AAPT Studies in Pedagogy
ISSN : 2380-4076
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.5840)
Total articles ≅ 60
Latest articles in this journal
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 169-199; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies2019547
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 34-67; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies201912642
Philosophy students often struggle to master the complex skills needed to succeed in their work, especially in writing thesis-driven essays. Research over the past forty years on instructional scaffolding, both generally and as applied in philosophy, has helped teachers to refine both instruction and assignment design to improve students’ performance on complex philosophical tasks. This essay reviews the fundamentals of scaffolding in order to motivate and support some innovative in-class exercises and writing assignments that can help students develop even finer-grained skills. These skills are useful both intrinsically and for their transfer to longer-form essays, to other philosophical work, and to the general academic and intellectual development of our students.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 7-21; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies201912641
In this essay, I analyze the pedagogical system contained within Jacques Rancière’s , paying special attention to the conceptions of knowledge and learning that follow from the presupposition of the equality of intelligence between teachers and students. From this, I show how the Rancièrian pedagogical system introduces the problem of distraction and suggest that the phenomenon of distraction in learning presents a problem for emancipatory teachers. I conclude by considering the role that pleasure plays in learning and suggest that cultivating pleasure minimizes the problem of distraction.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 68-88; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies2019121043
Traditionally, students have no choice over which assignments they must submit to receive the grade they desire in a course. An alternative “menu approach” (developed by Maryellen Weimer in 2002) provides students with a list of possible assignments and lets them select which to submit. This approach is demonstrated to increase student engagement with course material, motivate students to engage in creative work, and allow students to choose assignments that allow them to best demonstrate their learning. Student reaction is mixed: some like the choice but others are stressed and overwhelmed by it. This may result from the increased responsibility they must shoulder under the Menu Approach. Some questions remain about the link between increased engagement and student learning, questions that may form the basis for future research on the Menu Approach.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 89-122; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies2019121144
Multiple-choice questions have an undeserved reputation for only being able to test student recall of basic facts. In fact, well-crafted mechanically gradable questions can measure very sophisticated cognitive skills, including those engaged at the highest level of Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of outcomes. In this article, I argue that multiple-choice questions should be a part of the diversified assessment portfolio for most philosophy courses. I present three arguments broadly related to fairness. First, multiple-choice questions allow one to consolidate subjective decision making in a way that makes it easier to manage. Second, multiple-choice questions contribute to the diversity of an evaluation portfolio by balancing out problems with writing-based assessments. Third, by increasing the diversity of evaluations, multiple-choice questions increase the inclusiveness of the course. In the course of this argument, I provide examples of multiple-choice questions that measure sophisticated learning and advice for how to write good multiple-choice questions.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 123-143; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies2019121245
Problem-Based Learning has become an increasingly popular instructional method for a variety of disciplines at all levels. Many studies and meta-analyses of these studies have shown the efficacy of this method for developing knowledge and skills. I adopted this method for teaching Engineering Ethics at Carnegie Mellon University, which has as its main course objectives the development of moral reasoning skills, as well as collaboration and communication skills, with special attention given to ethical dilemmas that may arise in the normal course of an engineer’s professional career. In the most recent iteration of the course, I used the Engineering and Science Issues Test as a pretest and posttest to test the development of my students’ moral reasoning skills over the course of the semester. Based on the results of these tests, I argue that the students in my Engineering Ethics course did in fact significantly develop their moral reasoning skills.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 144-168; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies2019121346
Philosophical writing is challenging for students new to philosophy. Many philosophy classes are populated, for the most part, by students who have never taken philosophy before. While many institutions offer general writing support services, these services tend to be most beneficial for helping to identify problems with style and grammar. They are not equipped to help students with the particular challenges that come with writing philosophy for the first time. We implemented the Home Base Mentoring Program in two introductory-level philosophy courses to target the specific challenges that novice learners have when learning how to write philosophy. Through the program, students had access to writing mentors who were undergraduate senior philosophy majors. Based on surveys given to the students who have participated in this program, we found that the program boosted student confidence in writing and also worked to develop a welcoming, judgment-free, and encouraging environment in the philosophy department more generally.
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 1-6; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies201951
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 200-202; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies201952
AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 5, pp 22-33; https://doi.org/10.5840/aaptstudies201912640
The literature on drawing provides a justification for using drawing in the teaching of philosophy. The aim of the essay is to show how drawing as a pedagogy, though unusual in philosophy, fulfills high-quality teaching desiderata: make it personal, go beyond the text, allow students to show and explain their work, and unify the work of the course. I explain these four desiderata and how students complete drawing exercises to develop understanding, generate insights, and make philosophic discoveries. I begin by explaining and justifying the pedagogical desiderata. I discuss the literature on drawing-to-learn and concept mapping and apply its insights to teaching philosophy. Finally, I describe my exercises on color theory, two-point perspective exercises, my modifications to concept mapping, and the use of summative drawings.