Social Studies

Sophie's World and the History of Philosophy (Flex Schedule + Live Symposium)

Critical and outside-the-box thinkers are in dire need today. It takes openness, perseverance, and rigor. But firstly it takes a sense of wonder. Join us in reading Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, a favorite among aspiring thinkers!
Kelsey P. Payne ケルシー先生
287 total reviews for this teacher
New class

No live meetings

Over 16 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per week

How does aFlexible Schedulecourse work?

No scheduled live video chats
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great if your learner prefers independent pacing or is uncomfortable with live video chat

Available Times

Pacific Time

Mon Jun 20

Jun 20 - Oct 10 (16 weeks)
Flexible Time

Don't see a time that works for you?


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 have twice taught philosophy as a trimester-length course in public high school in addition to offering 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 its teachings into its engaging fictional plot. I have loved introducing students to the ideas 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 and PDF download and are expected to be turned in by midnight the night before class. They will be returned with corrections and comments. They will be returned with corrections and comments from the teacher. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully turn in all handouts (16 total) throughout the course.

Students will also be invited to write a final optional essay. Students 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 students 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 their resulting essay and presentation.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Homework will be given for students to fill out and turn in, to which I will be recording personalized commentaries to help guide the student along their philosophical journey. Furthermore, game-style comprehensive check for understanding (CFU, or "Mastery Check") will be given in the final lesson to review old material and test for student comprehension. A mini-Mastery Check will also be given at the end of each class as a comprehension check.

See the Homework section above for details on eligibility for certificates based on students' 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 a brief reference to nudity in the book. Besides these, it is a clean and innocent read.
Access to the book Sophie's World is a requirement for this class. 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. 


Kelsey P. Payne ケルシー先生
Lives in the United States
Japanese Studies, Philosophy, and Math Educator for First Principles Thinkers
287 total reviews
126 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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