[Philosophy] Course Review

Richard O'Donovan rodonovan at fhs.vic.edu.au
Mon Feb 27 14:15:40 EST 2006

Sounds great Emmanuel, a thematic approach would be very handy - it increases the burden for the exam writers, but I don't think they'd begrudge us that if it generates a better course. Details would be very helpful - particularly on what you think should be dropped.  A lot of people are loathe to lose Murdoch simply because she's the only woman on the course... can anyone think of a better alternative?  Or even a better section from Murdoch?


From: philosophy-bounces at edulists.com.au on behalf of Emmanuel Skoutas
Sent: Mon 27-Feb-06 1:25 PM
To: Year 12 Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Philosophy] Course Review

Richard and ors, 3 points on the course review;
1. I generally agree that assessment in philosophy does not do justice to capturing the developmental progress of our students. I suggest a journal which is probably what others are thinking also. But the criteria need to be focused on formative principles of assessment.
2. In relation to the texts, I'd like to drop a couple just to free up the curriculum to allow more reflection, research and evaluation opportunities for the students. 
3. My suggestion would be to revamp the whole structure of the course that gives greater choice over what texts schools can choose from. For example we can have a greater variety of themes that include the current Good Life and Knowledge and Mind but also themes on topics like Environment, Love, Identity that can have their own range of readings and texts.
I can provide more detail if you wish, keep up the good work.

	----- Original Message ----- 
	From: Richard O'Donovan <mailto:rodonovan at fhs.vic.edu.au>  
	To: Year 12 Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List <mailto:philosophy at edulists.com.au>  
	Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 10:40 AM
	Subject: RE: [Philosophy] Course Review

	Thanks for the feedback Lyn.  I'd like to see a non-print text included too... any suggestions?  If you had to crop something, what would it be??


	From: philosophy-bounces at edulists.com.au on behalf of lr at willihigh.vic.edu.au
	Sent: Thu 23-Feb-06 10:33 AM
	To: philosophy at edulists.com.au; philosophy at edulists.com.au
	Subject: RE: [Philosophy] Course Review

	hi all,
	have to disagree with greg on the king.  i feel it's highly relevant - especially when i have a mix of theists, atheists and agnostics in the room.  turing is little value without the objections, but i tend not to give my students the objections straight away.  instead i ask them to come up with some ideas, which are noted on the board, then i hand out the actual objections and we classify their own thoughts under the different headings.
	i don't actually have a problem with any of the readings.  our school doesn't have great resources, but i have enough time to do the course with 3 weeks at the end just for revision.  my kids usually perform at or above the state average on the end of year exam.  some modern (non-print?) texts could be good.  there NEEDS TO BE at least one SAC that is orally presented - the running of a philosophy cafe, a speech, a role-play, whatever.  but if we seriously want them doing philosophy and not just regurgitating the ideas of dead white men they need to be assessed on their ability to speak!
	"Richard O'Donovan" <rodonovan at fhs.vic.edu.au> on Wed, 22 Feb 2006 12:38:27 +1100 wrote:
	> Hi Clare & Greg & Ian - thought I'd combine response here.  Yes, sorry I forget to say that I'm on the review panel.  I went to the first meeting last Thursday and will go to another next Thursday.  It all feels quite rushed to me as the preliminary report on changes is supposed to be finished by the end of this term from memory - which is why I'm keen to get as many responses/suggestion ASAP.
	> Thanks Greg - I now have another metaphor for philosophy; intellectual tennis - banging arguments from one side of the net back to the other.
	> I think there are also a drastic shortage of secondary sources as part of the course - I think that if we're going to have originals that it would also be useful to have a bit of modern scholarship based on the extracts included too... at least there'd be less of a vacuum for newcomers like Ian - it's no mean task to get Philo up and running from scratch. 
	> I believe that VCAA is keen to keep Philosophy rigorous - the Specialist Maths of Humanities (although you can't do Specialist without doing Maths Methods in Yr 11) - but I'm concerned that we are trying to squeeze in too much; which is ok for schools who can afford to run Philosophy camps and the like, but less realistic for the poorer resourced sites... and I don't think anyone would want to restrict access to something like philosophy based purely on socio-economic background.
	> Richard
	> ________________________________
	> From: philosophy-bounces at edulists.com.au on behalf of Murphy, Clare I
	> Sent: Wed 22-Feb-06 9:03 AM
	> To: Year 12 Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List
	> Subject: RE: [Philosophy] Course Review
	> Hello Richard,
	> My name is Clare McKay and I teach @Eltham High School. I am on the mailing list and can now reply. Generally I agree with your recommendations. Are you on the review panel?
	> Clare
	> From: philosophy-bounces at edulists.com.au on behalf of Greyruin
	> Sent: Tue 21-Feb-06 11:09 PM
	> To: Year 12 Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List
	> Subject: Re: [Philosophy] Course Review
	> I do agree, Richard. The King is great - but irrelevant, and I have to
	> confess that the Murdoch just seems murky. Right, let's get back to
	> practising philosophy, not just memorising stuff. I know, it hurts the kids
	> who can only memorise, but, then, I've always felt uncomfortable about
	> tennis. Seems that all that attention to ball skills and being able to belt
	> the jolly thing back at 250 m per second, or whatever, basically
	> inconvenienced us skinny intellectual dudes with thin wrists and spaghetti
	> arms.
	> The Turing is good - but leave out the objections, right. My kids thought
	> that was pointless. I'm not sure about dumping Aristotle altogether, though.
	> We could look at his logic, perhaps. Yes, on Kuhn. Find something more
	> closely connected with Popper. That's a bit strained at the moment. How long
	> do we have to make a plea?
	> Greg
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	lr at willihigh.vic.edu.au
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