Volume 20, Issue 2, June 1997
Robert Figueroa, Sara Goering
The Summer Philosophy Institute of Colorado
This paper presents an overview of the goals, structure, and results of an annual, week-long, summer philosophy institute for high school students. Inspired by other similar programs, the Summer Philosophy Institute of Colorado (SPI-CO) was designed for a culturally diverse group of students, aiming to expose college-track high school students to philosophy, to encourage students in lower-track classifications to pursue college, to offer advising to students on how to make college a reality, to expose both groups of students to critical thinking skills, and to promote cultural diversity in philosophy as a discipline. After explaining why philosophy encourages students in education and why high school students are so well-primed to study it, the authors give a detailed overview of the structure of the institute, including schedule, lesson plan, texts and themes studied, funding, and student demography. The authors conclude by discussing an outreach program that grew out of the SPI-CO and a summary of the initial results of the program.