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1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Stanisław Gałkowski, Paweł Kaźmierczak The Challenges Posed by the Digital Revolution to Teaching Philosophy
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The rapid development of the internet and the growth of the cyberspace is the most significant phenomenon of our times. The cyberspace puts pressure on all of us to adapt to its constraints. Its influence is also palpable in philosophy, and on the teaching of philosophy in particular, and there is increasing pressure to adapt philosophical education to the internet format. This paper argues that such pressure is not necessarily conducive to better education in philosophy, which requires more discursive and abstract reasoning.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Lu Leng, Zhenyu Gao The Development and Contextualization of Philosophy for Children in Mainland China: Based on Three Model Schools’ Practice
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The past three years have seen a steady growth of interest in researching and practicing Philosophy for Children (P4C) in educational settings in China because many educators and administrators consider it as a coherent curriculum for developing student critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking. Excited and gratified with children’s philosophical sensitivity and enthusiasm, three representative Elementary Schools in mainland China, namely South Station Elementary School from Yunnan Province, Shanghai Liuyi Elementary School, and Washi Elementary school from Zhejiang Province, started to practice P4C in the late 1990s and the early twenty-first century. Without succumbing to the aggravated uniformity of the educational system, the three schools demonstrated innovative ways to reform their educational practice, which helped to develop a different form of Chinese educational praxis. This study provides a review on three schools’ P4C practice from the perspective of motivation, development of school-based curricula, the mode and effect of P4C. The three schools found Lipman’s P4C curriculum inspiring but, for the most part, culturally and contextually inappropriate, thus developed their own P4C textbooks, pedagogy and conceptual framework. The study further offers glimpses of P4C historical development in the past thirty years in the model schools, and discusses the challenges, opportunities, existing methodological approaches, theoretical and practical tensions that Chinese P4Cers experienced when P4C being practiced. Then it proposes methodological advancements and possibilities of future P4C practice and research in mainland China.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Julie Loveland Swanstrom Why Take Notes?: Engaging Students in Critical Thinking through Active Learning
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For disciplines depending upon precise definitions and distinctions, students’ notes provide an avenue for student engagement with skill and content. Activities enliven the classroom, and those discussed here can also help students develop and exercise critical thinking skills through note-taking. Lecturing and experiential learning happen hand-in-hand when the instructor uses teaching about notes and note-taking as a method for critical engagement with class content. In this paper, I integrate research on the cognitive function of student note-taking with research on student engagement—particularly, motivating student learning, engaging students with texts, lecture, or discussion, and promoting metacognition about learning practices—by arguing that the instructor who teaches and emphasizes student note-taking elevates note-taking to a method of student engagement and daily critical thinking practice; I discuss particular methods for supporting teaching note-taking, methods that promote active learning, student engagement, and student understanding (and could be utilized in a variety of classes).
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Noel Martin, Matthew Draper, Andy Lamey Justice: A Role-Immersion Game for Teaching Political Philosophy
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We created Justice: The Game, an educational, role-immersion game designed to be used in philosophy courses. We seek to describe Justice in sufficent detail so that it is understandable to readers not already familiar with role-immersion pedagogy. We hope some instructors will be sufficiently interested in using the game. In addition to describing the game we also evaluate it, thereby highlighting the pedagogical potential of role-immersion games designed to teach political philosophy. We analyze the game by drawing on our observations as designers and playtesters of Justice, along with feedback from students obtained in focus-groups conducted shortly after playtesting ended. We present evidence that Justice, compared to conventional instructional methods alone, plausibly enhances student learning of philosophical skills and content by requiring them to practice those skills and put their content-area knowledge to use in a highly-motivating and engaging context.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Sally J. Scholz The Teaching Demonstration: Connection, Commitment, Coachability
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This article seeks to shine some light on the teaching demonstration from the perspective of observers using three guiding attributes of effective teaching: connection, commitment, and coachability. Discussing what observers are looking for and how observers interpret what is seen, the article presents the basic forms, common myths, and practical wisdom for teaching demonstrations. By reframing the goals of the teaching demonstration, the article demystifies a key part of the campus interview for the academic job market.
6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Maralee Harrell From the Editor
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Dominik Balg Talking about Tolerance: A New Strategy for Dealing with Student Relativism
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Student relativism is a widespread phenomenon in philosophy classes. While the exact nature of student relativism is controversially discussed, many authors agree on two points: First, it is widely agreed that SR is a rather problematic phenomenon, because it potentially undermines the very purpose of doing philosophy—if there is no objective truth, arguing seems to be pointless. Second, it is widely agreed that there will be some close connection between SR and a tolerant attitude towards conflicting opinions. In this paper, I will argue that if these two assumptions are true, then discussing some basic philosophical insights about the concept of tolerance with students will be a promising new strategy of dealing with SR.
