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Resource Guide for Having Philosophical Discussions of Children's Stories

Resource Guide for the Philosophical Discussion  of Children's Stories


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Five honors students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, met with me once a week during the Spring Semester, 2003, to begin the creation of philosophical discussion materials to go with conventional children's stories. By 'conventional children's stories' I mean stories that were not written specifically for the purpose of initiating philosophical discussions with children. These students each chose two or three stories on which to develop questions that could inspire a teacher (or a parent) to have a philosophical discussion with a child or group of children. The Discussion Guides for the 14 stories those honors students chose constitute the Resource Guide in this, its first phase. I hope my students and I will be able to enlarge the Guide in the months ahead.


This project continues an effort I began with Sundance Press two decades ago. Under the trade name, Wise Owl, two colleagues and I produced discussion materials for 10 stories, which were then published by Sundance Press. Alas! those materials are now out of print. I hope to be able to add at least some of them to this Resource Guide in the not too distant future.


Comments about this project and suggestions for how it could be developed or improved are welcome. Please send them to Gary Matthews at matthews@philos.umass.edu.


                                                                                              Gareth B. Matthews

                                                                                              Professor of Philosophy


                                                                                              3 June 2003