Saturday, June 02, 2007

Teaching Philosophy?

Howdy philosophers!

Well, in response to Matt's plea for posts, I thought I'd weigh in on a topic that I've
been thinking about recently, since I'm teaching existentialism (again) this summer.
Since I'm pretty certain that teaching will be the largest part of my academic life
after I leave here, I'd like to be able to articulate a coherent theory about how one
should teach philosophy (or maybe, how one should teach at the university level more
generally). It's easy to fall into cynicism and apathy about teaching after a few bad
experiences, and I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. But given that most of our
students only get a single (or, if we can get them hooked, a couple years of) exposure
to philosophy, it seems like we should be thinking about how to make the most of that
opportunity (or those opportunities, if we're talking about majors).

I know that there are articles about this type of thing floating around; one author whose
work on pedagogy that I really like is Parker Palmer, and I could do a lot more reading to get
ideas. But I'm sure some of you have thought about this as well. Does anyone have
particular recommendations, or thoughts on the matter?

3 comments:

Matt Brown said...

I have found this article by David Hildebrand exceptionally helpful.

KI said...

Very nice, MB -- I like it a lot, and I think there are strong resonances with some of Parker Palmer's stuff. Your article is nicer for our purposes, I think, since it's philosophy-specific pedagogy.

David Hunter said...

Worth checking out In Socrates Wake a new blog devoted to discussing teaching in philosophy: http://insocrateswake.blogspot.com/

Disclaimer: I do blog there myself.

Cheers
David