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1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Brian Besong, Teaching the Debate
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One very common style of teaching philosophy involves remaining publicly neutral regarding the views being debated—a technique commonly styled ‘teaching the debate.’ This paper seeks to survey evidence from the literature in social psychology that suggests teaching the debate naturally lends itself to student skepticism toward the philosophical views presented. In contrast, research suggests that presenting one’s own views alongside teaching the debate in question—or ‘engaging the debate’—can effectively avoid eliciting skeptical attitudes among students without sacrificing desirable pedagogical outcomes. Thus, there are good reasons to engage philosophical debates as an educator, not merely teach them.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Andrew Fisher, Jonathan Tallant, Helping Philosophy Students Become (Even More) Employable
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Can we help philosophy students become employable without offending those who say that such a task is not the job of an academic? Can we do this by using the insights from the literature that suggest the most effective way to teach employability is a close link to employers? We are happy to report that the answer is ‘yes.’ In this paper we share what we achieved and why we believe it was effective. We briefly discuss the background and genesis of ‘Communicating Philosophy,’ our employability course. We provide a detailed description of the objectives and content of the lectures and seminars and reflect on how the course was received by students. We then, using the notion of ‘transfer’ and ‘boundary-crossing,’ reflect on why our approach has been successful. We end by discussing some limitations of our course and about how the course might be developed in the future.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Joel Hubick, A Philosophical Response to Plagiarism
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I analyze the potential a link between the problem of plagiarism and academic responsibility. I consider whether or not the way teachers and students view each other, education, and the writing process is irresponsible wherein producing papers becomes more valuable than the genuine learning that paper writing is originally intended to indicate and facilitate. This irresponsibility applies to both students and teachers who allow writing papers to be industrialized into meaningless tasks done in order to obtain a grade / pass a course. In this irresponsible situation, plagiarism can appear an efficient, albeit dishonest, gamble to succeed. Using the thought of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Jan Patoèka to philosophically assess and respond to this academic situation, I argue for a way to restore the teacher-student relationship to a proper state of care and responsibility.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Kathryn J. Norlock, Grading (Anxious and Silent) Participation: Assessing Student Attendance and Engagement with Short Papers on a “Question For Consideration”
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The inclusion of attendance and participation in course grade calculations is ubiquitous in postsecondary syllabi, but can penalize the silent or anxious student unfairly. I outline the obstacles posed by social anxiety, then describe an assignment developed with the twin goals of assisting students with obstacles to participating in spoken class discussions, and rewarding methods of participation other than oral interaction. When homework assignments habituating practices of writing well-justified questions regarding well-documented passages in reading assignments are the explicit project of weekly class meetings, participation increases on the part of all students. My focus shifted away from concern that I must get students to talk more, and turned instead to ensuring their marks reflected their learning rather than their speaking. Students’ improved engagement as a result of the assignment bears out evidence in the literature for active learning and for alternatives to taking attendance and quantifying participation.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Andrew J. Pierce, Interest Convergence: An Alternative to White Privilege Models of Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Practice
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In this paper, I offer a psychologically informed critique of and alternative to approaches to teaching issues of race and racial justice that are based on the recognition of white privilege. White privilege pedagogy, I argue, faces serious limitations avoided by a pedagogy grounded in “interest convergence.” Advanced by critical race theorist Derrick Bell, the theory of interest convergence holds that racial progress is most likely when the interests of whites converge with the interests of oppressed racial groups. Applying this insight to pedagogical practice, I argue that it has the potential to overcome white resistance to acknowledging and addressing racial injustice, in the classroom and in the broader public sphere. After making this case in general terms, I illustrate it concretely by describing an interest convergence-based approach to teaching affirmative action.
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6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Timothy Chambers, Teaching Plato In Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World, by Carlos Fraenkel
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Michael Clifford, Engaging Political Philosophy: An Introduction, by Robert B. Talisse
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Sam Cowling, Time: A Philosophical Introduction, by James Harrington
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Dara Fogel, Lusting for Infinity: A Spiritual Odyssey, by Tom W. Boyd
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 39 > Issue: 4
Katharine Loevy, The Dimension of Difference: Space, Time and Bodies in Women’s Cinema and Continental Philosophy, by Caroline Godart
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