The Transition from Studying Philosophy to Doing Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy 34 (3):241-271 (2011)
Abstract
In this paper I articulate a minimal conception of the idea of doing philosophy that informs a curriculum and pedagogy for producing students who are capable of engaging in philosophical activity and not just competent with a specific domain of knowledge. The paper then relates, by way of background, the departmental assessment practices that have played a vital role in the development of my department’s current curriculum and in particular in the design of a junior-year seminar in philosophical research required of all majors. After a brief survey of the learning theory literature that has informed its design, I share the content of this junior-year seminar. In the paper’s conclusion I provide some initial data that indicates our approach to curriculum and pedagogy has had a positive impact on student achievement with respect to reaching the learning goals associated with “doing” as opposed to “merely studying” philosophy
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