Monthly Archive: March 2005

Mar 31 2005

The four stages of life: Stage 1- the student

For most people, their starting philosophy comes from what they acquired in their early childhood and is strongly influenced by the religion of their family and the values of their family and local community. Of course, the religious philosophies of the major religions encompass many strands, as they must if they are to maintain broad-based …

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Mar 30 2005

What is your own philosophy?

Professor Sandy Piderit of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case has a wonderful knack of finding interesting sites and posting the links on her blog, so you should check it out regularly. She recently posted the results of an on-line survey that asks you to rate your responses to a series of statements and, …

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Mar 29 2005

Developing a personal philosophy of life

I wrote in an earlier posting about how college is an ideal place to start thinking about developing a personal philosophy of life, because it brings together all the resources that can help you get started on such a fulfilling journey. I also noted the disturbing trend that the number of college students seeing that …

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Mar 28 2005

What makes us change our minds?

In the previous post, I described the three kinds of challenges teachers face. Today I want to discuss how teachers might deal with each case. On the surface, it might seem that the first kind of challenge (where students do not have much prior experience (either explicitly or implicitly) with the material being taught and …

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Mar 25 2005

The purpose of teaching

I have been teaching for many years and encountered many wonderful students. I remember in particular two students who were in my modern physics courses that dealt with quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology. Doug was an excellent student, demonstrating a wonderful understanding of all the topics we discussed in class. But across the top of …

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Mar 25 2005

Can ethical behavior be legislated?

If there is one underlying idea that drives the effort to pass Ohio’s Senate Bill 24, it seems to be the idea that college faculty cannot be trusted to behave ethically in their dealings with students, in what they teach and how they assess and grade. College faculty are probably no better or worse than …

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Mar 23 2005

Private grief and public spectacle

I have not posted anything so far on the big story that seems to be consuming the whole country, which is the sad, sad case of Terri Schiavo. This is partly because I intended this blog to be more concerned with reflections on slower-moving themes, and not consist of commentary on current events (which other …

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Mar 22 2005

What should we teach?

I tend to be one of those ‘glass-half-full’ kind of people. Maybe it is because of my fundamental sense of identity as a teacher. I see most things, even things that I do not agree with, also as possible ‘teachable moments’ that can be used to obtain a deeper understanding of issues. This is why, …

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Mar 21 2005

Safe Zones

As you enter my office, directly across from the door is a bulletin board and on it is a little sticker. It has the words ‘SAFE ZONE’ in large purple letters over an inverted pink triangle background. It was given to me by the Spectrum group at Case which, according to its website seeks to …

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Mar 18 2005

What do creationist/ID advocates want-III?

It is time to tackle head-on the notion of what is meant by the “materialism” that the creationist/ID camp find so distasteful. (See part I and part II for the background.) The word materialism is used synonymously with “naturalism” and perhaps the clearest formulation of what it means can be found in the writings of …

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