Teaching Philosophy Papers

Teaching Philosophy Papers-46
Finally, we all construct the argument together and evaluate the most plausible version.

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Students in my metaphysics class should understand the merits of different accounts of personal ontology.

And all my students should be able to appreciate the motivations behind views that oppose their own and provide thoughtful responses to related challenges.

When my students take ownership of their learning experience in the philosophy classroom, they not only learn about significant views in, for instance, epistemology or philosophy of religion.

They also become better reasoners and problem solvers, comfortable engaging with new or unfamiliar lines of reasoning.

My primary goal as an instructor is to help students take ownership of their learning experience so they may apply skills developed in the philosophy classroom to their lives and careers.

Students take ownership of their learning in part by connecting traditional philosophical content, like the debate over whether we have free will, with their own experiences and opinions.

They also take ownership by reconstructing arguments on their own and presenting lines of reasoning to their classmates.

In conjunction with learning about themselves and their place in the world (Are you merely an animal? ), students in my courses learn how to assess lines of reasoning and respond successfully to related challenges (If you accept Thomson’s argument, does that mean late-term abortions are permissible? To make ownership of learning a priority, I plan our classes around participation, encourage personal connections between course content and everyday life, and structure courses to fit students’ needs by taking their feedback seriously.

Have you found logical fallacies in your friends’ Facebook rants?

Understanding philosophical ideas in the context of their lives gives my students motivation to invest personally in the course.


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