Visualising Arguments (Birkbeck Teaching Award Talk)
Visualising Arguments: Using dynamic visual elements and other learning strategies to improve students’ appreciation of philosophical methods (Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award Talk)
Daniel Harkin, Department of Philosophy at Birkbeck
When Daniel first began teaching in higher education, he negotiated three roles. Alongside his role as a sessional tutor, he was both a secondary school teacher and a student himself. Initially he saw these roles as distinct and often in competition with one another. However changes in the delivery of teaching of philosophy at Birkbeck forced me to bring all three of these roles together and radically altered my approach to leading seminars.
This change brought new demands of the teaching environment and rendered existing strategies ineffective in meeting those demands. Forced to seriously reflect on what it meant to lead a seminar and he began to see continuities between his role as a classroom teacher and the seminar. Daniel brought into the seminar learning strategies honed from his time as a secondary school teacher, by implementing structured activities that allowed for kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learning. A central element of this new approach involved the deployment of a dynamic, visual approach to presenting arguments that allowed students to interact with them and develop the skills required to critically assess them.