Partner with us
We very much welcome ideas for how to expand and improve our outreach initiatives. If you have any suggestions or questions, or if you are an educator, school administrator, program coordinator, community leader, or professional with an interest in philosophy, please contact our Outreach Director Michael Vazquez by email at email@example.com.
Our Outreach Director can put teachers in touch with specialists who can consult with them on theoretical issues or discuss practical aspects of teaching philosophy. We can help teachers to devise lesson plans and classroom activities, or to develop strategies to promote critical debate and thoughtful discussion. We can teach a short course on logical reasoning over a week; lead group debates on ethical topics during a single class period; discuss classic philosophical works or philosophical literature; run role-playing games to elucidate themes from rational-choice theory; help students to reflect on the scientific method and the sources of knowledge, and so much more.
As part of our initiative to expand access to philosophy, we look to partner with other programs, both at UNC and in the Triangle Area. Through interdisciplinary and community partnerships, we benefit from the dedication, experience, and insight of the many North Carolinians working to serve others. Also, we are able to share our time and resources with those committed to Outreach and, in doing so, we continue to expand access to philosophy in North Carolina.
The Outreach Program also seeks to help individuals on a case-by-case basis. If you are curious about philosophy but don’t know where to start, are looking for reading suggestions, want to know more about a historical philosopher, or are thinking through a moral dilemma, please feel free to contact the Outreach Director.
Here are just some examples of community partners with whom we have recently worked:
Bartlett Reserve Senior Living
C. A. Dillon Development Center
Carol Woods Retirement Community
Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
Morris Grove Elementary School
National High School Ethics Bowl
North Carolina Department of Public Safety
North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM)
Northeast Regional Library
Triangle Area Homeschool Ethics Club
UNC Office of Ethics and Policy
The philosophy department Outreach Program has enriched our discussion group, Socrates Café, by introducing both our senior community and the college students to an inter-generational set of viewpoints…it’s this exchange of ideas and opinions that keeps minds sharp and opens our world to the multi-tiered perspectives of today’s youth while offering the student participants the wisdom that comes with our age. Win-win!
– Joan Welch, Director of Life Enrichment, Alta Walk Senior Living Community
The philosophy discussion group has helped our students greatly. They receive a true understanding of what philosophy class truly covers; morality, points of view, and understanding other’s thoughts and feelings. This is not something they would normally receive in other continuing education classes. Working with the team of philosophers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the coordinating team here at Central Carolina Community College has been exceptional. The students look forward to the weekly sessions. Each week class participation increases. Students are able to express and explain their opinions in a comfortable and non-judgmental setting.
– Randy Diller, GED Instructor, Central Carolina Community College
Morehead Afterschool Program is in its second year working with the UNC-Chapel Hill Philosophy Outreach Program. During this time, Philosophy students have visited our classroom delivering educational, thought provoking lessons that our students and teachers have been engaged and impressed with. Every time they visit, we look forward to participating and learning something new.
– Kyle Hunter, Director, Morehead Afterschool Program
Participating in the outreach program allows me to get at a core part of the philosophical profession, namely, teaching people (all people!) how to think about and explore complex, important issues. Also, for me, working in isolation misses the point of philosophy, which is to engage with others to figure out how to understand and respond to the world in which we find ourselves. Everyone can get a grip on these questions, and my doing outreach gives them the chance to do so. So, I view doing outreach as part and parcel of being a philosopher.
– Jen Kling, UNC-Chapel Hill Philosophy Graduate Student and Outreach Volunteer
A thoughtful conversation about an interesting philosophical puzzle can benefit many populations in many ways. For some, employing the tools of philosophical reasoning generates ideas for college admissions essays. For some, it encourages more reflective decision making. For some, it represents an opportunity to consider a lifetime of experiences in a new way. Finding out about the various ways in which the groups I work with find value in philosophical inquiry is my favorite part of participating in outreach.
– Lindsay Brainard, UNC-Chapel Hill Philosophy Graduate Student and Outreach Volunteer
I am the moderator for the Socrates Cafe discussion group in the Arbor Walk retirement facility. We average 10 well educated participants each week. We all have enjoyed having Michael Burroughs of UNC join us. We appreciate the input from 2 generations younger and his efforts to steer us to the philosophical view from the mundane current events. Those efforts cause us to think more deeply.I hope that the UNC Department of Philosophy will provide us with similar talent next term.
– Joseph G Walsh, Moderator for the Socrates Cafe Discussion Group
– A video testimonial from our first-grade friends at Durham Academy.
Who would have guessed that a class of first graders could understand or be responsive to things that philosophers talk about? The time UNC Philosophy Outreach coordinator Michael Burroughs and his volunteers spent with our class laid bare an amazing capacity that even 6 year olds have, to grasp the complexity of meanings. They guided our students to ponder and explain how different perspectives lead to different opinions and feelings. The children perceived that these differences deserve careful and caring examination – that there may be many ways to resolve a difference, perceive a scenario or express feelings of love and gratitude.
– Rosemary L. Nye, First Grade Teacher at Durham Academy