Presentation on theme: "Progressing Thinking: New Perspectives on Teaching Philosophy Emma Williams Philosopher in Residence Rugby School"— Presentation transcript:
Progressing Thinking: New Perspectives on Teaching Philosophy Emma Williams Philosopher in Residence Rugby School email@example.com
What is Perspectives on Science (PoS)? A Project course in the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Science From 2004 – 2008 a free-standing pilot AS qualification Evaluated in 2008 by Levinson et al, Institute of Education A prototype for the extended project dissertation
The Extended Project (EP) A project based qualification Integral to all Diploma courses and available as a stand alone qualification, equivalent to half an A level. Designed to emphasise the development of thinking skills and encourage independent learning. Allows freedom for ideas to flourish, free from the normal constraints of standard specifications.
TopicTheme Skills Development (40 hours) Philosophical frameworks/ thinking skills Introduction to ethical thinking History of science / research skills Research Project (80 hours) Research Proposal /Planning Writing/ Editing Presentation PoS Course Structure:
A Philosophical Approach PoS employs philosophy as a model for developing thinking skills. Philosophy is “the study of concepts and conceptual schemes” (Hand, 2008). Fostering the philosophical attitude. FIRST PHASE: Lessons are modelled to encourage debate and dialogue Allowing learners to acquire the knack of expressing their point of view clearly and precisely, backing this up with reasons, and replying to objections. Debates are structured through the introduction of key theoretical frameworks/paradigms
Student Reflections “We’ve been given an ethical framework to base arguments around so we can come at it more objectively, we know different points of views.” “We outline the argument and then we look and analyse each argument and the counter arguments…it’s a bit systematic but it really makes you think about what he’s actually saying rather than just throwing your own view in there without really understanding what you’re actually fighting against, and so…you’ve gone through it logically and then you go on to form your opinion. I think it works really well like that.” Quoted in Levinson et al (2008) A Research Study of the Perspectives on Science AS- level Course, p. 11 & 15
PoS and A Level Philosophy: Complementary Aims Aims of A level course 2009 specification: “knowledge and understanding of philosophy” “develop a rigorous approach to the…nature of argument” “develop a set of transferable intellectual skills” “practice and enhance ability to construct and develop…arguments”. Aims of PoS reflect similar a conception of philosophy, with emphasis on (2);(3);(4). Main differences in modes of assessment. PoS assessed by means of a 7000 word dissertation (an extended project).
Structure Abstract Introduction Literature Review Discussion Conclusion / Evaluation The PoS Dissertation
Sample Projects Is the withdrawal of life prolonging treatment from patients with brain injuries medically and ethically justified? Is climate change no longer a scientific debate but a political and sociological problem? Given the sceptical challenge, can science give us grounds for certainty? Can the lack of medical consent ever be justified? Should people who abuse their bodies through smoking be denied medical treatment? In the age of finding new methods for life extension, to what length should humans go to prolong life?
Easing the Transition to HE? “We’ve found effectively it’s making the students much more independent in the way they think, much more creative, much more thoughtful, much more critical, and there are some dividends there. We are expecting these students to do rather better at university” - PoS Pilot teacher, quoted in Levinson et al (2008) A Research Study of the Perspectives on Science AS-level Course, p29 "Perspectives on Science (POS) and the Extended Project (EP) allowed me to develop a variety of skills which are now helping me with my studies at university. Doing the POS/EP…has given me much more confidence when doing presentations and when I am involved in discussions groups and in tutorials. I have appreciated that points of view should be based upon evidence rather than unsubstantiated ideas. The skills given to me by the POS/EP are of great benefit to me given the nature of some of the modules in my degree. I am really pleased that I had the opportunity to practise these skills before I came to university." - (Michael, now studying Law and Economics at Leicester)
A Joy to Teach.. “I am really enthusiastic about the course. I think it’s probably the most enjoyable teaching I’ve ever done in my whole teaching career. I think it’s because for once the students and I are actually exploring knowledge, for the love of exploring knowledge, rather than trying to prove that Ohm’s Law is still Ohm’s Law. “ PoS Pilot teacher, quoted in Levinson et al (2008) A Research Study of the Perspectives on Science AS-level Course, p29
Progressing Thinking: New Perspectives on Teaching Philosophy Emma Williams Philosopher in Residence Rugby School firstname.lastname@example.org Dr John Taylor Chief Examiner, Project Qualifications Director of Critical Skills, Rugby School email@example.com