Teaching is Not Magic. I'm stealing this motto from my fellow-blogger, Michael Cholbi. Teaching is not some magical thing that one has innately or that one "gets" or that one gets the hang of after a few years of exposure. Most philosophers are rightly skeptical of scholarly literature in what one might call "education studies." But thankfully, philosophy has its own association of philosophy teachers (the AAPT) and its own journal (Teaching Philosophy) that both share that skepticism and recognize that good teaching is at the very least not something that every philosopher should have to figure out on her own and that it should be informed by argument, reason and evidence. Its not good enough to point one's graduate students to these resources. Graduate programs should be centrally involved in the AAPT and in Teaching Philosophy, because arguably, Ph.D programs are most responsible for the students who have learned the most. Share the wealth, folks - how did you do it?--Rebecca Copenhaver, In Socrates' Wake.
Copenhaver's post is focused primarily on the North American situation (in my neck of the woods PhD bursaries are employees not "students," etc.), but her reflections apply more widely. The post reminded me of the weaknesses of my graduate education and also, alas, the shortcomings of my current practice as a supervisor. Anyway, I encourage everybody involved in PhD programs in philosophy to go read her whole post.