My main goals as an instructor of philosophy are to (i) motivate students to develop skills of critical thinking and to transfer those skills to contexts outside the classroom so that they might live more examined lives, (ii) foster a safe and supportive learning environment that encourages students to monitor and control their learning by providing them with regular feedback, successfully equipping them with the skills needed to complete course tasks, and making it safe to take risks and grow, and (iii) to increase diversity in philosophy by working to achieve diversity in course content, speaking clearly so that international students or students for whom English is not a first language can readily comprehend the course content, and to consider philosophical issues that bring awareness to social injustices.
Below are courses that I have taught (or will teach) as the primary instructor of record.
Critical Thinking (Phil 3, Spring 2017, Syllabus)
Philosophy of Religion (Phil 112, Summer Session A 2017)
Theory of Knowledge (Phil 100B, Spring 2016, Syllabus, Pedagogical Techniques)
The epistemology course was writing-intensive. A core course principle was that “writing well starts with reading well.” To equip students to read philosophy well in order to write philosophy well I taught them how to effectively read philosophy papers. This three-stage reading process moved students up Bloom’s taxonomy by requiring them to: (i) exercise retrieval of the author’s main thesis and basic concepts used in the article, (ii) deepen and refine their understanding of the article by re-reading it carefully and correcting mistaken annotations, and (iii) evaluate the author’s argument and their reading process. Reading assignments ensured that students stayed on top of the readings, primed them for comprehending the article as discussed in the upcoming lecture class, equipped them to think deeply about a topic that they would have to write a paper on, and helped them think about their thinking by encouraging self-monitoring of their mental processing of the material.
I have served as a teaching assistant for the following courses (often multiple times):
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Critical Thinking and Logic
- Introduction to Ethics
- History of Ethics