Category Archives: Teaching Memos

The Grand Tour, Revitalized

For quite a long time, particularly in Victorian-era England and in the upper echelons of society in the United States, children of well-to-do families set out (or were sent out, more accurately put) upon lengthy grand tours of Continental Europe. … Continue reading

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Learning to Think Like a Kid (Teaching Memo)

For the past year, I have been teaching the fifth grade. It is a departure far from teaching college students about Plato, Kant, James, and Arendt. However, I have been very pleasantly surprised and accordingly have learned a lot in … Continue reading

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Teaching Memo 3: Remaining Teachable

One of the most important characteristics of a good teacher is a commitment to remain teachable. This is not, as it sounds, mere proverb. It must be demonstrated. Every semester, I engage in an ongoing evaluation of my teaching habits … Continue reading

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Teaching Memo 2: Using “Scaffolded Writing” Assignments to Teach Critical Skills

In a recent paper in the journal Teaching Philosophy, Cynthia D. Coe wrote about teaching via “scaffolded writing,” which she describes as follows: Scaffolding breaks [the expectations about critical thinking and writing] into a progressive series of papers, moving from … Continue reading

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Teaching Memo 1: The Purposes and Methods of an Introduction to Philosophy Course

When I was an undergraduate, I remember my first day in my introduction to philosophy class at Washington & Jefferson College, which was team-taught by David Schrader and Lloyd Mitchell (guest starring Andrew Rembert, on occasion). The course was subtitled … Continue reading

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