Monday, December 18, 2017

1000-Word Philosophy - Call for Essays

This is a call for essays for materials that are ideal for teaching philosophy in many contexts:

1000-Word Philosophy is a constantly-growing collection of original essays on important philosophical topics. These essays are introductions rather than argumentative articles. Each essay is as close to 1000 words (while never going over!) as the author can get it. A 1000-word essay takes between five and ten minutes to read. That’s about the length of a bus ride or a waiting room stay or the lead-up to a class meeting.

We’re always looking for authors to contribute and seek a diverse set of essays, on a wide range of philosophical issues, questions, figures and traditions. If you’re interested in contributing a 1000-word essay (or essays) on a philosophical topic that interest you and that you think would interest our readers, email us. Please either send us your full essay for review, or an essay proposal, or any other inquiries regarding the appropriateness and desirability of your topic and approach.
We are especially interested in essays on topics frequently addressed in introductory courses, as well as topics that are difficult to cover in introductory courses because the relevant literature is difficult for first-year students. We especially welcome material addressing under-represented philosophical traditions, including global philosophy, philosophy of race, LGBTQIA issues, and more.  
Why contribute? 1000-Word Philosophy currently has a few hundred online visitors each day, and we are working to increase those numbers, so your essay will be highly visible to a global readership. We are also looking into ways to try to track the use of the essays, for example, in teaching and as sources for online discussion. We are also planning to eventually compile the essays into an open-access and open-source print collection that will be ideal for classroom use, as well as the general reader. If you are interested in developing ideal materials for both teaching and public philosophy, then 1000-Word Philosophy is for you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Essay Rubric

If you are looking for an awesome essay rubric, here's one, in a number of formats, by Micah Lewin:

Philosophy Paper Grading Rubric (on One 11x17 PDF Page, on Multiple 8.5x11 PDF Pages, or as a JPEG). 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Call for Outstanding Philosophy Teachers

Open call for Philosophers in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching

We write to solicit names of outstanding teachers who might be interested in contributing to a volume of reflective essays on the teaching of philosophy to be published by Hackett Publishing Company in 2019. We are primarily seeking dedicated philosophy teachers who have received an institution-wide teaching award (or some equivalent recognition) for their work in the classroom.

Essays will be approximately 4,000 to 7,000 words and reflect upon some aspect of the philosopher's experience as a teacher. Essays might address:

  • the teaching of a particular class (e.g. intro, ancient, modern, logic or critical reasoning);
  • the teaching of a particular student population (e.g. first-years, advanced majors, pre-college students, economically disenfranchised students, religious students, graduate students, or prisoners);
  • the impact philosophy teaching can have in the world;
  • a specific experience that has come to have broader significance for the author; or
  • some other topic that will educate and inspire teachers of philosophy.

This will not be an anthology of SOTL (scholarship of teaching and learning) papers or "how-to" papers, but an anthology of literary, narrative essays on the lives of distinguished philosophy teachers and their love for teaching.

Please recommend your best philosophy teachers for this project by e-mailing their names, and, if possible cvs, to with the subject line "Hackett teaching book" by Wednesday, February 8, 2017. If you've received an institution-wide teaching award (or some equivalent recognition) and have an idea for an essay, please send your cv, along with a paragraph or two about your idea, to that same e-mail address by Wednesday, February 8, 2017. 

Decisions will be announced sometime in May 2017. We plan to assemble our final list of contributors through our review of the submissions generated by this call and through some number of invitations. We are aiming for a list that is diverse in all respects: institutional affiliation, career status, philosophical orientation, gender, ethnicity, etc.

Steven M. Cahn, Former Chair, APA Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy
Alexandra Bradner, Chair, APA Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy
Andrew Mills, President, American Association of Philosophy Teachers

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Calls for Abstracts

The American Philosophical Association Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy invites abstracts for two sessions to take place at the APA Eastern Division meeting, January 4–7, 2017, in Baltimore, MD.

This session, organized with the APA Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy and the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, will explore the teaching of philosophy across the boundary between pre-college and college classrooms. We invite conversation about pedagogy among philosophers who have some experience teaching philosophy in both of these settings: What practices in the college classroom might transfer well to the K–12 philosophical inquiry classroom? What pedagogical practices specific to philosophy for children might engage college students?

The deadline to submit abstracts for this session is Monday, August 29. More information about the session, including detailed instructions on how to apply, is available on the APA website.

This session, organized with the APA Committee on the Status and Future of the Profession and the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, will approach ways to articulate and convey the value of philosophy teaching to administrators, board members, and government officials. We are looking, in particular, to share the experiences of philosophers who recently have had to fight for the survival of their departments.

The deadline to submit abstracts for this session is Wednesday, August 31. More information about the session, including detailed instructions on how to apply, is available on the APA website.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!
Best wishes,
Alexandra Bradner
Chair, APA Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Character Experiment

During the Spring 2015 semester in my introductory ethics courses, I tried something new that I first heard about through my friend Russell DiSilvestro. I suspect this assignment will sound strange to many philosophy professors. I asked the students to complete a project, “The Character Experiment,” in which they would pick 3 virtues to attempt to cultivate over the course of the semester.
“The purpose of our examination is not to know what virtue is, but to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would be of no benefit to us.”
Prior to describing and giving them the assignment, we read Greg Bassham’s “Virtue-Centered Approaches to Education: Prospects and Pitfalls,” Virtues in Action, Michael W. Austin, ed. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 11-22. This set the stage and offered a rationale for completing this type of experiment, recognizing some of its potential strengths and weaknesses. We also read James Gould, “Becoming Good: The Role of Spiritual Practice,” Philosophical Practice 1, no. 3 (2005): 135–47, to offer a framework and some practical suggestions. And we discussed the relevance of the experiment to the theories and issues we studied over the course of the semester.

"Teaching Practical and Applied Ethics" Facebook Group

David Killoren has created an engaging Facebook group "Teaching Practical and Applied Ethics" with this description:
This is a group for people who teach applied ethics (including biomedical ethics, business ethics, etc.). Let's share articles and news stories that are relevant to applied ethics, discuss pedagogical problems and their solutions, tell funny stories from the classroom, and so on.
It is a "closed" group, but anyone can ask to be added. (Shared with David's permission!)