by Mansi Rathour. In the summer of 2019, the team at Barefoot Philosophers led by Professor Sundar Sarukkai, organized Philosophy Summer Camps for children across various cities in India. The intention of organizing these camps Read more…
Is Philosophy a discourse only for the wise and old? Could children engage with matters of philosophical concern?
The Philosophy Summer Camp for Kids works with the understanding that yes, of course children can have philosophical discussions. Children by nature are inquisitive, curios and ask questions. That makes them the first philosophers, as they wonder about and question the things they see, hear, feel, and think about to understand the world around them at a young
age. Philosophy as a discipline also begins with questions and wonder to make sense of ourselves and the world. With these mutual characteristics, it was only natural to introduce children to Philosophy and expose them to the multiple descriptions of the world and uniqueness of everyone’s experiences.
The primary impetus of the Summer Camps has been to help facilitate THINKING through Philosophy for the children. How is it that they come up with the questions, what determines which questions to be asked, how to articulate the thoughts/ questions in their minds. How does the transfer of thought in the mind to a question in spoken language come about?
The Summer Camp spanning across two to three days focuses on introducing the children to various philosophical concepts of Perception and Knowledge systems, Thinking and Imagination, Ethics and Morality and the like. They will be modulated and facilitated to use the key philosophical tools of argumentation and reasoning.
Based on cues from children themselves, themes and topics are discussed while giving careful attention to the process of thinking, formulating, and building of arguments to defend a particular position as well as writing down of thoughts and questions for further reflection and or discussion. This helps foster the skills of critical thinking, creativity, and logical reasoning in structures of group work and activities. Various mediums of films, games, and open discussions helped facilitate openness and generate further points of inquiry among the children.
In the past Barefoot Philosophers has conducted many fruitful Philosophy Summer Camps for Kids across different locations and audiences. The goal of these camps has been to encourage young people to engage with the world around them philosophically. Barefoot Philosophers seeks to address a great inequity in the access to information about philosophy in rural India
by conducting workshops in vernacular languages for children who may not be fluent in English. A conscious approach and intention is thereby taken to make Philosophy for Kids workshop accessible to the interiors of India and across.