Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Newest issue of Teaching Philosophy

Here she is, in all its summertime glory: Teaching Philosophy, vol. 37, no. 3:

(A reminder: The journal is always looking for excellent contributions on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Submit your manuscript here!)

Vanessa Carbonell
The purpose of this essay is to make the case that the ethical issues raised by the current U.S. practice of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising are worthy of study in philosophy courses, and to provide instructors with some ideas for how they might approach teaching the topic, despite the current relative scarcity of philosophical literature published on it. This topic presents a unique opportunity to cover ground in ethics, critical thinking, and scientific literacy simultaneously. As a case study, the practice of DTC advertising is both theoretically rich and universally relevant to students’ lives. The nature of these ads—numerous, diverse, visually and thematically entertaining—makes them delicious fodder for in-class activities, small group work, discussion-based learning, creative projects, and customizable essay topics. I offer a set of suggestions for approaching the study of DTC drug ads that is informed by my own experience doing so in bioethics courses. Ultimately, including this topic on your syllabus not only contributes to students’ philosophical skills and knowledge, but also helps them become better informed as citizens and potential “consumers” of health care.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Is it possible to give too much feedback?

Recently, in the course of a presentation I was giving, I made a statement that is evidently controversial:
Many conscientious instructors give too much feedback to students on their work.

(I'm thinking mainly about student essays here.) Several audience members were taken aback (and this post at Philosophers' Cocoon suggests that at least some philosophers share such sentiments). But in my own defense, here's my rationale.