Associate Professor of Philosophy Russell Marcus recently took part in the 22nd Biennial Workshop-Conference of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers at North Carolina A&T University. While attending the July conference Marcus:
- Presented some original research about scaffolding writing instruction in philosophy, "Against the Thesis-Driven Essay." The presentation collects Marcus’ recent work in teaching philosophy writing, developed largely in my Philosophy 122W: Infinity, but also in Philosophy 203: History of Modern Western Philosophy. He demonstrated and defended a variety of writing assignments designed to help students write well without burdening them immediately with the task of composing thesis-driven essays.
- Presented, at a session of award-winning philosophy teachers, some reflections on lessons for new teachers couched in a discussion of five of his worst moments as a teacher.
- Participated in a Flash Philosophy session in which he showed attendees how to teach thematic introductory courses, like the ones most philosophy department faculty teach at Hamilton. Marcus showed syllabi designed by Todd Franklin, Katheryn Doran, Marianne Janack, and Alex Plakias.
- Led a new trivia night for which he wrote all the questions.
- Ran the summative reflection and discussion session at the end of the conference.
In addition Marcus attended board meetings; crafted and distributed lunchtime discussion topics; and met with a grants committee on which he sits.