Volume 3, Spring 2021
David J. Anderson, Patricia N. Holte, Joseph Maffly-Kipp, Daniel Conway, Claire Elise Katz
, Rebecca J. Schlegel
The Development of Intellectual Humility as an Impact of a Week-Long Philosophy Summer Camp for Teens and Tweens
This paper examines the impact of a week-long philosophy summer camp on middle and high school-age youth with specific attention paid to the development of intellectual humility in the campers. In June 2016 a university in Texas hosted its first philosophy summer camp for youth who had just completed sixth through twelfth grades. Basing our camp on the pedagogical model of the Philosophy for Children program, our aim was specifically to develop a community of inquiry among the campers, providing them with a safe intellectual space to be introduced to philosophy and philosophical discussion. In 2017 we launched a formal longitudinal study to determine what impact a week-long philosophy summer camp would have on teens and tweens. Examining quantitative and qualitative data collected from 2016–2020, we found that the camp has had a significant impact on the teenagers who have attended. In particular, we found that intellectual humility increased over the duration of their camp experience and that this increase correlates with an increased affinity for philosophy and philosophical discussion.