American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy


published on December 24, 2019

Julie Walsh, Sara M. Fulmer, Sarah Pociask

Cross-Year Peer Mentorship in Introductory Philosophy Classes
The Home Base Mentoring Program

Philosophical writing is challenging for students new to philosophy. Many philosophy classes are populated, for the most part, by students who have never taken philosophy before. While many institutions offer general writing support services, these services tend to be most beneficial for helping to identify problems with style and grammar. They are not equipped to help students with the particular challenges that come with writing philosophy for the first time. We implemented the Home Base Mentoring Program in two introductory-level philosophy courses to target the specific challenges that novice learners have when learning how to write philosophy. Through the program, students had access to writing mentors who were undergraduate senior philosophy majors. Based on surveys given to the students who have participated in this program, we found that the program boosted student confidence in writing and also worked to develop a welcoming, judgment-free, and encouraging environment in the philosophy department more generally.