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Thomas Wartenberg

Host of Little Voices, Big Ideas

Thomas E. Wartenberg is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College. He has published two books related to the idea of philosophy for children: Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature (Rowman and Littlefield, 2nd Edition 2014), and A Sneetch is A Sneetch and Other Philosophical Discoveries: Finding Wisdom in Children’s Literature (Wiley Blackwell, 2013). The program that he founded, Teaching Children Philosophy, was awarded the 2011 APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovations in Philosophy Programs. He has created two other websites for discussing philosophy with young people: whatsthebigideaprogram.com and museumphilosophy.com. He received the 2013 Merritt Prize for his contributions to the philosophy of education. His course, Philosophy for Children, is the subject of a PBS documentary (accessible at http://wgby.org/bigideas) which won a New England Emmy in 2015.

My book choice is  Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. The stories in this book raise really important questions about central ethical concepts in our lives. The very simplicity of the stories is deceiving, for the issues that are raised are important ones: bravery, self-control, being alone, friendship. Despite being a classic, it remains relevant to students today and the concerns they have/face.