Philosophy & Ethics For Teens


Philosophy & Ethics For Teens

We are excited to launch our Polis Philosophy & Ethics for Teens course in January 2016! The Philosophy & Ethics for Teens class is a dynamic, discussion-based course. Polis facilitators use text, film, and music to help teens grapple with important questions such as:

  • Truth: Is lying always wrong?
  • Love: What is love? Can teens feel “real love”?
  • Justice: What would happen if there were not governments? Is justice universal? Are fairness and justice the same thing? Is equal always just?
  • Art and Beauty: What is the purpose of art? Is beauty universal?
  • Meaning: What is the “good life”? How should teens define meaning in their lives?
  • Technology: Does modern technology makes us more or less connected?  What are the ethical issues that technology presents in our lives?
  • Other topics and questions of interest to the students in the group.

The skills that we will focus on in class are:

  • Face-to-face conversation and interpersonal communication
  • Conveying complex ideas
  • Building relationships through conversation and grappling with big ideas
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading and analyzing texts and opinions different than our own
  • Developing logic and reasoning abilities

Why take this course?

  • Believe it or not, philosophy and ethics can be fun! The group will engage in lively and thought-provoking conversations, riddles, thought exercises
  • Be a part of a community of teens from all over the Bay Area who are interested in diving into meaningful and complicated conversations and big ideas
  • Many high schools don’t offer philosophy or ethics as courses and this is a chance to be exposed to philosophical thinking before college
  • This course will augment any high school student’s college application portfolio because participation demonstrates a distinct interest and a commitment to exploring complex academic work outside of the school day

About Polis for Teens Facilitators:

The facilitators for the Polis for Teens courses are each experienced high school and/or college teachers who have a wide range of classroom experiences in both public and private schools. Our teaching philosophy is centered on the premise that learning should be interactive and responsive to the interests and questions of the students. There are no grades given in a Polis course and this fact allows much more freedom and experimentation in terms of student learning.

Structure of the Course:

Polis for Teens meets once per week for 2 hours, from 5-7. Each course sequence runs for 5 consecutive weeks. The class includes pizza for dinner!

How Much Does This Course Cost?

Each Polis class runs for 5 consecutive weeks. We have a tiered pricing structure because we want to encourage participation from a wide range of students.

  • The general course course is $400/per course sequence (includes pizza dinner)
  • Sliding scale course fee is $300/per course sequence (includes pizza dinner). This fee is for families who earn less than $60,000 per year. We trust that parents will be honest when selecting this option and we don’t do any type of income verification.
  • No cost: If a family is unable to pay the cost of the course but believe their child would be an excellent addition to the Polis course discussion, please contact Mary at We have a limited number of no cost registrations given out on a first come, first served basis.

San Francisco Course:

Dates for the 5 Week San Francisco Course:

Tuesday, January 12th, 5:00-7:00 PM

Tuesday January 19th, 5:00-7:00 PM

Tuesday January 26th, 5:00-7:00 PM

Tuesday February 2nd, 5:00-7:00 PM

Tuesday Feb. 9th, 5:00-7:00 PM

SF Course Location:

The Women’s Building at 18th & Valencia St, 2 blocks from 16th & Mission BART.

Register for SF Course Today!
Eventbrite - Philosophy & Ethics for Teens: SF Class (open to all teens!)

East Bay Course

Dates for the 5 Week East Bay Course:

Thursday Feb. 4th  5:00-7:00

Thursday Feb. 11th 5:00-7:00

Thursday Feb. 18th 5:00-7:00

Thursday Feb. 25th: 5:00- 7:00

Thursday March 10th 5:00-7:00 (please note that we will not have class on Thursday, March 3)

East Bay Course Location:

1300 Clay St., Ste. 600, Oakland, CA. This location is 3 blocks from the 12th St BART.

Register for East Bay Course Today!

Eventbrite - Philosophy & Ethics for Teens: East Bay Class (open to all teens!)

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