Andrew Komasinski - Teaching Page

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Critical Thinking
"Critical Thinking" is a class that focuses on learning how to make and evaluate arguments. It does so by emphasizing both general aspects of arguments (clear: concise, consistent, concrete) and by looking more specifically at both deductive and inductive arguments.
Philosophical Ethics
This class is a required core class at Fordham University. As freshmen, students take "Philosophy of Human Nature". As sophomores, they take this class where they encounter the main ethical theories (especially, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and Kant) and develop their ability to think about ethical problems in light of these theories. In the process, students write summaries of the arguments they encounter in key texts such as Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Philosophy of Human Nature
This class is a required core class at Fordham University. As freshman, students take this course and encounter the arguments of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Aquinas. Through this, they learn the basic canons of Western philosophy and how to engage with and summarize arguments.
Environmental Ethics
"Environmental Ethics" is an interdisciplinary course taught as part of the CENSUS Program at Hokkaido University. The course looks at several different dimensions including ethical theory, applied ethics, and basic reasoning.
English Communication
This class gives students the chance to produce English and interact in English. For an EFL environment, chances to speak and interactive with spoken English are few and far between.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Moral Imagination)
This course uses The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to help students improve their ability to read a story with a critical eye. Focusing on how characters changed throughout the book, this class helps them to identify and characterize moral transformation in literature.
Intercultural Understanding
This class focuses on helping students learn the idea of "culture" and the manifold ways that culture impacts our lives. For Japanese students, this can be especially challenging since the country is mono-lingual and the educational system focuses on students seeing themselves as part of a larger national culture than on valuing differences and recognizing multi-cultural values.
Academic Writing
This class prepares students to write academic papers centered on a thesis and the argument for that thesis. It covers core concepts like structure, brainstorming, anticipating and responding to objections, and properly using citations.
Academic Reading
This class gives students the basic skills to read texts from an academic (in contrast to leisure or language-learning) standpoint. As such, it focuses on how students can identify the arguments in academic writing and summarize and condense the arguments for these theses
International Understanding
This class helps students better grasp differences between countries and how people in those countries engage the world through assumptions about freedom, rights, and determinism (or their absence).
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This class teaches students about English-mediation instruction and the second language acquisition principles at work in creating an environment where English is used productively to accomplish teaching objectives other than just teaching language.
Fall 2006
Critical Thinking
This was my first time being the sole instructor for a course, Critical Thinking at Loyola Marymount University. I hewed too closely to the textbook and didn't do enough to make the class my own.
Fall 2008
Philosophical Ethics
This was my first time teaching Philosophical Ethics, a required course for sophomores at Fordham University.
Spring 2009
Philosophical Ethics
This was my second time teaching Philosophical Ethics
Fall 2009
Philosophical Ethics
This was my third time teaching Philosophical Ethics and my first time teaching at the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University
Spring 2010
Philosophy of Human Nature
This was my first time teaching Philosophy of Human Nature for Fordham University. At Fordham, Philosophy of Human Nature is a required class for first year students and must cover Plato, Descartes, Aristotle, Augustine or Aquinas. In addition, instructors are strongly encouraged to cover critical thinking and their own specializations.
Fall 2010
Philosophy of Human Nature
This was my second time teaching Philosophy of Human Nature. In addition to the required texts from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Augustine, we also looked at sections of the Daodejing and the Analects.
Spring 2011
Philosophical Ethics
This was the last time I taught Philosophical Ethics at Fordham. In this particular class, I decided to focus on including resources like Nel Noddings to add non-traditional perspectives to the classic triad of utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and Kant.
Fall 2011
Philosophy of Human Nature
As a required class, Philosophy of Human Nature looks at the question what it is to be human. To improve student participation, I required students to bring prepared questions and to be responsible for sending one question in advance of the class. For this class, in addition to Descartes, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, we looked briefly at behavioralism, Sartre, and Kierkegaard as different theories of human nature.
Spring 2012
Philosophy of Human Nature
This was the last class I taught at Fordham before moving to Japan. In this version of the class, we considered not only Western but also Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian concepts of human nature (or non-nature). As with the Fall 2011 version, students were required to prepare questions about the material in advance which largely drove the lecture content.
Fall 2013
Environmental Ethics
At Hokkaido University, I taught four of fifteen weeks of an Environmental Ethics course . My part of the course emphasized critical thinking and normative ethical competencies.
English Communication
This communication was my first course at Hokkaido University of Education and my first time teaching an English Communication Course. The students were primarily English education majors and the main topics were conversation, board games, and language.
Spring 2014
Critical Thinking
This was taught as a general education English class. This was my first philosophy-lite class for non-native speakers and required some rather large adjustments in terms of what students could do.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Moral Imagination)
As a general education class, I read the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" together with students, focusing both on the English, the plot arc, and the transformation of the characters.
Intercultural Understanding
This was a required course for students getting English teaching licenses that focused on core concepts related to culture and identity by looking at how individuals who are "half-Japanese" by genetic identity experience Japan.
Academic Writing
In this class, I taught students the basics of academic writing, culminating in a short paper. This was a required course for students getting English teaching licenses.
