As a scholar in the field of values and science, I have learned two important lessons: first, expanding the range of what we value within a society can contribute to promoting equality, and second, critiquing is not a way of finding faults but a way of revealing unexamined assumptions underlying knowledge claims. My teaching experiences also reinforce the value of constructive feedback. The value of free and open discussion, which is a hallmark of higher education, hinges on the equality of members who participate in such a discussion with mutual recognition and respect.
One thing I do to foster mutual recognition and respect is to dispel the common misconception of philosophy as a genius game. This myth tends to discourage students who find themselves not fitting with the dominant image of a white genius male. They are often reluctant to actively join in-class debates due to their fear of looking not smart enough. Diverse identities of students are not valued but taken as deviations from the standard or shortcomings to do philosophy. It also biases students to believe that their critical thinking ability is innate and fixed, rather than something acquired through practice.
I used several strategies to dispel the genius myth: diversify means of participation, give low-stake assignments throughout the semester, structure class discussions and assignments in a stepwise manner, and utilize peer assistance at various occasions. These strategies allow students to appreciate the value of making errors and mistakes in a supportive environment. This can be a steppingstone for students to develop philosophical skills as well as allow them to grow as persons who appreciate the value of hard work and support from others.
Instructor of Record
Information Technology Ethics (2019 Spring)
Class size: 45 students
Mean rating of teaching by students: 6.17/7 (43 responses)
In this course, we explore a number of ethical issues associated with information technology including privacy, intellectual property, online hate speech, algorithmic decision making, the meaning of humanity, and the digital divide. All the issues we discuss converge into the consideration of how to stop inequality and discrimination with the use of information technology and to promote social justice in this era.
Science and Philosophy (2018 Summer)
Class size: 33 students
Mean rating of teaching by students: 6.21/7 (28 responses)
This course examines a number of important issues in the philosophy of science, including the demarcation problem, the role of objectivity in science, the relationship between indigenous and scientific knowledge, and the role of values in science.