Nearly two years ago, prompted by a Columbia professor’s decision to ban laptops in his classes, we discussed classroom computer and phone policies. The subject has been gaining more traction recently, owing to recent studies and an op-ed last week in The New York Times by University of Michigan education, public policy, and economics professor Susan Dynarski. (more..
Many of the young people who attend my classes think that philosophy is a fuzzy discipline that’s concerned only with matters of opinion, whereas science is in the business of discovering facts, delivering proofs, and disseminating objective truths. Furthermore, many of them believe that scientists can answer philosophical questions, but philosophers have no busines..
This is a good idea:
Every semester, about this time, I identify students in my intro classes who are doing reasonably well, seem interested in philosophy (based on class participation, conversations in office hours, or written work), and are not graduating in the near future. I email all of them individually (although of course the letters are somewhat repetitiv..
Two attitudes help explain why some women choose to not continue studying philosophy, according to research recently published in Analysis.
A recent study looks at whether perceptions about how “masculine” philosophy is can help explain the gender disparities in the field. (more…)
A philosophy professor writes:
Our department is thinking about ways we can convert students who take one class for accidental reasons (it fulfills a requirement or it fits a time slot) into students who take a few more classes. We’ve talked about a few strategies here, and I’ve looked around online a tiny bit for resources, but I thought this might be the sort o..
A new program at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University combines philosophy and other humanities disciplines with a business education. “Integrated Business and Humanities” is a business major that requires its students to philosophy, language, culture, and other humanities courses. (more…)
In introductory college courses in the sciences and social sciences, and even some humanities disciplines like history, the material taught largely consists of basic claims, findings, and ideas that most of those in the discipline agree upon. Could there be such a course in philosophy? (more…)
Many college course have meetings of recitation or discussion sections in addition to the course lectures which are sometimes run by the professor, sometimes by teaching assistants. What goes on in the recitation is usually supposed to be different than the kind of thing that happens in the lecture; the small size of each recitation group, relative to the course’s w..
About a year ago I asked, “Graduate students, what would you like to tell your professor(s) right now, but can’t?” (more…)
Maybe, just maybe, if more of the comments on our student evaluations looked like the following, they’d be worth it: (more…)
Racist violence has been a defining feature of the United States since its creation. One risk of focusing on highly visible instances of racist violence, such as the “Unite the Right” rally by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, is to make it seem more exceptional and more recognizable—and more alien to ordinary America..
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…)
If there’s a question that comes to mind when people see the word “philosophy” it’s this: “what’s the meaning of life?” (more…)
Well, given my background I knew virtually no philosophy. So I have taught myself most of the philosophy I know by teaching it. If I wanted to learn about something, I would teach a course on it (keeping a couple of weeks ahead of the students). I have learned a lot of philosophy this way, and it’s been a blast.
That’s Graham Priest (CUNY) in the What Is It Like ..
Micah T. Lewin, a recent PhD from Stanford who is currently an adjunct professor of philosophy at Perimeter College, Georgia State University, has created an impressively detailed and helpful rubric for grading philosophy papers. (more…)
There’s a new online teaching resource for those interested in incorporating into their philosophy courses material from outside the Anglo-American philosophical mainstream. The Deviant Philosopher is based on the view that
we and our students benefit from thinking about diverse philosophical traditions and perspectives, and there are many non-canonical philosoph..
The graduate students in the philosophy program at the University of St. Andrews are concerned about their teaching conditions, some of them tell me, but they don’t have a good grasp on how their situation compares with that of philosophy students elsewhere, particularly in the UK. (more…)
I was never trained or advised how to teach. I just imitated what I liked about my own teachers… Once I said in a lecture that some philosophical problem was very hard, and nobody knew how to solve it. Such a remark would have strongly motivated me, but the look on most of the students’ faces said “So why bother us with it? Go away and solve it, then you can come ..
The school year is wrapped up at some places, and about to be wrapped up at others. We could use some positive vibes around here, philosofriends, so please share some of your favorite teaching experiences from the past year. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Christina Hendricks, Professor of Teaching in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, about creating an “open textbook” for introductory courses in philosophy. It originally appeared on her blog, You’re The Teacher.
Nick Byrd, a PhD student in philosophy at Florida State University, has posted about the classroom poster session that students in Marcela Herdova‘s Free Will & Science course recently took part in. He says that it “was one of the most enriching classroom experiences I’ve ever witnessed.” (more…)
Stéphane Mercier, the visiting assistant professor of philosophy at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium whose courses were suspended recently because of a lecture he gave in which he argued against a right to abortion, has been fired. (more…)
Every once in a while a student will make some remark about philosophy (or about reading or writing philosophy, or about a philosophy course) that perfectly captures an aspect of it in an interesting or new or funny way. Sometimes these are in the form of complaints that their professors take as compliments, e.g., “this course makes my brain hurt.” Sometimes they ar..
“Service learning” is a combination of learning and community service. Students partake in activities to directly or indirectly help members of their community in ways that reinforce or enhance what they’re learning in the classroom. (more…)
The Center for Ethics & Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has announced the winners of its latest round of grants. The grants include awards of up to $40,000 for research projects in philosophy as it relates to educational policy and practice (see this description of the grant program). (more…)
We’ve seen the following: the questioning of a professor’s ability to teach well because of the effect on his or her students of the professor’s expression of a controversial opinion. This was one element of the debate surrounding Steven Salaita’s tweets. For example, he wrote on Twitter, “If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.” Concerns ..