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 ..
The American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT), and the Teaching Philosophy Association (TPA) have announced the creation of the Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching. (more…)
Nick Byrd, a philosophy PhD student at Florida State University, has created a shorthand that he uses for commenting on his students’ papers. He describes it as having the virtues of the “grading shortcuts” method advocated by Rebecca Schuman and the more extensive approach advocated by Marcus Arvan. (more…)
“It’s in the syllabus,” we tell our students—so often there should be a t-shirt. Oh wait, there is. But perhaps we could make that information easier to spot? ChiaHua Lin, a PhD student in philosophy at the University of South Carolina, tries to do so by creating infographic supplements to her course syllabi. They highlight some of the important information about ..
The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. So-called higher education often rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Startup culture has elevated bullshit to high art. Advertisers wink conspiratorially and invite us to join them in seeing through all the bullshit, then take advantage of our lowered g..
Fifteen inmates at Statesville Correctional Center in Illinois took a course on mass incarceration with Northwestern University philosophy professor Jennifer Lackey. It was an interdisciplinary course with a range of guest lecturers, including Alex Kotlowitz, a writer and a senior lecturer in journalism at Northwestern. He gave them an assignment to write about thei..
A new school term will be starting soon. Perhaps it is a good time to share with students the following account of their obligations to their professors:
The first obligation, particularly operative during the first weeks of a new semester, is a moderately good will toward the teacher, a trust, a confidence that is willing to admit to oneself that the teacher has..
Larry Shapiro, professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is taking a novel approach to addressing the prospect that Wisconsin’s state legislature may soon allow students (and others) to carry concealed firearms onto campus: he is offering his students a choice.
Can you get your students to sing about philosophy? Sara Bernstein, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, can. With a little incentive, her students at Notre Dame (and before that, at Duke) have belted out some surprisingly sophisticated philosophical covers of popular songs. (more…)