The 2024 IAPC residential summer course in philosophy for children will take place August 11 – 18 at St. Marguerite’s Retreat House in Mendham, New Jersey. The course is offered in conjunction with Montclair State University’s Graduate Certificate in Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning, but may also be taken as a free-standing, professional development course, without university credit. The course is designed for those who are novices to Philosophy for Children, as well as for those with many years experience in the field. The course is typically attended by undergraduate and graduate students, schoolteachers, professors, and others from around the world who have interest or experience in using the IAPC curriculum and methodology of Philosophy for Children.
In this course participants will experience and practice facilitating a Community of Philosophical Inquiry with adults, cultivate a philosophical ear by learning to recognize philosophical dimensions of experience and philosophical issues in texts, and practice using the IAPC Philosophy for Children curriculum materials. Skilled facilitators will lead and model inquiry sessions so that participants can be exposed to various styles of the method. Each participant will be assigned at least one curriculum session to lead, and will be coached by an IAPC staff member. Practical considerations will also be covered, such as starting your own philosophy for children program, and using various forms of assessment.
Time will also be dedicated to exploring some of the historical and theoretical dimensions of Philosophy for Children, community of inquiry pedagogy, philosophical curriculum construction, and philosophy in children’s literature. Upon enrollment, you will receive access to an online web space including workshop guidelines and readings for each theoretical session. We ask that you read these articles critically and prepare discussion questions for each reading.
The course is held at St. Marguerite’s Retreat House, on the grounds of the Episcopal Community of St. John Baptist in Mendham, New Jersey. The house is situated on 93 acres of wooded land, including many hiking trails. The setting is extremely beautiful and peaceful. Residency is required.
The Retreat House contains 26 single bedrooms, six shared bathrooms, three sitting rooms for smaller gatherings, a large library where we hold most course sessions, a large dining room, a chapel, and two solariums for activities and recreation. Each bedroom contains a single bed, bureau, closet, bed linens and bath towels (doors do not lock). Wifi is available throughout the Retreat House, though the signal strength varies. Air conditioning is available in the library only. Gyms and laundry facilities are available in town.
On most days there are three morning sessions before lunch, a long afternoon study / recreation break, a late afternoon session before dinner, and one evening session after dinner, with time for reflection throughout the day. Meals are served buffet style in the dining room. Three meals a day are provided, including vegetarian but not vegan options (please inform Ariel Sykes if you are vegetarian). In addition, fruit, cookies, coffee and tea are available around the clock.
The seminar begins with a 5:00 p.m. session on the first evening. Please plan to arrive by 3:00 p.m. to give yourself some time to unpack and relax before this session. You should plan your departure for between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. on the last day of the seminar. Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the Retreat House, but IAPC Staff are available to bring you from the Morristown train station to the Retreat House.
The cost of the IAPC Summer Course does not include health insurance.
Participants from outside the United States should be familiar with U.S. entry and exit requirements and procedures. The IAPC is not responsible for arranging travel visas for international participants.