Dr Shapcott is perhaps the worst pedagogue I've encountered in my entire academic life! He is thoroughly disorganised in both thought and action.
Administration of Course:
The structure and order of the course reading list was invariably not followed. On numerous occasions Dr Shapcott would skip over whole weeks of readings and decide that a later topic was more worthy of exploration. No explanation was offered as to why a later topic was more worth exploring, and I was consequently left without any understanding of the course as a coherent whole;
• Frequently the readings were not scanned or uploaded on Blackboard, and in one instance (Monday, 4th of October) we received a Blackboard notice that “tomorrows readings” were available to be read. I did not see this notice until 8 am on Tuesday 5/10 just two hours before class!
• Frequently Dr Shapcott would decide spare of the moment that additional readings were more worthy than those specified in the course tutorial guide.
• The first assessment was not available for picking up until in excess of a month past the due date. No notification was sent via Blackboard or email saying it was ready for collection. When I asked at the end of a tutorial if the essays had been marked I was told that they had been available at the front desk for “over a week.”Several other students present seemed surprised by this.Expect neither a speedy turnover nor particularly extensive commentary. I wouldn't try appealing marks either as he tends to appoint his own markers - often people philosophically aligned with him in the department.
He's no Socrates! Moreover, he was inappropriately authoritative, biased & controlling. He is uneven & selective in administering order in tutorials. Many students felt they were the recipient of differential and inappropriate treatment.Most lessons started with a considerable period of silence until he could find his words. When he finally mustered words it tended to teeter on barely comprehensible (with the exception of the final lesson when he had extensive notes to prompt him.) Rather than provide a coherent summary of the readings and then invite class discussion he invariably asked someone in the class to provide a summary – which irrespective of how concise or pithy was always in some way found to be lacking or inadequate. He also tended to cut down students who had a strong philosophical knowledge and were pertinent, while let those with irrelevant anecdotes or at best tangentially related points ramble on.
I was the recipient of some very inappropriate treatment, to the extent that my complaints went as far as the Executive Dean. The poor management of the Honours course was the subject of an internal review - in which many students submitted complaints. Dr Shapcott is known to curse certain students for their role in this (though they have long left the institution) and stoops so low as to badmouth one RHD candidate from that cohort to academic and administrative staff. Not surprisingly their employment in the school has been severely limited.