The following programs, established elsewhere, have inspired the development of the Big Questions program.
The Philosophers in the Schools Program an initiative of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, educates graduate and undergraduate Philosophy students about ways to introduce philosophy to school classrooms, and then sends these UW students into public schools to conduct philosophy sessions.
Philosophy for Children Alberta is directed by Professor Rob Wilson and Dr John Simpson. They are currently conducting an experimental program for university learning enhancement using philosophical dialogue and undergraduate philosophy student placement in schools, “Building Collaborative Communities for Critical Inquiry“.
Philosophical Horizons, an initiative of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis, has graduate and undergraduate Philosophy students introducing philosophy to children. It particularly serves children who are socio-economically disadvantaged and who are attending under-resourced schools.
Teaching Children Philosophy is the initiative of Professor Tom Wartenberg, a leading exponent of Philosophy for Children in disadvantaged school communities. He teaches an innovative course at Mount Holyoke College, USA, in which undergraduate students teach philosophy to primary school children.
Blooming Minds is a project run by Dr Kath Jones of the University of Greenwich, UK. Selected undergraduate Philosophy students undertake placements with the Blooming Minds project, involving both theoretical study and practical experience of teaching Philosophy in school classrooms.
Philosophy Outreach at the University of Maryland, led by a cooperative group of university students, seeks to expose school students to philosophy. The cooperative seeks especially to engage students who are not offered the opportunity to study philosophy as a part of their school curriculum.