Last year I wrote a post reflecting my view that Rebecca Tuvel had been drafted as symbolic stand-in for a host of disciplinary issues and now I find my reactions much the same regarding the recent essay and guest post by Shen-yi Liao over at Daily Nous. Some details, first.
Professor Liao posted an essay describing his recent efforts to create a novel introduction to philosophy course, one that engaged students in much recent work on biases, silencing, slurs, and a cluster of related issues. Liao detailed some of the responses from students he received and was moved to post about it in part because he took these responses as evidence that pre-college assumptions about what philosophy is and can do are strong – indeed, that students may arrive at college with assumptions about the discipline that work to promote less interest in demographically underrepresented students. So, the post had a twofold purpose: Share some creative pedagogy and query how intro courses might shake loose assumptions that discourage participation by a broader range of students.