An Impressively Detailed Philosophy Paper Grading Rubric
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…)
New Online Philosophical Resource: The Deviant Philosopher
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..
What Graduate Students In Philosophy Are And Should Be Paid For Teaching
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…)
Never Trained How To Teach
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 ..
Favorite Teaching Experiences 2016-17
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…)
An “Open Textbook” for Introduction to Philosophy (guest post by Christina Hendricks)
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.
Philosophy Classroom Poster Sessions
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…)
Anti-Abortion Philosophy Lecturer Fired
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…)
“Brain Hurt” and Other Student Descriptions of Philosophy
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 in Philosophy Courses
A reader has asked for suggestions about how to incorporate service learning into undergraduate philosophy courses.
“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…)
Ethics and Education Grant Winners
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…)
When Professors Express Intimidating Opinions
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 ..
New Philosophy Teaching Prize from the APA, AAPT, and TPA
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…)
A Philosopher’s Key To Grading Papers Quickly
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…)
Philosophy Syllabus As Infographic
“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 ..
A Whole Course About Combating Bullshit
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..
From Prison in Illinois to Publication in The New Yorker with Help from a Philosophy Professor
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..
Expertise And What Students Owe Their Professors
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..
The Prospect of Guns on Campus: One Philosopher’s Approach
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.
Philosophy Music Videos
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…)
A Broad Conception of Philosophical Skills (guest post by David Wallace)
The following is a guest post* by David Wallace, professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, on the skills an academic philosopher needs.
The Effective Altruism Challenge (guest post by Holly Lawford-Smith)
The following is a guest post* by Holly Lawford-Smith, lecturer in philosophy at the University of Sheffield (and soon-to-be senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Melbourne), on teaching about altruism. (more…)
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Philosophy of Mind
This post continues our series soliciting suggestions for reading materials and lessons for various philosophical subfields in light of Donald Trump’s victory in the recent election. (more…)
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Philosophy of Religion
We continue our series of suggestions for reading materials and lessons for various philosophical subfields in light of Donald Trump’s victory in the recent election with philosophy of religion. (more…)
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Political Philosophy
Last week we began soliciting suggestions for reading materials and lessons for various philosophical subfields in light of Donald Trump’s victory in the recent election. So far, we have threads running on epistemology, philosophy of language, and critical reasoning / informal logic. Today we’ll continue the series by asking for suggestions for political philosophy…
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Critical Reasoning / Informal Logic
Continuing in our series of posts about changes to teaching materials and lessons for particular philosophical fields in light of the 2016 U.S. election (see previous installments on epistemology and philosophy of language), today’s post will be on courses variously described as “critical reasoning,” “critical thinking,” and “informal logic.” (more…)
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Language
Yesterday I published the first in a series of posts about subfield-specific changes to philosophy curriculum in light of the 2016 U.S. election. That post is soliciting suggestions for readings, lessons, and teaching strategies for epistemology courses—keep them coming. (more…)
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Epistemology
The shock of the 2016 presidential election is still being felt keenly by educators, many of whom see in its victor, Donald Trump, the embodiment of so much of what we aim to overcome: ignorance, incompetence, carelessness, and a lack of concern for the truth. (more…)