, grades 4-9. David is married to a philosopher, Mary Jeanne Larrabee, and has two sons, Daniel and Colin, both of whom, as demonstrated by their advanced knowledge of mathematics and the principles of computer science, are much smarter than he is.

    "Author Dr. David White has provided teachers an engaging way to help students work through many philosophical theories and questions. The Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids, is divided into three sections which focus on readings that will encourage classroom debate, activities that apply philosophical theories to critical thinking, language and the arts, and suggestions on how teachers can become more reflective philosophers themselves." – Davidson Institute for the Gifted, 1/1/06

    "For teachers familiar with the Community of Inquiry approach used in many philosophy for children activities, this book is worth examining. It provides an alternative approach that focuses directly on philosophical issues as raised by noted philosophers. In the hands of gifted teachers, White's approach to philosophy for children, especially for gifted students, may encourage a childhood study of philosophy more akin to philosophy as done in many college classrooms. This can be a plus as long as the disparity between intellect and character is avoided." – James S. Kelly, Teaching Philosophy, 6/1/07

    "White, a professor of philosophy with loads of teaching experience, breathes life into the ideas of some of history's greatest thinkers. If you are already familiar with White's popular work, Philosophy for Kids, you'll notice the format in The Examined Life differs dramatically. This is a teacher's guide. It is written for educators and is not intended to be used by students independently. Prior experience with Philosophy for Kids, while complementary, is certainly not necessary… The Examined Life is a unique resource designed to develop students' critical thinking. The lessons it contains are likely to ignite curiosity and lead to lively discussions in your homeschool. I can't wait to get started on this with my son!" – Rebecca Pickens, home | school | life magazine, 3/10/16