The fall term is almost upon us, so let’s talk teaching.
“I didn’t know that there is a field of study that counted as sensible the questions that were always in my head. Even more amazing is that the type of thoughts I offered as answers, while ramshackle, were the same type of answers philosophers provide. I changed my major before the end of the semester. But I had a problem. I did not know how to read philosophy.” (mo..
“My core hypothesis was that student learning would actually be improved by eliminating instructor grading from the course.” (more…)
“This is not revolutionary stuff. But it is important. And it is stuff I wish I’d known about early in my teaching career.” (more…)
It seems that every few months a new study is published demonstrating some kind of problem with student evaluations of teaching. Recently I’ve seen one going around that confirms that students who had access to free chocolate cookies while being taught evaluated their teachers “significantly better” than the control group. (more…)
“We assume that certain kinds of questions are only for advanced students, and I think that the irony is that, in many cases, not encouraging all students to ask those questions is why some are not advanced.” (more…)
Hello, fellow academics, it’s August 1st, the date that indicates the summer is, sadly, soon over. Amidst the scramble to meet deadlines and knock items off of that to-do list, it’s also time to make sure you’re prepared for your teaching. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by David W. Concepción, professor of philosophy at Ball State University, which summarizes some of the findings presented in “The State of Teacher Training in Philosophy” (Teaching Philosophy 2016), a systematic look at the training in teaching graduate students in philosophy get (alternative link). In the paper, authors Concepción, Me..
A philosophy graduate student and instructor at Marquette University is the target of a political attack initiated by one of her students, facilitated by a Marquette political science professor, and promulgated by certain advocacy organizations.
Cheryl Abbate, a Marquette PhD student working on a dissertation in ethics, has provided me with information about the ..
Bob Hargrave was, I am told, a much-loved lecturer in philosophy at Oxford University (he died in 2012). Among his pedagogical contributions is a document he prepared called “Rodin’s Thinker, or How To Fail Philosophy Exams.” It was written for Oxford students, but much of it is applicable to philosophy exams (and some writing assignments) given anywhere.
Ramona Ilea (Pacific University) shares news of an online resource for philosophy professors she has helped create called Engaged Philosophy. The site is a repository of information about incorporating projects of civic engagement into philosophy courses.
When students do civic engagement projects in our philosophy classes, they commit to making changes in their com..
TeachPhilosophy101 is an open-source compendium of resources helpful for teaching philosophy. It’s mission is “to enhance undergraduate student learning in introductory philosophy courses by providing free, user-friendly strategies and resources to the academic community.”
The students come to class having read a passage from a text and having prepared some questions or points for discussion about it. The teacher arranges the classroom seating into two concentric circles. The students in the inner circle discuss and analyse the text while the students in the outer circle remain silent, observing and commenting on the discussion via sh..
Here are problems with group-work that I have observed or heard about multiple times from students:
- the members of the group (unless the group is the whole class) do not include an expert on either the topic for discussion or the assigned reading on it, so mistakes can go uncorrected and misunderstanding can be increased (if plausibly, confidently, or charisma..
College graduates had double the odds of being engaged at work and three times the odds of thriving in Gallup’s five elements of well-being if they had had “emotional support”—professors who “made me excited about learning,” “cared about me as a person,” or “encouraged my hopes and dreams.” Graduates who had done a long-term project that took a semester or more, who..
At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else. I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered ..
For years I provided very extensive comments on students’ papers. What stopped me was one of them, finally, saying “thank you.” It immediately struck me that hundreds of students over many semesters hadn’t cared enough to say anything to me about the comments, and in fact probably hadn’t cared about them at all. I switched to a more minimal commenting approach, at l..
Do any of you use virtual worlds or video games in your teaching of philosophy, and if so, how? In conversation the other day a colleague expressed an interest in creating a virtual world in which an epidemic was taking place, and having students immerse themselves in it to learn about addressing some of the various ethical challenges that confront agents in such si..