Russell Marcus

Professor of Philosophy Russell Marcus and Alessandro Moscarítolo Palacio, the Truax Postdoctoral Fellow in philosophy, recently presented research at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers’ 2022 International Conference-Workshop at Otterbein University.

Alessandro Moscaritolo Palacio
Alessandro Moscaritolo Palacio Photo: Nancy L. Ford

Their talk, “Managing Student Errors,” described two polar models for handling student errors in the classroom. They said that instructors may have different views about the proper position between these poles, and that such differences may emerge in different contexts.

Marcus and Moscarítolo Palacio said that with the model they call the “philosophical expertise model,” instructors are responsible for maximizing the number of true or reasonable claims made in a classroom, including correcting student errors. In the “student empowerment model,” they said that instructors should be wary of any kind of correction, since more importance is accorded to student autonomy. Their discussion included examples of errors that might arise in a philosophy classroom.

In addition to his joint presentation, Marcus presented in a session featuring three recent winners of the APTA/APA/TPA Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching. He discussed the pedagogical challenge of balancing effective preparatory work, especially in the context of team-based learning, with flexibility and responsiveness to students. Marcus was the recipient of the 2020 Prize for Excellence.

As chair of the AAPT Awards Committee, he presented the Lenssen Prize for the best paper about the teaching of philosophy published in 2020 and 2021, and the Award of Merit for Outstanding Leadership and Achievements in the Teaching of Philosophy.

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