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Chris Stephens

UBC now has a "Teaching and Pedagogy" stream (with different ranks just like a research focused tt job). The main research focus of these positions is supposed to be SoLT. The Philosophy department here has a few and hired one just a couple of years ago (with a logic/critical thinking pedagogy emphasis). There are a number of such positions now across my University. Those in such positions do a little more teaching than a "research stream faculty member", plus some research on SoLT.

No post-docs at the moment, though.

I don't really know if it is a trend yet, however.

Having hired in such positions, I would say that one challenge is finding (junior) folks that have the requisite background - this is because very few (philosophy) PhDs do dissertations in SoLT (once in a while, philosophy of education, but that's a bit different). So it can be hard to find junior candidates that already have a research profile in SoLT if they've just finished doing a regular philosophy dissertation. If you can manage to do both, early in your career or somehow while still a graduate student, then you'd be a good fit for such positions. But I don't really know how common they are.


There are a number of them advertised on philjobs every year. I know there is one at Stanford and Harvard. I also know someone who got the Harvard position without much of a research profile, and who is not from an elite school, so I think they really do look at the teaching potential. There are others too that I don't remember. Even getting a VAP at a SLAC would probably do a lot to move you in the teaching direction.


I think getting a job in a writing program/writing tutoring center goes a long way towards bolstering ones teaching and learning credentials, and there are a good deal of term limited positions in writing programs at well funded universities that focus on recruiting recent PhDs: Harvard, Princeton, Duke are the main three that advertise every year that immediately come to mind, but Penn has a similar program, and others as well. These programs hire 5 or 6 faculty every year, given that the programs are set up to cycle through people (Princeton limits reappointments at 5 years, Harvard at 8, for example).

Each program basically sends you through a 'bootcamp' on writing pedagogy, and then you teach writing through your discipline. This is certainly a good start to such a career path in T&L, or working in a writing center as a permanent career track. I taught in such a program, and for many people it was a launching pad for administrative positions: e.g., leave your teaching position and go be an assistant director at school X's writing program. Also, it is a good resume builder for gettng a job at a teaching focused school where faculty routinely have to teaching first year writing seminars.

You obviously have to compete with rhetoric/composition PhDs, but for programs that really focus on 'writing across the disciplines'/'writing in the disciplines' this is less of a problem. You have to do a little research in writing pedagogy to write a good cover letter, but this is certainly a possible career path. Not many philosophers apply to these types of jobs, so being a philosopher (and emphasizing the study of argumentation) may actually be a way to stand out.


In Germany there have been a lot of positions advertised recently for "Philosophy Didactics", since education majors here can specialize in philosophy/ethics, as well as in religion/theology. It's probably hard to get one of these positions if you're not familiar with the German academic system, but one thing I think holds across the board is that you would do very well to look into strategies for and ethics of digitalization in the classroom - especially post COV19.

Paul Carron


We have at least one post-doc per year, some years I think there may have been more. Many schools have centers like this. I would start researching and reaching out to ones that look interesting to you. Never know who you might get a foot in the door!

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