Volume 28, Issue 3, September 2005
Robert Boyd Skipper
Aliteracy in the Philosophy Classroom
For whatever reasons, students seem more resistant than ever before to reading. Educators have catered to this trend, introducing learning activities other than reading. I argue that, in philosophy at least, nothing can substitute for reading and discussion. I further argue that the best readings are famous, intellectually challenging, and substantial enough to reward the student with a memorable philosophical experience. I have noticed that students appreciate meaty, classical, philosophical works that challenge them, but are bored by dumbed-down textbooks or summaries. After considering some obvious objections, I relate two successful techniques I have used to raise the level of student engagement in class.