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Philosophy, Critical Thinking, and Topical Discussions for Middle Schoolers

In each weekly class, middle schoolers will explore a new topic ranging from nature to technology, and then participate in philosophical discourse with peers. Open-mindedness is encouraged here! Join during any week!
Mrs. Baker
236 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 2 learners
55 minutes
per class
Once per week
every week
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does an "Ongoing" course work?

Meets on a weekly schedule, join any week, no need to catch up on previous material
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Automatic payment every Sunday, cancel any time
Great for clubs and for practicing skills

How Outschool Works

Available Times


Next on Thu, Oct 6

Meets Once per week
3:00 – 3:55 PM

Next on Fri, Oct 7

Meets Once per week
3:00 – 3:55 PM

Next on Tue, Oct 11

Meets Once per week
10:00 – 10:55 AM
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

Students will explore new topics through public internet sources.
Students will practice critical thinking through group discussions. 
I am licensed to teach K-6, and am also a trained team building facilitator, having facilitated team building activities including low and high ropes courses for participants from elementary through high school.  

I was trained in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) Hawaii method through my former school district as well as through a professional development college credit course in P4C Hawaii.  As a classroom teacher, I used P4C in my classes daily with a variety of student ages for the past 3 years.  I have observed and participated in P4C discussions with students from Kindergarten through High School. 

I am not affiliated with P4C Hawaii or, nor do I use any copyright protected material, curriculum, or names.  P4C is just an abbreviated form of the longer title and a methodology for philosophical discussions. 
Students may benefit from keeping a P4C journal to record topics, thoughts, and questions about ideas shared in class.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
There is no formal assessment in this class, but this class is performance based.  Parents will be notified if their student is not participating in class discussions. 
55 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
OVERVIEW:  To stimulate topic questions for discussion, an image, news article, or video clip may be used.   This is an important part of rich philosophical discussion and provides the platform for student created questions rather than predetermined teacher made questions.  The stimuli are selected to stimulate thinking, NOT incite an emotional response. Because I want the students to create questions based on their reactions to the stimuli,  it is impossible to predict what questions students will generate and what question the class will vote to discuss.   

We will use Google Jamboard to pose potential discussion questions, and to collect votes.  Students do not need an account to use Google Jamboard, however some students/devices may have trouble using the Jamboard.  In this case, students can still participate by posing questions in the chat. 

CONTENT: Rest assured that stimuli I provide will never be pornographic, obscene, or overly graphic, however there is potential for it to be upsetting to some.  I will NOT show stimuli specific to controversial topics such as race, gender identity, abortion, politics, or religion.  The stimuli will be primarily about science and nature, weather related events, pollution, climate change, or emerging scientific discoveries such as robotics and automation.  BUT, the topics presented may lead to discussions that touch on the above by peers in the group. 

DISCLAIMER:  I am not an expert in any of the topics presented during our 24 week cycle.  Instead, I am a fellow-learner, exploring content from internet resources to learn about specific topics.  

SAFETY: In all situations, I will be facilitating healthy discussions that cultivate open mindedness and tolerance to opposing views.  If the discourse begins to veer into inappropriate content, or begins to produce significant emotional disturbance, I will terminate the topic or redirect the conversation.  If specific students become inappropriate they will first be moved to the waiting room and given a warning via messaging. If it continues they will be removed from the group.  Intellectual and emotional safety is of utmost importance to the success of our discussions.   The purpose here is to develop rational thinkers that apply philosophical reasoning rather than emotion and assumptions to help them think about, and understand, the world. 

When in doubt, please reach out!  Specific resources for each week can be provided in advance upon request.   


Mrs. Baker
Lives in the United States
Critical Thinkers and Creative Problem Solvers
236 total reviews
378 completed classes

About Me

Aloha!  My name is Ronda Baker.  I am a native to Hawaii; born and raised on the island of Oahu.  I am a licensed public school teacher and have taught grades K, 1, 4, 5, and 6.  I am also a homeschool mom, so I understand both educational... 
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