Teaching

Below you can find links to syllabi for the courses that I have taught and a summary of my students' course evaluations.

Solo-taught

Philosophy of Social Science
Practical Ethics

Co-taught

Virtues, Values, and Happiness
Philosophy of Science

Philosophy, Politics, and Science
Philosophy of Mind

"Making Sense of Ourselves"
Political Philosophy

Course evaluations

Each semester students at UNC Chapel Hill are invited to complete anonymous course evaluations. Here are histograms of my students' overall evaluations (N = 110 students from 5 courses). 75% of these students agreed or strongly agreed that the course they took with me was excellent. 93% agreed or strongly agreed that they learned a great deal. In addition to these closed-ended questions, students are asked for comments on the course and instructor. Below are some select quotes from the responses.

Histogram of agreement with "Overall, I learned a great deal from this course."
Histogram of agreement with "Overall, this course was excellent."

Passion for Material and Care for Students

In my opinion, one of my strengths as an instructor is the genuine enthusiasm and care that I have both for my classes and for my students as individuals. Here are some comments that highlight this:

  • “Michael Prinzing showed great enthusiasm towards the subject matter and a genuine love for teaching and hearing our opinions. He was kind and easy to get in touch with should we need the help and need his attention.”

  • “He is a very good instructor. He is the reason why I stayed in this class. I am not a philosophy person but he made it tolerable. He expressed his ideas clearly and is passionate about the subject. He seemed like he wanted the best for us and for us to succeed.”

  • “Very open-ended, I felt like Michael handled questions with dignity – it was one of the only classes where I truly felt like I could ask any question without it seeming stupid.”

  • “I have been very thankful to have Michael as my instructor... He really encourages students to share their own opinions and take ownership of their beliefs and thoughts... I really have enjoyed Michael as my instructor and signed up for a class he has next semester!”

  • “Michael was an effective and passionate teacher who explained material concepts very clearly. Additionally, he was skilled at both leading class discussion and helping stalling dialogues move forward. Ultimately, Michael was a great professor who cared about teaching the course’s material.”

  • “Mr. Prinzing was a great instructor. He is passionate about philosophy and it shows in his lectures. He made philosophy fun and applied it in ways that made it easier to understand. By far, my favorite philosophy class at UNC.”

Skills in Addition to Content

Some of the most gratifying comments, for me personally, are those that mention skills that students developed in my courses. For example:

  • “Overall, more than anything, I feel like my reading comprehension skills skyrocketed during my time in this course, and for that, I am grateful”

  • “I now actually know how to effectively take apart arguments as well as accurately construct my own.”

During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak posed a significant challenge for instructors, as we worked to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of a pandemic. Here are some of my student’s comments in response to, “How would you describe your learning experience after the transition from face- to-face instruction to remote instruction? What did you find most helpful to your remote learning experience? In what ways, if at all, did aspects of your learning change?”

  • “Although the situation wasn't ideal, Michael navigated the transition very well to the point that there was little to no change in the quality of his recitations. I found most helpful his willingness to discuss topics in and out of class time.”

  • “By far, continuing to be able to hold group discussions and live zoom meetings was the most valuable asset. Many of my courses switched to prerecorded lectures with no interaction, but Michael ensured that we continued to meet live every week to discuss the subject matter.”


I have been fortunate, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of students. I’ve learned a lot from them and will continue working to improve my teaching for future students.