Peer Evaluations

“Dr. Alexander is an outstanding teacher who enjoys tremendous success in engaging students with the subject matter and with one another. As he notes, he prefers the role of moderator and mentor over that of lecturer. However, it is important to clarify that his approach is by no means hands-off. He knows his students’ strengths as well as their challenges, and he commits a great deal of time and attention to differentiating learning and assessment in such a way that each student has ample opportunity for intellectual growth. He also creates a learning environment in which students are willing and able to take risks. ”

– Janet Shideler, Former Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Siena College

“It was a pleasure to observe that Dr. Alexander created an engaging and inclusive learning environment that provided ample opportunities for students to inquire, challenge each other’s notions of logic, raise questions, and practice the use of reasoning. Dr. Alexander effectively interacted with his students in a series of high quality exchanges throughout the observed class period. Dr. Alexander consistently provided students with opportunities to share observations and critiques, and insisted that they follow specific steps in the process. He demonstrated extensive knowledge of the subject matter and shared interesting and valuable examples to illustrate important concepts. Students needed to grasp relationships between various premises and conclusions, which they seemed to follow closely because Dr. Alexander provided practical examples that students related to. He created a friendly but demanding classroom atmosphere in which students paid close attention and focused on the discussion of examples.”

– Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Former Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Siena College

“Dr. Alexander clearly established a learning environment that was both welcoming and challenging and knows his students intimately. Josh excels at getting across to students highly technical notions and in encouraging them to be reflective about practices they have taken for granted. He also works hard to increase students’ ability to tackle texts on their own through his system of journal writing, and teaches them how to better prepare for tests through providing them with study guides. He meets with many students outside of class time, frequently encouraging them to attend outside lectures. In the class I observed, Josh did multiple things that constitute good teaching practices: he returned to have students read from the text several times to anchor the discussion; he used both the white board and power point slides on the screen (made available to the class via blackboard after the lecture) to emphasis central concepts; he drew the material out of the students instead of allowing them to sit passively while he presented; he walked around to several different areas of the room while speaking; I counted participation from over 2/3 of the class, and several times many students murmured responses in chorus.”

– Jennifer McErlean, Former Chair of the Philosophy Department, Siena College