At CEE, we think a lot about philosophical skills and good teaching. This is the first episode in our 2021 Teaching Series.
W. John Koolage is a philosophy professor and the Director of General Education at Eastern Michigan University. John is a philosopher of education who thinks a lot about teaching and learning. In this piece, he talks about how to engage undergrad students in philosophy classes by giving them opportunities to practice skills like curiosity and argument. And he talks about engaging students outside of the classroom in high-impact learning projects like the EMU Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy, which now has an international attendance.
John says, “You want students to use these things they learn in their general education programs inside their major and inside their lives.” Argument and curiosity “can actually fit in anything you do. They might make you a better parent, they might make you a better manager, they might make you a better chemist. That’s the sort of idea that you really want in your general education program, so that these things can infuse it.”
Interview recorded at APA Central, February 2020. Music by Ketsa and Podington Bear. Produced by Carrie Welsh.Recommended Readings:
EMU Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy: https://www.emuucip.com/
Paper about the conference: https://www.pdcnet.org/teachphil/content/teachphil_2018_0999_8_28_90
George Kuh’s high impact practices (excerpt): https://www.aacu.org/node/4084