A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses
Kudos to Peter Furlong, professor, humanities, for representing Valencia at an academic philosophy conference, coined the Society of Christian Philosophers Conference, from Sunday, September 16 through Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
While there, he represented Valencia by chairing a session that explored the nature of physical laws and characteristics of beliefs in physical laws (both those of laypeople and those of scientists investigating the nature of these laws), and he especially enjoyed the opportunity to hear physicists and philosophers work together on an area of shared interest.
“I decided to attend the conference because I have been working on a book in the philosophy of religion, and this conference is the largest philosophy of religion conference in North America,” Peter noted. “I wanted the chance to interact with others working in the same area and discuss both pedagogy and research with them — an opportunity for all-around professional development. The thing I enjoyed most was the people. It is always great to meet new people interested in the same topics and devoted to the discipline and to their students.”
He attended several sessions that explored pedagogy, especially focusing on increasing diversity and inclusiveness in curriculum development and delivery method.
Finally, he had the opportunity to discuss philosophy pedagogy with a faculty member from a community college in Ohio, and they have begun planning joint video projects that will allow students from Valencia and the Ohio institution to gain from combined efforts and areas of expertise.
“The inspiration behind the video was to change things up in the classroom by having an expert on a given topic present the idea to students via Skype, allowing students to digitally interact with other professors across the country,” Peter said. “Thus, I would Skype into a classroom in Ohio, discussing a topic in which I have expertise, and this other philosopher would later Skype into my classroom, leading a discussion on a topic in which he has expertise. This idea is still in the early stages; we want to develop the idea and do some testing before trying it in the classroom, but I think it has potential!”