TEACHING AND LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ONLINE: OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS
Guest Editors: Suzanne McCullagh and Kristin Rodier
Online learning environments afford unique opportunities and challenges for teaching philosophy. While the global COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a wave of hurried online teaching, philosophy departments had been steadily expanding their online course offerings. Philosophy is often typified by small, in-person groups because of its focus on close reading of primary texts and careful identification and discussion of conceptual nuances. This may be more myth than reality, however, inquiries into the lack of diversity in philosophy have unearthed accounts of the marginalization of students within traditional philosophy classrooms. While distance learning removes some barriers for learners who are marginalized, it also increases barriers for students who need structure, space, and relational and motivational supports. This special issue proposes thinking about how teaching philosophy online both may enhance philosophical learning and/or exacerbate barriers to philosophical learning.
We are interested in questions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Can students develop relationships that contribute to the richness of their learning experience, reflection on the rigor of their thinking? What tools or techniques for dialogue facilitate critical thinking, peer-to-peer learning, and building a community of inquiry?
· What sorts of alternate assessments allow students to meaningfully reflect on their understanding and/or take philosophy out into their world? How should our feedback change in the online environment to spur students’ philosophical thinking?
· How can an online learning environment support the development and assessment of philosophical skills such as conversation, reflection, deep thinking, conceptual analysis, and multi-perspectival seeing, hearing, and thinking?
· How is our passion for (love of) philosophy education challenged or enhanced when teaching online? What can philosophy as a discipline gain from embracing online learning and the non-traditional students who pursue philosophy online?
· How to intervene in online discussions to provide clarification and deepen student thinking without imposing one’s authority and shutting down student’s desire to discuss?
· How can we design online philosophy courses that benefit students marginalized by the discipline without letting the discipline off the hook for creating classroom environments that marginalize a range of learners? What does the relative safety of online philosophy learning environments say about philosophy’s classroom climate for those who are marginalized by the discipline and those who are non-traditional university students?
Manuscripts should be submitted online at https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/teachingphilosophy. Please note the “Teaching and Learning Philosophy Online Special Issue” in your cover letter. The Submission deadline is June 1, 2022.
We anticipate final articles to run between 6,000 and 8,000 words, including an abstract of no more than 150 words. Submissions should be prepared for anonymous peer review. For detailed formatting instructions please consult the journal’s Submission Guidelines.
Inquiries about this special issue can be directed to the Editor, Maralee Harrell, at firstname.lastname@example.org.