Event Title

Keynote - What Plato Taught Me about How To Get through to Today’s Students

Location

Hawkins Hall, Krinovitz Auditorium

Start Date

1-10-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

1-10-2016 9:30 AM

Description

Every generation of faculty, and every generation of students, finds that it is challenging to communicate from the front of the classroom to the seats in the middle of the room. Somehow, no matter how brilliant we are, many of our students just don’t “get it.”

For most of my career I have believed in what could be called “pragmatic teaching failure.” On this approach, when we faculty don’t succeed it is presumed to be possible to overcome this failure with creativity, effort and engagement with the students. After all, complaining about students goes back all the way to Plato’s time. And Aristotle turned out pretty well in the end. I will argue that “pragmatic” teaching failure no longer fits the reality of teaching digital natives. Rather, many of us are in denial about a more “systematic” failure in our classes today. Appealing to Plato himself I will start the conversation about how to change teaching and learning to address the needs of the contemporary student.

Comments

Nicholas Hunt-Bull is Provost of Paul Smith’s College, the only baccalaureate-granting institution inside the Adirondack Park of New York State. He previously worked for 13 years at Southern New Hampshire University, where he started as Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory and ended with five years as Associate VPAA. Among many other activities there he ran the Honors Program, chaired the Curriculum Committee, and helped design a new Ed.D. degree.

Born in Canada, he attended college in Canada, Scotland and the United States, receiving his doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill. His teaching interests include ethics, logic and the history of philosophy, and his more recent research focused on assessment and the ethics of video games. He is currently teaching an Ethics class at Paul Smith’s.

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Oct 1st, 9:00 AM Oct 1st, 9:30 AM

Keynote - What Plato Taught Me about How To Get through to Today’s Students

Hawkins Hall, Krinovitz Auditorium

Every generation of faculty, and every generation of students, finds that it is challenging to communicate from the front of the classroom to the seats in the middle of the room. Somehow, no matter how brilliant we are, many of our students just don’t “get it.”

For most of my career I have believed in what could be called “pragmatic teaching failure.” On this approach, when we faculty don’t succeed it is presumed to be possible to overcome this failure with creativity, effort and engagement with the students. After all, complaining about students goes back all the way to Plato’s time. And Aristotle turned out pretty well in the end. I will argue that “pragmatic” teaching failure no longer fits the reality of teaching digital natives. Rather, many of us are in denial about a more “systematic” failure in our classes today. Appealing to Plato himself I will start the conversation about how to change teaching and learning to address the needs of the contemporary student.