Getting Undergrads to See the Value of Philosophy: A Survey

Andrew Mills, associate professor of philosophy at Otterbein College, is interested in learning about how philosophers get the non-philosophy-majors who tend to populate their classes to see the value of philosophy. 

He writes:

Many of us who teach philosophy at the university level spend a lot of time teaching students who are taking our classes in order to meet a university graduation requirement. These “gen-ed” students are, for many of us, the vast majority of the students we teach each year. Many of these students come to our classes not just resistant at the thought of having to take another required class, but skeptical of the very enterprise of philosophy. Accordingly, many of us try, in our various ways, to help students see the value of philosophy.

But how do we do that? How do we help our “gen ed” students see that philosophy is a valuable enterprise? That is the question that lies at the center of my current research, and it’s one that I would like to hear your answers to. I would like to hear from you how, if at all, you help your students see the value in philosophy and what particular approaches have been helpful for you over the years.

To collect answers, Professor Mills has created a survey and is asking philosophy teachers to take it. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and can be found here.

With luck, he will have some interest findings to share with Daily Nous readers.


Pencil Sculptures by Cindy Chinn

Related: “Teaching As If Our Students Were Not Future Philosophers

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