Philosophy as a Required Course at Columbia Secondary School

During the 2012-2013 school year, Outreach Fellows Jessica Davis and Michael Schapira observed classes and facilitated a homework study group with the ninth graders of Columbia Secondary School — a school which uniquely offers philosophy courses to grades six through twelve. Philosophy instructor Diana Senechal created the high school curriculum, which includes an impressive spectrum of philosophy readings, including names as diverse as Buber and Tolstoy.

Professor Senechal has gained permission to allow us to share with you some work written by her students. You can find a sample of her student’s work in ethics here (with some context about the piece, written by Senechal, here). You may also peruse some of Senechal’s own perspectives on education, as a high school philosophy teacher, on her blog. We hope that some of Senechal’s students will consider submitting their essays to the upcoming PLATO 2013-2014 High School Essay Contest, for which it seems they are well suited to compete.

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