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American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy

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published on October 1, 2015

Brett Gaul
DOI: 10.5840/aaptstudies201592911

Developing Hands-On Learning Activities for Philosophy Courses

Although philosophy courses are not known for hands-on learning activities in which students use, manipulate, or touch objects with their hands, there are simple hands-on activities that teachers can use to liven up their classrooms and foster active learning. In this paper I describe four activities I developed to attempt to improve student learning: GoldiLocke and the Three Buckets, The Argument From Disagreement Box, The Trolley Problem Reenactment, and The Lego Man of Theseus. I argue that such activities are effective for two main reasons: (1) they are fun; and (2) they involve embodied learning. Finally, I offer some advice for developing hands-on learning activities for philosophy courses and share some of the ideas generated by session participants when I presented this material at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) Twentieth Biennial Workshop/Conference.