Teaching

My pedagogy centers on building an atmosphere of cooperative self-examination, where the class discussion and engagement with the assigned texts serves as an opportunity for reflection and analysis. The diversity of modern students and their educational goals means that there can be no single measure of pedagogical success. Rather, ensuring that each student gets as much out of their time as possible is as much a matter of attending carefully to the student’s goals, prior background, and self-identification as it is a matter of constructing an engaging reading list or useful writing prompts. This not to say that the goal is to provide students with what they desire when they originally sign up—often, one of the best things students receive from a liberal arts education, and an education in philosophy, is to engage critically with their own antecedent wants, goals, and presuppositions. Since these antecedent wants, goals, and presuppositions vary greatly between students—and it is not possible to tailor a lesson to each student individually—my lessons focus instead on creating a collaborative space in which each student can come to the text on their own terms. These disparate understandings then structure our collaboration as the class as a whole endeavors to better understand the author’s philosophical claims.