Teaching at University

I started out my teaching life at university. For three years, while a PhD student at Cambridge University, I taught undergraduate philosophy students one-to-one in my supervisor's college. This is the way teaching happens at Cambridge. The fellows of a college assign undergraduate students to their doctoral students. In my case, I was assigned 4 undergraduate philosophy students. I would meet each student once a week on an individual basis: to set a weekly essay topic and give feedback on the previous week's essay. The fellows within a college do not themselves teach the undergraduates in their college, although they monitor their well-being and academic progress. The system works extremely well: it is not surprising that Cambridge is consistently ranked the top university in the world given the number of nobel-prize winners, renowned thinkers, writers, politicians, etc., it produces (the likes of Newton, Darwin, Watson & Crick, Samuel Pepys, Winston Churchill being just a few). There is something to be said for one-to-one teaching.

After graduation, I taught Philosophy at Massey University in New Zealand for two years. However, after a year's sabbatical on a Fulbright Fellowship to the City University of New York in 1996-97, I decided not to return to academia, choosing instead to pursue a creative career as a children's musician and writer. Over time, this has evolved into a career creating innovative educational music and multimedia.

 

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