Intro to Philosophy…Department


At Texas Christian University, Introduction to Philosophy is team taught—and by “team” they mean the whole departmentas a brief article in the school paper describes.

[Assistant Professor Kelly] McCormick said she… enjoys the concept of team-teaching because each faculty member has the opportunity to introduce students to the different topics of philosophy they specialize in.

“We’re each teaching to our specialty,” McCormick said. “So, the students taking that course really get the best possible presentation of each of these different areas. So if there’s something that really grabs you, you’re getting a presentation of that material by the person you’re going to end up working with in future years.”

Any other schools do this? Has it worked well?

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Andrew M. Bailey
6 years ago

We do something like this at Yale-NUS College too. There are about ten philosophers on staff here, and we all co-teach what is effectively a year-long (required for all students) introductory course in philosophy. It’s great fun. And I especially enjoy learning from my colleagues and seeing a diverse range of teaching styles and methods in action.Report

Thomas Brouwer
Thomas Brouwer
6 years ago

I think I’ve heard of such arrangements at other departments, and also in non-philosophy departments. It seems like a good idea to me. My undergraduate department (Leyden) introduced a course (after my time there) which consisted in each member of the department giving a presentation on their own research interests. I don’t think there was an exam attached to it; the idea was just to give the students a chance to see what actual philosophy research looked like. I thought that was a nice idea.Report

Kevin Timpe
6 years ago

I think that this is really interesting.

I direct a program at my university for all* incoming freshman and transfer students (*except those in the honors program). I’m doing something roughly similar this year, but not just within a single department.

I have approximately 310 students who are in 9 sections of a course, and they rotate through 10-12 faculty. Each faculty teaches to their own disciplinary strength, with a focus on how the disciplines approach their subject matter and relate to each other. In the course of the semester, students in this one course will have faculty in philosophy, literature, history, art, sociology, biology, economics, and biblical studies; as well as engagement with our campus librarians, the director of our cross-cultural experience requirement, and academic supports.Report