I'm working on planning an Introduction to Philosophy course for next academic year. I've taught it many times and am still not happy. I have numerous blog posts about it, the latest one being at the top of the stack here, and it's about what I think hasn't been working so what I need to change: http://blogs.ubc.ca/chendricks/2017/06/06/needs-improvement-intro-philosophy/
@chendricks I've only scanned this, but I'm really interested in what you're doing here (my first degree was in Philosophy and I taught History up to 18 at the beginning of my career)
Just thinking out loud, but application of philosophy can be hit-and-miss: what turns on one student leaves another cold. For example, I find the Stoics fascinating and inspirational. Many don't.
Are you *required* to set them essays? Could it be more like School of Life videos?
Thanks for sharing & asking these questions. I know nothing about philosophy but thought I'd share a link to a project I saw at Domains conference. The thing that resonates for me the most with your questions is the "I-search" model, starting from the areas in which students are already experts. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1WXVCB84huwMnH8Xm41ClaTJ2H5M0GYey-Bnbz8kv5ok/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g1f6653adce_0_6
@dajbelshaw Are you talking about what they are reading or what they are making in terms of essays vs. videos? Both are fair game! I need to look more at that video series; last time I looked there weren't that many in the series but I expect there are more now.
And yes on the hit and miss. I ask them to find philosophical ideas or discussions or expressions in the world beyond the class, in media of their choice, to help with that.