8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Alex Koo Logic as a Blended Course
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I present Modern Symbolic Logic, an introductory philosophy course in first-order logic, as a blended course. A blended course integrates online video learning with in-class activities, out of class supports, and deliverables into a cohesive and mutually supporting package. Blended courses are an enhancement on hybrid courses, which focus on online video learning but not on the additional supports needed for an effective learning experience. This paper has two central aims. The first is to present a blended course in action in order to address a need in the literature for detailed reports of blended classes. The second is to advance an iterative approach to blended course design that significantly lowers the bar of entry for instructions hoping to create a blended course.
9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Lars Samuelsson, Niclas Lindström On the Practical Goal of Ethics Education: Ethical Competence as the Ability to Master Methods for Moral Reasoning
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In this paper we consider the ability to master a set of methods for moral reasoning as a form of ethical competence. These methods can be roughly assembled under the headings information, vividness, and coherence. We distinguish between the theoretical characterization of ethical competence and what we take to be its practical role and argue that the ability to master these methods fits the theoretical characterization of such competence as well as fulfils its practical role. An important upshot of this result is that these methods are suitable as a basis for ethics education at various levels, at least when the goal of such education is partly practical: to provide tools for reaching justified moral decisions. Consequently, we encourage ethics educators who teach ethics with this goal to design their educational approaches in such a way that these methods are taught and practiced.
10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Benjamin T. H. Smart Practicing Afrocentric Ethical Teaching: Towards a Decolonized Pedagogy
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Slowly, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the persisting psychological trauma experienced by students at colonial universities, and beginning to recognize that the Eurocentric curricula and pedagogies must change if students such as the “born-frees” in post-Apartheid South Africa are to flourish. In this article, I present a sub-Saharan African concept of “the ethical teacher,” and use this to ground a “ubiquitous action-reaction” teaching model. I use these concepts to develop a decolonized pedagogy – a teaching methodology that avoids a number of harmful colonial teaching practices in philosophy. I suggest a number of novel ways of accommodating a “decolonized education” with a view to inspiring teachers of philosophy in colonial countries globally. I propose a new, malleable pedagogical model that is particularly useful in the colonial context, since its uniqueness lies in the African ethical framework that grounds it. However, I contend that philosophy educators globally will benefit from taking the principles proposed in this article seriously.
11. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Ben Davies Thinking Through Utilitarianism: A Guide to Contemporary Arguments, by Andrew T. Forcehimes and Luke Semrau
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12. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Michael Hartsock Black Mirror and Philosophy: Dark Reflections, edited by David Kyle Johnson; series editor, William Irwin
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13. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Sharon E. Mason Food Philosophy: An Introduction, by David M. Kaplan
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14. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Christopher Moore Socrates, by William J. Prior
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15. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
William Peden Introduction to Formal Philosophy, edited by Sven Ove Hansson, Vincent F. Hendricks, Esther Michelsen Kjeldahl
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16. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Mog Stapleton Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners, by Bryan W. Van Norden
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17. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Clint Tibbs Current Controversies in Philosophy of Religion, edited by Paul Draper
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18. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Matthew Van Cleave Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, by Alva Noë
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19. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Shelagh Crooks The Concept of Argument in Philosophy as a Threshold for Learners
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It is commonplace for undergraduate students to find certain concepts inherent to the disciplines of study troublesome. While some concepts are troublesome simply because they represent new vocabulary for the students, other concepts are troublesome in a more significant sense. Concepts of this kind are troublesome because they highlight an aspect of the deep structure of the discipline, a way of thinking and inquiry, that the students are likely to find strange and even, counter-intuitive, relative to their own pre-existing conceptual frameworks. In this paper, I will argue that the concept of ‘argument’ in the discipline of philosophy, is one such concept. To make the case for this, I will be drawing upon a relatively new and important framework for inquiry into troublesome disciplinary concepts, known as “threshold concept theory” (Meyer and Land 2006, 2008). In addition, I propose to consider the implications, in terms of the design of curriculum and pedagogy for the philosophy classroom, of conceiving argument in threshold concept terms.
20. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Daniel Lim Philosophy through Machine Learning
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In a previous article (2019), I motivated and defended the idea of teaching philosophy through computer science. In this article, I will further develop this idea and discuss how machine learning can be used for pedagogical purposes because of its tight affinity with philosophical issues surrounding induction. To this end, I will discuss three areas of significant overlap: (i) good / bad data and David Hume’s so-called Problem of Induction, (ii) validation and accommodation vs. prediction in scientific theory selection and (iii) feature engineering and Nelson Goodman’s so-called New Riddle of Induction.