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Social Studies

Philosophy for Real! (Flex Schedule + Weekly Office Hours)

Introduce your learner to the deep and inspiring world of philosophical thinking. Together we will read, write about, and discuss the ideas and concepts found in Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, a favorite among aspiring future thinkers.
Mr. Kelsey P. ケルシー先生
333 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 8 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$12 per week
Flexible schedule
Over 16 weeks
No live meetings

There are no open spots for this class.

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Class Experience

Our primary objective in this course is to gain an preliminary understanding of many of the most important developments in the history of philosophy through this introductory text. We will also be exploring what plot devices and other techniques are used by the author (Jostein Gaarder) to convey his profound concepts on the nature of "literary realism" and philosophy of mind. Students who complete this course are likely to be well ahead of their peers in being familiar with ideas and movements in philosophy and history, as well as being aware of the many ways philosophers have exercised critical thinking and reasoning to contribute to the broader conversation throughout the course of Western civilization.
I graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College magna cum laude in 2006  with a degree in philosophy and additional minors in Japanese studies and religion. I also studied Zen Buddhism and Japanese language abroad at Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka. 

As part of my philosophy degree, I am trained in critical thinking, analytical essay writing, and formal predicate logic and was further enriched by my enrollment in the school’s "Curriculum II" program (now called the "Three Crowns Curriculum") for interdisciplinary academics. My inspiration for becoming an educator was drawn from flame to fire through the opportunity to present my undergraduate thesis (on the speculative consequences of meme theory) to a panel in the Minnesota Students Society of Philosophy the purposes of an honors addendum to my major. 

I have twice taught philosophy as a trimester-length course in public high school in addition to offering it and other philosophy courses here on Outschool. 

I have found Sophie's World to be a wonderful segue into this deep and important discipline in its ability to incorporate the ideas of philosophy into its engaging fictional plot. I have loved introducing students to the concepts and movements of thought that have shaped our world and continue to shape it today. I truly believe that it is the philosophical thinkers who will be the best candidates for world leaders and global problem solvers in the years to come. 
Each weekly reading installment comprises 2-3 chapters of the book. 

Additionally, a handout of comprehension questions and journal prompts regarding the next installment each week will be available in the class forum for completing at each student's earliest convenience. These handouts are offered through both Google Docs. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully turn in all handouts (15 total) and score 80% or above on at least two of the four total assessments throughout the course.

Learners will also be invited to write a final optional essay. Learners are expected to discuss and collaborate with the teacher and each other in the writing of the final essay which will be presented to other learners and the teacher during the Student Symposium held on Day 17. A Certificate of Excellence for the course will be awarded based on the quality of the essay and presentation in addition to turning in at least 10 free responses to journal prompts of 200+ word count each and scoring 95% on at least one of the four total assessments throughout the course.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Journal prompts will be given for learners to fill out and turn in to help guide learners along their philosophical journey. Every fourth lesson (comprising a quarter of the full length of the course) will be followed by a 20 to 45-minute assessment as well over material from the chapters leading up to it.

See the Homework section above for details on eligibility for certificates based on learners' comprehension-based work throughout the course.
No live meetings, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
There are one or two words of light swearing, and some brief references to nudity and sexuality in the book. Three out of the 16 lectures also spend a fraction of the time talking about the nature and effects of the political philosophy of Marx and psychosexual development according to Freud. These lectures include disclaimers at the beginning of the videos, as well as timestamps of what portions of the lecture to expect such sensitive content, for your ease and convenience.

Sophie's World, and philosophy itself, is often reported as a life-changing experience, and as such, I the teacher strongly recommends parents make themselves available to their learners through the length of the course to openly discuss and reflect on the lessons and content as we move through them.
Access to the book Sophie's World is a requirement for this course. You can borrow a copy from your local library or buy your own copy here:

Note: I offer this link as an affiliate of Amazon's, meaning that, while you do not pay more for the book, Amazon pays me a small commission for recommending your purchase. Any commissions received helps me afford to making teaching and tutoring a sustainable means of income for me, however, you are never required in my classes to make purchases through this means if it does not suit you to do so. 


Mr. Kelsey P. ケルシー先生
Lives in the United States
Japanese Studies, Philosophy, and Math Educator for First Principles Thinkers
333 total reviews
145 completed classes

About Me

At a Glance

 + Magna cum laude graduate in philosophy with honors and concentrations in Japanese studies and religion
 + Praxis II 5161 (Mathematics Content Knowledge) certification-holder
 + 2nd Highest Level JLPT (Japanese... 
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