Perspectives on Education

The well worn adage that teaching is the best form of learning is one I have found to be true in my own experience. The need to explain an idea you have wrestled with at length to people who think differently than you, and probably don’t value the same things in the same way, poses a challenge of communication that I find fascinating and enriching. I don’t teach from pre-prepared lectures because I want each class session to be organic, so that my “lecture” is really a demonstration (and an actual application) of what it looks like to think through difficult ideas in real time. This gives students more of a chance to witness and participate in the process themselves. I am not, however, opposed to the lecture model, because students do need to see what the presentation of a matured, developed perspective looks like, so that they can do it as well. So I do not share the currently fashionable attitude that the lecture-style is necessarily bad, only that lectures should not be canned or monological – students need a chance to speak, too.

But sometimes I do write out lectures, not to read them but to put into practice something I tell my students: writing is an indispensable tool for the refinement and organization of our thoughts, and will actually make us better at extemporaneous speaking if done well. So much of what I will post on this particular page are those pre-written lectures which I write in order to get my thoughts together in advance of providing more free-form lectures. I’ll also post here any items related to education and the philosophy of learning that I have developed, whether in general or for specific occasions.

A Pedagogy of Imagination

The Role of Literature within the Liberal Arts Philosophy

Communication Theory, Cognitive Sense Analogues, and American Sign Language as a Foreign Language