Author Archives: benjaminjh

About benjaminjh

Benjamin Hassman is Director of the Conversation Center ( and a Lecturer in the Rhetoric Department at the University of Iowa. The Conversation Center builds on his experience with Service-learning, peer-leadership programs (like the Berwick Boys Foundation) and teaching for the Rhetoric Minor, including Speaking Skills, Advanced Speaking Skills, and the Conversation Center’s own RHET 2090 Conversation Practicum (based on an experiential learning model). His PhD in Philosophy of Language studied paradoxes, and their implication for how we understand the relationship between our sentences and the world.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

In my mind, teaching should provide opportunities for multiple types of learning that unfold in response to how students enter the classroom (or engage the digital space). I like to use the phrase, “Filling the Chalkboard,” to capture my perspective, … Continue reading

Posted in Essay Writing, Teaching, Teaching Philosophy | Leave a comment

Question Roll 2: Integrating Pedagogy

Question Roll (posing a different question to students each day) has great pedagogical potential. It provides 1) a real world connection, 2) space for active learning and 3) space for engaging diverse classrooms. I began the 2014 summer with a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Question Roll 1: Building Community

Rather than a traditional roll merely asking students whether they’re present, I pose a different question to each student to begin class. “What’s something you’ve learned so far this semester?” “What was your favorite breakfast as a kid?” “What’s something … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Teaching Philosophy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

How do you justify including an element in a college course? (or a Summer Goal)

I’ve been thinking about what justifies including an element (a reading, section, assessment, exercise, etc.) in a course. My first thought: each item must relate directly to learning outcomes. But that can’t be right, can it? After all, we spend … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Teaching Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Spring CV

Well, it’s that time of year again, and the CV’s been updated. The format I use has a bit of intentional redundancy, including “Key Contributions” near the beginning that I like to highlight so anyone can see the important things … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Motivating the Problem of Evil

“Should everything you read be fun?” Students have trouble caring about the traditional Problem of Evil: whether God should have created an evil-free universe. And while discussions of free will do pique their interest, they distract from the truly motivating … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Philosophy, Teaching Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sample Philosophy Essay Prezi for Teaching Essay-Writing

A really nice sample essay Prezi you can use in your class: Linky It explains a sample that includes exegesis and evaluation and focuses on the things students seem to miss most: that the introduction should be about the essay … Continue reading

Posted in Essay Writing, Teaching Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment