Philosophy, for questioning minds – Spring Edition – 10 AM PT Thursdays


    “I really liked the Philosophy class because it allowed me to express my feelings and thoughts with other kids like me. I really liked discussing stuff with the class, and hearing other opinions. Dr. Kirsten was my teacher and she was very good and made the class fun and interesting for everyone.” ~Student T.O.


    Coming Soon

    Socrates ponders philosophical thoughts for the Philosophy course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorDr. Kirsten Stein
    Content LevelsGrades 5-6 • Upper Elementary
    Grades 6-7 • Middle School
    Grades 7-8 • Junior High
    Course Length16 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays, 10:00 - 10:50 AM Pacific - 1/25/24 - 5/18/24

    Human beings are born with a natural curiosity about the world, and questions fall from our lips as soon as we learn to talk. Wondering about things like nature, human behavior, and reality is the foundation of philosophy. From ancient Greece to the modern-day, philosophers have been debating the big questions about human life.

    At Athena’s, our students approach philosophical questions that philosophers have asked for ages. Students learn how to think carefully, critically, and with clarity. They will understand how to take a logical approach to address challenging questions and examine hard issues. They will begin to look at things from a variety of perspectives, to discuss and debate with kindness while uncovering common ground.

    Come philosophize with us and learn skills that are important for life.

    Spring discussions focus on:

    • Reality
    • Critical Thinking
    • Questions we discuss are unique to our spring semester Philosophy course and are not included in our fall or summer Philosophy courses.

    The Philosophy series follows in progression and can be taken in any order:

    • Philosophy: Fall Semester
    • Philosophy: Spring Semester
    • Philosophy: Summer Semester (8 weeks, occasionally offered)
    • The above courses may be taken in any order.

    Example questions may include:

    • Can you think about nothing at all?
    • Is it important to speak and write so you can be understood?

    Note to parents: 

    • Why we should teach philosophy to kids? Find out in this TED Blog discussing a British Journal of Educational Psychology study.
    • Check out this TED Talk about how Philosophy sparks the love of learning. Let’s spark your student’s love of learning!
    • Although some philosophies focus on religious and political points of view, religious and political points of view are not included/discussed in this course.
    • Look for Philosophy, for questioning minds – Summer Session in the summer.

    Student Testimonials:

    • “I took 32 weeks of Dr. Kirsten’s philosophy class and I can confirm that my brain doesn’t exist anymore! Lol!” ~Kylan, Athena’s student

    From one of our former Philosophy students:
    (Click the image to enlarge.)


    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Respond to 2-3 forum prompts — writing at least one five-sentence paragraph for each.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Recorded sessions are available for students with schedule conflicts. Although recorded sessions will be available, students should be able to attend at least 75% of the webinars.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • This class is discussion-based. Only students who are ready (or need minimal encouragement to become ready) to use the microphone in an online class should enroll.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a strong 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a paragraph independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Be prepared for the webinar.
    • Actively participate (via the microphone and chat) in the class discussion.
    • Verbally participate in webinar discussions – this class is discussion-based.
    • Have the desire to complete the discussion forums in the Philosophy classroom.
    • Be ready to discuss challenging topics in a respectful manner.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Parents should know: 

    • Although recorded sessions will be available, students should be able to attend at least 75% of the webinars since the courses are discussion-based.
    • Although the curriculum is written for students “10 and up,” Athena’s invites gifted students of all ages to attend.
      Our class median age range is usually 10-11 years old. 

    Required books & materials:

    • No textbook is required.
    • The philosophy class follows the curriculum guide: Philosophy for Kids by David A. White, Ph.D., Prufrock Press. There is no need to purchase the curriculum guide. Parents who choose to purchase the book should use it only to help foster further discussion after the webinar. Please avoid sharing upcoming content from the book with your child as it limits students’ thought processes during the webinar discussions. This course is for student exploration of ideas.