Based on 15 User s
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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This is a philosophy class, so there's never any order at all (and this is coming from a North Campus major). You will ALWAYS be confused about what you're supposed to be doing for this class and whether or not you're doing it right because there's no rubric or handouts or anything.
Do NOT take this class with Michael Skiles as your TA. He's extremely unorganized and would always just ramble on and on in section about one aspect of the readings. I went to his office hours for feedback on my final project and when I asked him for his expectations (because no one was given a rubric despite the class syllabus promising one), he instead told me that the nature of philosophy is open-ended. That was totally wrong because when I got my final project back, he marked me down heavily for things that I failed to include that he wanted to see.
Overall, the class workload isn't too bad. You read Plato's The Republic and a few other PDFs; there's an in-class midterm and take-home final in which you create your own utopia.
A lot of people I know made fun of the professor for stuttering some times and going on tangents, but honestly it made the class more engaging when she would elaborate on specific points. Her stutter was only really noticeable if someone pointed it out to you. She was a really nice professor and had very thorough lectures (even if I did end up asleep in them a lot). She related the material to modern day politics (which, by the way, she seems be left-leaning, so if you are offended by that, then maybe stay away) and was really passionate about the works we read. The work and tests are pretty easy as long as you either read the readings or paid attention to her lectures. We had a take-home free response final which was also really easy.
This course is the reason I became a philosophy major. Although some lectures are tedious, others are extremely interesting. The course work is very easy and is largely focused on Plato/ justice. The final paper on creating a utopia was very fun to complete. I strongly recommend this class.
I liked this class. The class was sometimes dull, but definitely worth it.
The first lecture was fantastic -- I think she asked us "What is justice?" and then challenged our proposed definitions in creative ways -- and while later lectures were mostly summaries and not as engaging, they were still helpful for understanding the readings and identifying key ideas.
The best part of the class was office hours. I went several times, and Dover's answers to my questions were the clearest, most insightful, and most succinct (a rarity in philo) I have gotten from any professor.
All around, I'd recommend.
I took this class with Dover in my first quarter at UCLA, and I'm really glad I did. Dover really cares about teaching and wants to engage with students. I was able to gain a lot more from the class by attending office hours and talking with her and other students. Workload is relatively light, we spend the first 7 weeks on Plato's Republic and the last 3 weeks on a few more modern philosophers. Lectures are really clear and well organized. I really enjoyed the final project, which was an essay designing your own utopia. Fun, interesting GE :)
Do you want an easy GE? Then take this class!
It was honestly a really good class that required the purchase of only one book (that you can find a pdf for online), she always summarizes what you should have read so in theory, you don't have to read it... I stopped reading after the midterm because well, the final is a paper. If you want to take an easy class with a super nice teacher, that genuinely cares about your learning and what you think, take this class.
ps. she does sometimes go off track, but who doesn't?
I was in the 2018 fall session. I don't know why so many people criticize Professor Dover. Her speech is clear and really mind-blowing. If I were not in her class, I would have no chance to figure out the glamour of philosophy. We spent most of the time reading Republic, and then Du Bois and Lorde. Readings are fair and Utopia project is interesting. A good course to take.
The majority of the class is spent analyzing Plato's The Republic, which makes it a pretty limited scope but it is after all an intro class. After finishing the book assigned readings included Du Bois and Lorde.
Personally, I found the class and the concepts brought up in the readings interesting. Professor Dover listens to students and makes changes to lectures to accommodate for her students. She stutters quite a bit, and her lecture slides don't provide a lot of context, but that just means you have to go to lecture to get the main points of her analysis.
I know a good amount of people didn't like the class because the teachings are very left-leaning, but as long as you keep an open mind going into it then there are a lot of interesting concepts that come up.
Also I had Jen as a TA and she was amazing.
I completely agree with the previous post. I'm a math major as was really excited to take a philosophy class as a GE, and was extremely disappointed and frustrated with Dover's class.
If you really don't care about learning and just want to go to class and put in about 2 hours of work a week and walk away with an A or A-, then this is the class for you. Most of the course is spent reading The Republic, and each lecture, Dover gives a summary and Sparknotes-type analysis. You then have to regurgitate this information on the midterm. The class requires absolutely no thinking on your own part. You can get easily get away with not reading the book at all. In fact, if you come up with another take that goes against Dover's methodology, she gets extremely defensive and snaps back. If this is what "learning" is in the humanities, then I am appalled and sincerely pity the kids who spend 30-60k a year on this bullshit.
Dover uses class time as an excuse to rant about Trump. She is also delusional about what is happening in politics and is extremely emotional. She teaches students that meritocracy and oligarchy are the same thing, couldn't properly conduct lecture on the day of the primary elections because she was so "nervous", and makes claims during class that "if you were raised right" (that is an actual comment she made in class), you would agree with her opinion on the US prison system. This class is the epitome of the fact that liberal ideology that is pushed in classrooms is ruining education.
I have absolutely no respect for Dover after this course. I have a few friends who took other philosophy courses as a GE and enjoyed them. I know the curve looks nice in this class, but I sincerely recommend taking another course. I honestly believe that I just threw money down the toilet taking this class.
It's a pity that such interesting material is ruined by a professor who is disorganized, boring, passive aggressive, and unable to speak confidently in front of a crowd. Professor Dover spends at least 20% of lecture stuttering, to the point that the only way to remain engaged was to tally the number of times she said "um." I found lectures to be far less helpful than discussion sections since all she did was review the plot of the reading and extrapolated very little on what I was able to gather by myself (which, in my opinion, is the very opposite of what philosophy should be). Very little guidance was given for the class's only paper (worth 35%); it is especially difficult if you've never written philosophy before because she expects that her students already know how. She seems approachable in office hours (which I attended numerous times but she still never learned my name) until you question her methodology and she becomes overly defensive and passive aggressive. The material of this class should not be as hard as this professor made it. If you're looking for a good intro to philosophy class, do yourself a favor and find a professor who knows how to philosophize.