Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why Study Philosophy?

Here is a likely useful resource for philosophy teachers, to help respond to the question, "Why study philosophy?" 

"Why study philosophy?" "See !"

Monday, May 4, 2015

College Success Books?

Has anyone ever assigned a "college success" or "how to be a successful college student"-type book in any of their classes and has any recommendations on good ones? Many are available and I am wondering there are any that anyone has found to be especially useful in providing guidance for students about how to do better in college. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CFP: Children, Food, and Philosophy


The American Philosophical Association Committee for Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy (CPIP) is sponsoring a session on Children, Food, and Philosophy to be held at the APA Eastern Division Meeting January 6-9, 2016 in Washington, D.C. 

The CPIP invites presentation proposals about the intersection between children and food. This may include any of the following topics: ethics and food, food justice from farm to table, food activism, the aesthetics of food, local food, the global food system, or food and health.

Send title of presentation, abstract (500 words), and academic or professional affiliation to:

Dr. Beth Dixon
Dr. Sara Goering

Deadline for submission is May 15th, 2015

Handfield: Reflections on the Flipped Classroom

A guest post from Toby Handfield, Monash University:

There is much buzz around my university at the moment about the promise of the flipped classroom. The idea is that the lecture is not an effective method of delivering content, relative to the alternatives we now have. We can deliver content better via videos, Khan academy style, and we can then use our class time for more interactive work with students. Give them questions, have them complete assignments in class, work with them one on one, or get them into small group discussions. So content delivery becomes homework; homework becomes classwork.

There is currently so much confidence that this is a better way to teach that I have more than once heard administrators speak as though the adoption of a flipped classroom paradigm is evidence, in and of itself, of superior teaching quality. No doubt, that is exaggerated. Any pedagogical approach can be implemented badly.

But scepticism aside, many aspects of the flipped classroom are very appealing. Of course we should be using class time in ways that make the most of interactions between teacher and student, and many of us no doubt are trying to do that already. What began to excite me about flipped learning was when I experienced firsthand how powerful a series of short screencasts can be as a means of teaching content. My first exposure was teaching my daughter some mathematics, using the Khan academy. I could see how empowering it was for her to have a series of short videos that could be paused and reviewed at her own pace. I then taught myself some game theory, created by a PhD student in international relations. The question then became more pressing: if the sort of material I present in lectures can be presented just as well, or possibly better in this online format, then why not use class-time for more constructive, interactive encounters between students and teacher?

So since then I have been toying with changes that would begin to “flip” my own classroom. I experimented with making a few screencasts last year to accompany my lectures in political philosophy and an interdisciplinary unit, which covered topics such as economic efficiency in the context of climate change.

But as I thought further about this model, I wondered: haven’t many of us already, in effect, flipped our classrooms?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Announcing new Wilson Prize for essay on philosophy teaching

REMINDER: The submission deadline is October 1, 2015.

Teaching Philosophy is pleased to announce a new essay prize, the Arnold Wilson Prize. Details here and below the fold.

Subscribing to Teaching Philosophy

I've been posting information about the contents of Teaching Philosophy for a while, but you may not know how to subscribe. The basic information is here, but a rundown:

  • Members of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers receive online access free with membership.
  • Annual print subscriptions are $33, $40 for online, $53 or online and print.
  • Institutional subscriptions are (as expected). But I'd encourage your libraries to subscribe so that all of your faculty and students have access.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Seeking How to Teach articles

Teaching Philosophy is continuing its highly successful 'How to Teach' series, articles focusing on how to teach common courses in philosophy curricula. Having published articles in the series on critical thinking, early modern philosophy, comparative philosophy, business ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of science, the journal would be happy to receive proposals for articles focusing on any of the following courses:

  • epistemology
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of religion
  • ancient philosophy
  • environmental ethics
  • political philosophy
  • philosophy and/through film
  • philosophy of law
  • the continental tradition
  • feminist philosophy
If you'd like to propose an article, please send me an e-mail at mjcholbi*at* Thanks!