This paper argues that explicit reading instruction should be part of lower level undergraduate philosophy courses. Specifically, the paper makes the claim that it is necessary to provide the student with both the relevant background knowledge about a philosophical work and certain metacognitive skills (e.g. their ability to reflect on the learning process) that enrich the reading process and their ability to organize the content of a philosophical text with other aspects of knowledge. A “How to Read Philosophy” handout and (...) student reactions to the handout are provided. (shrink)
If we want to see justice done with regard to responsibility, then we must either (i) allow that people are never morally responsible, (iia) show that luck is not ubiquitous or at least that (iib) ubiquitous luck is not moral, or (iii) show that ascriptions of responsibility can retain justice despite the omnipresence of luck. This paper defends (iii); ascriptions of responsibility can be just even though luck is ubiquitous.
This paper explores the state of teacher training in philosophy graduate programs in the English-speaking world. Do philosophy graduate programs offer training regarding teaching? If so, what is the nature of the training that is offered? Who offers it? How valuable is it? We conclude that philosophers want more and better teaching training, and that collectively we know how to deliver and support it.
In her book Specifications Grading, Linda B. Nilson advocates for a grading regimen she claims will save faculty time, increase student motivation, and improve the quality and rigor of student work. If she is right, there is a strong case for many faculty to adopt some version of the system she recommends. In this paper, we argue that she is mostly right and recommend that faculty move away from traditional grading. We begin by rehearsing the central features of specifications grading (...) and providing two examples of how to implement it in philosophy classes. In light of the examples, we argue that specifications grading fulfills two of Nilson’s central desiderata but not the third. Since specifications grading generates two benefits that when combined increase student learning, without adding or increasing burdens, we conclude that student learning increases when courses are revised to include aspects of specifications grading. (shrink)
Through examples of embodied and learning-centered pedagogy, we discuss transformative learning of transgressive topics. We begin with a taxonomy of types of learning our students undergo as they resolve inconsistencies among their pre-existing beliefs and the material they confront in our course on feminist ethics and epistemology. We then discuss ways to help students maximize their learning while confronting internal inconsistencies. While we focus on feminist topics, our approach is broad enough to be relevant to anyone teaching a transgressive or (...) controversial topic. (shrink)
After describing some key features of life in an underground railroad and the nature of gray agency, Concepción illustrates how survivors of relationship slavery can stop levying misplaced blame on themselves without giving up the valuable practice of blaming. Concepción concludes that by choosing a relatively non-oppressive account of self-blame, some amount of internalized oppression can be overcome and the double bind of agency-denial and self-loathing associated with being an oppressively grafted agent can be reduced.
This essay explains the difference between scholarly teachers and scholars of teaching and learning and provides a taxonomy of several research methodologies of scholars of teaching and learning in the field of philosophy.
Evidence supports the notion that out of class work that prepares students to contribute more meaningfully in group activities improves student learning. This essay describes in detail one way to well prepare students.
This essay comments on the sense of disquiet philosophers, especially newer philosophers, can feel when discussing sensitive topics with non-philosophers, and the role philosophy teachers have in providing support to students who are undergoing substantial personal transformation.