Rollins, who begins his seventh year teaching philosophy at NECC, himself came to philosophy by way of Socrates or rather Plato’s version of him. He adheres to Plato’s conviction that “philosophy begins in wonder”.
“All philosophy begins in curiosity,” says Rollins, who holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College and a master’s in philosophy from Boston College. “What excites me the most about teaching is sparking curiosity in others and helping them to develop an active sense of wonder.”
Rollins brings his philosophy on philosophy to the classroom whether he is teaching “Philosophy”, “Practical Logic”, and “College Success”. In fact, the “College Success” course is a personal favorite.
“I enjoy teaching all of my classes, but teaching “College Success” is special to me because it is a real opportunity to engage students and develop in them a set of transferable skills that will ultimately help them succeed both personally and professionally.”
He credits his high school humanities teacher with introducing him to philosophy.
“My teacher thought it was a good fit for me and recommended I attend an undergrad program that was philosophy intensive,” he says. “The rest is history.”
Or in his case – philosophy.
“I think philosophy is important for students to study because of its emphasis on critical thinking. It has been my experience that critical thinking is a skill that can be developed in the classroom and then transferred to other arenas,” he says.
Northern Essex offers an associate degree in liberal arts, philosophy option, which is designed for students who want to transfer to a four-year college or university.