Academic Reading
This was a required course for English majors. In this class, students presented about Sophie's World under my guidance. Each student was also required to bring prepared questions to class.
English Communication
I taught two different groups the same material this semester as a Required General Education Class. This class was for social science majors, and we worked from conversation handouts and practiced making speeches.
English Communication
I taught two different groups the same material this semester as a Required General Education Class. This class was for Math Education majors, and we worked from conversation handouts and practiced making speeches.
Fall 2014
English Communication
This was the second semester of a required communication course for Social Science Majors
English Communication
This was the second semester of a required communication course for Math Education Majors
Critical Thinking
This was the second time I taught Critical Thinking in English in an EFL environment. For this class, I made it a flipped class by putting videos on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLreB0GSRG_fIo1xeUVd8TZD5JFc5g0e_T) and using the class time to help students make progress on worksheets.
Academic Writing
In this class, I taught academic writing to non-native speakers. Based on the previous semester, I focused on common sentence types used in academic writing (comparing, arguing, concluding, contrasting). I further looked at various formats of writing by including a free-writing component based on "National November Writing Month" (Nanowrimo).
International Understanding
In this class, I taught a small group of students in Japanese and English. The main topic was Descartes and Locke and the idea of freedom.
Intercultural Understanding
This was a required course for students getting English teaching licenses that focused on core concepts related to culture and identity by looking at how individuals who are "half-Japanese" by genetic identity experience Japan.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Moral Imagination)
This was the second time I used The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a text to work simultaneously on reading comprehension and moral imagination.
Spring 2015
Critical Thinking
This was the last time using version 1 of the flips. In this version of the class, I placed some lectures that were more developed online and continued to present the material that students found harder to understand again in class.
Fall 2015
Critical Thinking
This was the fourth time I taught critical thinking to non-native speakers. For this class, I made a new set of flips covering the entire course (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLreB0GSRG_fLnkMX0o1BDf1mzB-Bi9PRn). These online lectures each have views in the hundreds with the most popular being my presentation of argument by analogy.
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This was my first time teaching "Teaching Methodologies for English-Mediated Instruction." This class focuses on the merits and demerits of CLIL or Content-based instruction (teaching philosophy or other subjects in English) in contrast with language-based instruction (teaching grammar).
Spring 2016
Critical Thinking
This was the fifth time I taught critical thinking to students at Hokkaido University of Education as a required English class for first year students. Using Version 2 of the flipped content, I taught general rules for arguments and the concepts behind deductive arguments.
Fall 2016
Critical Thinking
This was the sixth time I taught this course. It followed largely the same outline as the previous semester.
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This was my second time teaching "Teaching Methodologies for English-Mediated Instruction." In this version, I worked on finding readings that were more accessible for students and providing more direction on how to make a content-based lesson that effectively teaches students.
Fall 2017
Critical Thinking
This was my seventh time teaching Critical Thinking. In this class, I taught first year English majors using the second version of flipped videos and constantly improving worksheets.
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This was my third time teaching "Teaching Methodologies for English-Mediated Instruction." In this version, I continued to enhance the course by increasing the number of graded assignments based on what students could do in the previous year.
Spring 2018
Academic Writing
Stephanie Komasin and I taught sections of Academic Writing at the same time based on a flipped-class format. In this class, students learned the paper-writing process with a focus on developing a thesis as an argumentative claim, supporting it through underlying claims, and then properly citing sources.
Critical Thinking
In this version of critical thinking, I used the second set of flips to teach a group of English majors. The main topics were general argument rules about clarity (concise, consistent, concrete, following a natural order, avoiding loaded language), deductive arguments (standard forms, the concept of validity, testing for validity), and inductive arguments (argument by analogy and generalization).
Fall 2018
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This was my fourth time teaching "Teaching Methodologies for English-Mediated Instruction." In this version, I added more theoretical discussion about the second language acquistion and used this to ground the theoretical component of the class.
Spring 2019
Critical Thinking
In this class, I taught critical thinking using a flipped class approach (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLreB0GSRG_fLnkMX0o1BDf1mzB-Bi9PRn) to a group of mixed major non-native speakers. The major topics were general principles for arguments, basic sentential logic, and arguments by analogy.
Academic Writing
Stephanie Komasin and I taught sections of Academic Writing at the same time based on a flipped-class format. As in the previous version, the focus was on the paper-writing process with the addition of a new tool to help students get feedback as they develop their thesis, find objections, and support their thesis by arguing against these objections.
Fall 2019
Critical Thinking
For this version of critical thinking, I created an updated set of flipped lectures (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzrL9bQ21VPwDtkIHKkBpCbLDBvYrOIJ-). As in previous versions, the main topics are making and evaluating arguments, deductive arguments (standard forms and validity), inductive arguments (generalizations, arguments by analogy, and strength). This new set addresses common student questions such as explaining the conditional and better explaining what makes inductive arguments "strong" or "weak."
Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction
This is my fifth time teaching "Teaching Methodologies for English-Mediated Instruction." In this version, I have added further graded assignments to improve the ability to identify students who understand the material correctly.
 
 
 
Loyola Marymount University
Fordham University (Rose Hill)
Fordham University (Lincoln Center)
Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University of Education (Sapporo)
Hokkaido University of Education (Asahikawa)