Harrell Wins 2018 Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching


The 2018 Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching, sponsored jointly by the American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT), and the Teaching Philosophy Association*, has been  awarded to Maralee Harrell, Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. 

The prize—$1000 and a plaque—is awarded to “a philosophy teacher who has had a profound impact on the student learning of philosophy in undergraduate and/or pre-college settings.” Professor Harrell beat out 38 other nominees for the prize.

In a press release, David Concepcion (Ball State University), chair of the APA Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy, explains the selection:

Dr. Mara Harrell’s contributions to the teaching of philosophy are broad and deep. Harrell uses problem-based learning and other empirically validated pedagogies to help students meet the rigorous goals she sets for them. An example of her creativity is that she has ethics students put engineers on mock trial for the Flint water crisis. In her numerous publications regarding teaching, she has refined the key elements of argument mapping and created extremely flexible and useful argument mapping software. Because it is freely available online, and accompanies her textbook What is an Argument? (MIT, 2016), her research and software has helped many thousands of students improve their critical reasoning skills. Additionally, Dr. Harrell has a distinguished record as a service leader in philosophy teaching. Among other efforts, she directs teacher training programs and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Teaching Philosophy. Mara Harrell’s contributions to philosophy teaching have improved student learning in her classes, her department, her university, and throughout the world.

Interested readers should check out Professor Harrell’s argument-mapping software, iLogos (and the free mini-course on how to use it), a document she created for students on argument-mapping, and her textbook, What Is the Argument? 

Professor Harrell will receive her award at the APA Eastern Division Meeting in New York City this coming January.

Maralee Harrell

* The Teaching Philosophy Association appears to have no online presence. It is the organization behind the journal Teaching Philosophy.

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