Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Request: Do you have good resources for teaching students how to read philosophy in an intro class?

A friend just asked me if I have any good resources for teaching intro students how to read philosophy? I thought readers of ISW might know of or be able to link to good resources. I have to confess I have never taught a true intro course -- the courses I teach for students who are not already majors are not designed to attract students to the major, so I tend to think this as the only encounter with philosophy most of them will have; and most of them are juniors and seniors who, certainly at my institution, have quite different  needs from first years. However, this is timely for me because I am currently piloting a course which will, eventually, be offered as an intro-level large lecture course.

Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.

9 comments:

  1. There's a nice discussion in the first chapter of Lewis Vaughn's "Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays".

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  2. I wrote this for 17 year olds studying a primary philosophical text in its entirety for the first time, so it might be a little too detailed for your intro students, but hopefully something in here might be of use:

    http://falasafaz.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/how-to-read-philosophy/

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  3. I like David Concepcion's "Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition," because it compares how novices and experts read philosophy texts and gives some good strategies for markup.

    https://www.pdcnet.org/8525737F00588478/file/C125737F0061DCC6C125756D0060B335/$FILE/teachphil_2004_0027_0004_0055_0072.pdf

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  4. I have students write up a collective list of their own pointers on how to read challenging materials. They come up with many good ideas, which I augment with some of the readings and tips from above. My hope is that if they articulate *their own* strategies on how to better read, they are more likely to follow them.

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  5. In my (limited) experience, one pretty standard "how to" is Jim Pryor's: http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/reading.html

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  6. Harry: ISW contributors developed this a few years back:
    http://people.eku.edu/austinm/effectivestudying.htm

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  7. I'm a little late to the conversation, but I compiled several of these resources in the teaching section of my personal website: http://www.trevorhedberg.com/teaching/studres/index.html

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  8. I use the ConcepciĆ³n article and pair it with a reading assignment.

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  9. Shameless self-plug--I have a few different guides on my website: http://community.middlebury.edu/~kkhalifa/Guides.html

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