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41. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 2
Carla A. H. Johnson Finding Philosophy in Plato’s Apology
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Students in introductory philosophy courses bring with them varied preconceptions about philosophy and its place in their education and their lives. Rather than assuming we all agree on what it is we are doing when we do philosophy, it can be effective to problematize the discussion from the start. Plato’s Apology of Socrates is a useful tool for this. While interpreted by some philosophers as not particularly philosophical, recent approaches by Sellars and Peterson suggest that the Apology is rich with philosophy. Here Plato’s Socrates reveals much about himself and his own understanding of the love of wisdom. By engaging in a process of mutual disclosure and active discovery of what matters to Socrates, we give students an excellent opportunity to find philosophy for themselves. As a result, students not only retain an understanding of key themes from Plato but also develop skills and attitudes well-suited to life-long philosophical engagement.
42. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 2
Patrick Lee Miller Leaving Plato’s Cave
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In Republic, Plato presents a pedagogy whose crucial component is the conversion of the student’s soul. This is clearest in the Allegory of the Cave, where the prisoner (the student) begins her liberation (her education) by turning herself away from the images on the wall. Conversion is not something we professors typically seek to provoke in a philosophy course, even when we teach Plato. But if this were our goal, what could we do to achieve it within the limits of the modern university? I present one such effort, a paper that uses the Allegory to focus on two questions: who are you (your self), and how did you become that way (your education)? After presenting both the prompt and its rationale, I summarize six student submissions and discuss how I evaluated them. I conclude by considering the risks and possibilities of addressing the whole soul and not simply the intellect.
43. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 2
José A. Haro Teaching the Trial and Death of Socrates
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This paper discusses an assignment used to teach the trial and death of Socrates that asks each student to give a tour for someone of personal significance (a partner, family member, friend, loved one, etc.) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view and discuss two pieces of art about Socrates. The overall aim of the task is for the students to engage the texts and conceptual material and emulate philosophical practice outside of class and in public. The paper focuses on preparing the students to partake in such an endeavor, laying out a historically contextual approach to the study of Socrates, the varied texts that are used, as well as the general pedagogical framework employed. More importantly, the paper explores how one might adapt the assignment to their particular classroom.
44. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 2
Robin Weiss Definitions vs. Ideals: Beyond the Standard Interpretation of the Forms
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Traditional pedagogical approaches to the Platonic forms pose problems that can be best addressed by presenting students two rival interpretations: one that understands the forms in terms of definitions, and another in terms of ideals. The second, if not the first interpretation, models, for students of even a relativistic stripe, how one can conceive the existence of thought-objects about which no consensus exists. It also serves to illustrate how knowledge of such thought-objects may be attained nonetheless. This approach is to be preferred, therefore, to traditional approaches that tend to reinforce, rather than counteract, relativism in students.
45. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 2
Rebecca G. Scott Learning to Love Wisdom: Teaching Plato's Symposium to Introductory Students
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In this essay, I examine how Plato’s Symposium can be helpful for teachers who are interested in encouraging introductory students to develop a sense of wonder in their early encounters with philosophical texts. Plato’s work is helpful, I argue, in two ways. First, as teachers of philosophy, the Symposium contains important pedagogical lessons for us about the roles of creativity and affectivity in philosophical pedagogy. Second, the dialogue lends itself well to the pedagogical methods that Plato’s work recommends. That is, the Symposium invites students to engage with it in ways that involve them as affective and creative learners. I begin by providing the theoretical basis for my pedagogical approach, which is inspired by phenomenology. Next, I offer my interpretation of the Symposium, indicating what we can learn from the text about how to teach philosophy. And finally, I describe three classroom activities based on Plato’s text that are aimed at accomplishing the pedagogical ends I have outlined.
46. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 3
Kelly A. Burns Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Inclusive Pedagogy
47. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 3
Danielle Lake, Hannah Swanson, Paula Collier Dialogue, Integration, and Action: Empowering Students, Empowering Community
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Hoping to expand upon public philosophy endeavors within higher education, the following captures the story behind the course Dialogue, Integration, and Action. The course has yielded a number of innovative pedagogical tools and engagement strategies likely to be of value to philosophy instructors seeking to explore a more participatory, experiential educational approach. As a transdisciplinary, community-engaged philosophy class, it engages students in the theories and practices of deliberative democracy and activism, encouraging the development of dialogic skills for their personal, professional, and civic lives. By documenting the community-instructor-student collaborative design of the university course; the feminist pragmatist philosophic commitments underlying its design; the community-led and student-facilitated dialogue and the subsequent public report, as well as the impact of this work on the students, the community partner, and the instructor, the article highlights the benefits and the challenges of undergraduate philosophic engagement that emerges from and responds to place-based needs.
48. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 3
Cathleen Muller Journaling and Pre-Theoretical Discussion as Inclusive Pedagogy
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When one thinks about inclusive pedagogy, it is tempting to focus solely on adding more diverse voices to one’s syllabus. While this technique is valuable and important, one can also promote inclusivity by encouraging and supporting the diverse voices of one’s own students. In this paper, I argue that two practices—low-stakes journal assignments and the pre-theoretical discussion of student thoughts about a topic before any readings have been assigned—promote inclusivity by encouraging and supporting a wide range of perspectives in the classroom, because such methods foster the students’ individual voices, experiences, and beliefs and demonstrate that they are valued and respected.
49. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 3
Patrick Clipsham Using Small-Group Discussion Activities to Create a More Inclusive Classroom
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This paper is meant to engage with philosophy teachers who are interested in creating a more inclusive environment by using small group discussion exercises. I begin this paper by describing the connections between the inclusive classroom and the collaborative classroom. I then articulate two learning goals that group discussion exercises can help students accomplish and define these learning goals as philosophical discovery and philosophical creation. Finally, I discuss a number of activities that encourage students to accomplish these learning goals in small groups and describe how the incorporation of these exercises has affected the inclusivity of my own classes.
50. American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy: Volume > 3
Carmen Adel, Joseph Ulatowski Breaking the Language Barrier: Using Translations for Teaching Introductory Philosophy
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Some students who possess the same cognitive skill set as their counterparts but who neither speak nor write English fluently have to contend with an unnecessary barrier to academic success. While an administrative top-down approach has been in progress for many years to address this issue, enhancement of student performance begins in the classroom. Thus, we argue that instructors ought to implement a more organic bottom-up approach. If it is possible for instructors to make class content available in other languages, such as Spanish, without thereby compromising something of comparable pedagogical value, then they ought to do so. In fact, we provide here Anselm’s Ontological Argument rendered in Spanish to show how, when translated, it provides native Spanish speakers with greater accessibility to difficult material. Then, we consider the possible beneficial implications of doing so for university students.