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1. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Emily Esch, Charles W. Wright Introduction
2. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Kimberly Van Orman Teaching Philosophy with Team-Based Learning
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Team-Based Learning is a comprehensive approach to using groups purposefully and effectively. Because of its focus on decision making, it is well suited to helping students learn to do philosophy and not simply talk about it. Much like the “flipped classroom” approach, it is structured so that students are held responsible for “covering content” through the reading outside of class so that class meeting times can be spent practicing philosophical decisions, allowing for frequent feedback from the professor. This chapter discusses how TBL works in Philosophy, the elements of a TBL course including activity design (which can be adapted to non-TBL courses), and how TBL avoids the known problems of group work. The appendix contains examples of TBL activities in philosophy courses.
3. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Leslie Miller Philosophical Practice in the Classroom, or, How I Kill Zombies for a Living
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After a brief introduction to Philosophical Practice, I explain why I use it in my courses and elaborate on some of the material and techniques I present to students in the hope that it helps them to become better-adjusted and happier people. As an example of the sorts of assignments I create for these courses I present a semester-long assignment called “Everyday Philosophical Practice” that is based on the practice of mindfulness (with a bit of motivational interviewing thrown in) and requires intentional metacognition from the students. This approach has shown success not only at helping students to gain self-knowledge, but also at awakening and strengthening different positive cognitive dispositions such as desiring to think about difficult things, acceptance of the need for effort in clarifying thought, and the like.
4. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Jessey Wright Course Participation: Defining and Evaluating Student Participation
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In this article, I will show that a general and inclusive model for participation is one that includes: (1) explaining to students what participation is; (2) explaining why it is important to participate; (3) providing a list of modes of participation; and (4) methods for encouraging students to identify and pursue the modes that suit their individual needs and circumstances. The article concludes by outlining a self-assessment assignment for evaluating course participation that satisfies this model.
5. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Brett Gaul Developing Hands-On Learning Activities for Philosophy Courses
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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.
6. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
J. Alden Stout, Chris Weigel Psychological Influences on Philosophical Questions: Implications for Pedagogy
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Discoveries in social psychology pose important questions for philosophical pedagogy. For example, social psychologists have identified several error-producing biases that are commonly impediments to critical thinking. Recent evidence suggests that the most effective way of improving students’ critical thinking is to address these biases explicitly and metacognitively. Biases that produce errors in thinking are not the only psychological features relevant to philosophical pedagogy. Additionally, experimental philosophers have applied the methods of social psychology to uncover various influences on philosophical intuitions. This research may naturally lead an instructor to wonder if research in experimental philosophy ought to change our teaching methods. We argue that the discoveries of experimental philosophy need not change pedagogies that use a Socratic methodology. We provide paradigmatic examples of pedagogical techniques that justify different approaches that include the insights of social psychology and meet generally accepted outcomes for introductory philosophy courses.
7. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Paul Green How to Motivate Students: A Primer for Learner-Centered Teachers
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Learner-centered pedagogy defines successful teaching in terms of student learning—and a necessary condition of learning is the motivation to learn. The purpose of this paper is to provide learner-centered teachers with the basic information they need in order to be able to successfully motivate their students. In particular, I focus on three beliefs that are important to students’ motivation to learn: (1) beliefs about the subjective value of the learning goals; (2) beliefs about their ability to achieve these goals; (3) beliefs about how well their learning environment supports their learning. I provide concrete suggestions about how we can strengthen these beliefs to increase student motivation. One important implication of the relevant research is that the traditional motivator—the desire for good grades—can be relatively ineffective and, in fact, counterproductive.
8. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Kristin Schaupp Trading in Values: Disagreement and Rationality in Teaching
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Should we teach from a value-neutral position or should we disclose our positions when in the classroom? How should we approach disciplinary values, commitments, and procedures? Recent work in the epistemology of disagreement could have a profound impact on our response to these questions. While some contemporary epistemologists argue that it is possible to have rational disagreement between epistemic peers (Kelly, van Inwagen), many argue that such disagreement is indicative of a lack of rationality for one or both parties (Kornblith, Feldman, Christensen, Elga). Yet, if there is something inherently irrational about peer disagreement—even amongst philosophers, then our pedagogical approaches will need to undergo significant revision.
9. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Frances Bottenberg Power-Sharing in the Philosophy Classroom: Prospects and Pitfalls
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Many of our students learn to approach their college education as yet another system of external control that places authority and decision-making power in the hands of others. This attitude carries consequences for young people’s growth as independent learners, critical thinkers, and participants in democratic community, which in turn has repercussions on personal, professional and political agency. One of the chief benefits to power-sharing in the philosophy classroom is that it disrupts students’ sense of passive complicity in their own schooling. However, as I explore in this essay, there are many ways we can fail as instructors to create deeply engaging scenarios in our classrooms, not least in part because our methods and manner can unintentionally and subtly continue to encourage student passivity. Drawing on insights emerging from my own experience with classroom power-sharing, in this essay I will both examine the value of classroom power-sharing activities as well as offer ideas for implementing them responsively and effectively in a standard college setting, with particular emphasis on the philosophy classroom.
10. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 1
Christine Wieseler Thinking Critically about Disability in Biomedical Ethics Courses
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Several studies have shown that nondisabled people—especially healthcare professionals—tend to judge the quality of life of disabled people to be much lower than disabled people themselves report. In part, this is due to dominant narratives about disability. Teachers of biomedical ethics courses have the opportunity to help students to think critically about disability. This may involve interrogating our own assumptions, given the pervasiveness of ableism. This article is intended to facilitate reflection on narratives about disability. After discussing two readings that illustrate the medical and social models of disability, I share my own approach to teaching on disability in my biomedical ethics course. I include student responses to the readings and ways that they report their thinking about disability changed through engagement with the medical and social models.