Department of Philosophy

Mathematics and Science Center, Room 752
146 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3390
fax: (248) 370-3157

Students sitting in classroom

High School Outreach Program

The great majority of American students have no opportunity to study philosophy until college, despite a growing body of research that shows that pre-collegiate engagement with philosophy helps students improve their reasoning, motivation, independence, and self-esteem. Although Southeast Michigan is fortunate to have a thriving culture of high school ethics bowls, there are few opportunities for students at most high schools to learn about philosophy. The goal of the High School Outreach Program at Oakland University is to fill this gap, by providing opportunities for high schoolers to learn about philosophy.

The Outreach Program currently sponsors two sorts of activities: summer philosophy camp, and philosophy takeovers. Learn more about each of these programs by clicking on the tabs below.

Philosophy Summer Camp

Philosophy Camp is a summer camp for high schoolers that provides Oakland University undergraduates an opportunity that combines learning, leadership, and
humor.

Are you an undergraduate student interested in learning more? Stop by Thursday, October 21st , and learn more - all while eating free food!

Date: October 21st
Time: 12:15 PM
Location: The outdoor tables near the Bell Tower
We will have snacks!

If you are interested receiving updates on Philosophy Camp, please sign up for our mailing list: Philosophy Camp Mailing List Signup

Questions should be addressed to propson@oakland.edu, with the subject line including "PHILOSOPHY CAMP".

We did not hold Philosophy Camp in 2020 or 2021, due to the COVID19 pandemic. But summer 2019 Philosophy Camp was a success. We had 19 campers, almost double the participation in 2018. Students came from a variety of high schools to discuss the theme of "identity" from a variety of perspectives, including ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of gender, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy. One of our undergraduate student leaders said, "My experience was fantastic, to say the least. I think I really found my calling, working with philosophy at the high school level." Another commented on the leadership skills gained from this experience, saying, "Philosophy Camp helped me practice the roles of public speaker, planner, improviser, and friend all at once."

Students sitting together in common area, smiling

Philosophy Takeovers and HS Visits

The goal of our classroom visits program is to enhance the education of high school students in their own high school curriculum, while also letting them know more about the discipline of philosophy. Through this program, philosophy professors from OU visit high school classrooms or assemblies to raise important philosophical questions about ethics, politics, science, epistemology, and the history of ideas.

2019 Update: We now have a new program called Philosophy Takeovers.  And it's pretty awesome.  In a Philosophy Takeover, a group of philosophy undergrads from Oakland visit a high school classroom for 20-30 minutes, bringing their philosophical training to younger students while engaging these students in an enthusiastic set of questions and answers.

If you have an interest in learning more about either of these programs, or participating in them, please contact Daniel Propson at propson@oakland.edu.

News and Events

Philosophy Summer Camp 2018 a Big Success

On July 23-27, 2018, the Oakland University Philosophy Department hosted its first high school summer camp.  With presentations from Elysa White, Joyce Havstad, Mark Navin, Anthony Williams, Paul Graves, and many others, it was a tremendous success.  Attendees of the camp were enthusiastic about the camp's future, and several of them expressed interest in going on to study philosophy at a college level.

Research on the Effects of Pre-College Philosophy Instruction Underway

The Daily Nous has a link to a new summer camp program in philosophy that is researching the effectiveness of such camps.  See: http://dailynous.com/2018/04/05/making-case-pre-college-philosophy/

Oakland University Philosophy Summer Camp Starts Summer 2018

During the summer of 2018, the Oakland Philosophy Department will be having its inaugural week of Philosophy Summer Camp!  Many thanks to students Samantha Sinclair, Genevieve Schmidt, Ian Anderson, and Nicole Diroff in helping make this happen.