Rate My Professors

Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“This was one of the best classes I’ve taken at Brown! Professor McCaskey was extremely knowledgeable and created a great class atmosphere with engaging and interesting discussions. He also really helped me improve my writing skills.”
Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“Extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the topic (the Philosophy of Ayn Rand). Class discussions were lively and he maintained a positive discussion climate for some controversial issues. I wish he lectured more in class.”
Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“Class was always interesting, engaging, and educational. He has a clear passion for what he teaches and for his students. He doesn't want to just lay out the information, he wants to make sure you understand it and can write well about it. He is great at leading discussions in a productive manner while encouraging participation.”
Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“Any class offered by Professor McCaskey is sure to be interesting; I HIGHLY recommend taking one. Professor McCaskey was deeply interested in the material, and this clearly shined through in class. Because he was so passionate, the ENTIRE class reciprocated at least some interest, so class discussions were always very lively and engaging.”
Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“Great professor! Helps students improve their writing a great deal.”
Easiness: 1 stars
Helpfulness: 5 stars
Clarity: 5 stars
“Professor McCaskey helped me improve my writing a great deal. This class also forced me to think on my feet and defend my opinions multiple times during discussions, which certainly enhanced my mental sharpness.”
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Rival Defenses of American Capitalism, Brown, 2012

  • The best course I have ever taken at Brown. Absolutely incredible. Extremely challenging, lots of reading, but my writing improved immensely and my ability to develop and support an argument in class discussions as well as in my writing. I learned how to think on my feet, and how to critically read, to understand the arguments made by others. 
  • Good focus on writing skills and argumentation. 
  • Simply one of the greatest classes I've taken at Brown. Prof. McCaskey was among the best professors I've had in my 3 and a half years at this school. More professors should be like him. I would recommend any class he teaches to any student even if they are not concentrating in a related field.
Read more: Rival Defenses of American Capitalism, Brown, 2012
 

Moral Foundations of Capitalism, Stanford, Winter 2012

Instructor

  • “Very enthusiastic about the subject, connected topics well.
  • “Awesome seminar-leader. He is very helpful in understanding content, treats opposing viewpoints fairly, and really care about student development. His tips on writing better papers and engaging in productive discussion are unmatched among teaching staff.”
  • “Hands down one of the best teachers I have ever had the fortune to learn from. An amazing class discussion facilitator, and really gives individualized attention to our papers/writing. I haven't had such an attentive, caring, brilliant teacher since high school.”
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History of Modern Science and Technology, Stevens, Fall 2011

  • Professor McCaskey was one of the best professors I’ve had at Stevens. I had not read as much for any previous humanities before this class, and I was able to keep up with the course load, and not feel like the reading was a burden. My writing has significantly improved, or I would hope it has. I would recommend this class to anyone who can take it.
  • McCaskey was a great professor, maybe one of the most engaging humanities professors I’ve had at Stevens. He would also go out of his way after class to talk with students even though he was constantly flying places.Taught me to be a much better writer too. Keep this guy.
Click here to see all the student feedback for History of Modern Science and Technology, Stevens, Fall 2011
 

Moral Foundations of Capitalism, Stanford, Spring 2011

  • Perhaps the best teacher I've ever had.
  • very enthusiastic, brings excitement to discussions, really wants students to succeed, very helpful, always willing to meet outside of class
  • Very thoughtful with feedback and comments - really cares about you improving
  • Very outgoing, engaging, available, passionate and attentive.
  • Sometimes stressed personal view of things (morals) a little much, leaving space for a dialogue but not as much as I would have liked.
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History of Scientific Methods, Stanford, Fall 2010

Instructor

  • “Really engaging and very invested in his students’ learning. Those qualities are rare in professors.”
  • “actually inspired all students to actually do the reading!”
  • Best professor I have had at Stanford—he treats and talks to students like equals, which fosters high level, intelligent discussions that would not otherwise occur. Absolutely brilliant class.”
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Moral Foundations of Capitalism, Stanford, Winter 2010

Instructor

  • “Best instructor I have had at Stanford. Forced students to think clearly; did not let anyone get away with hand waving in class discussion. Got students to think without belittling them, an unusually rare skill. Great attitude towards students. I felt challenged and respected.
  • “Prof. McCaskey is a phenomenal teacher. Deftly facilitated engaging and intellectually exciting classroom dialogues. Some of the best class discussions I’ve ever had in college.” “Too little classroom time. Course definitely deserves at least another 30 more minutes a week”
  • “Very effective teacher—one of the first I have had who was able to allow for rampant discussion in class while simultaneously ensuring that students were grasping the most important material. Very open to engage with students outside of class, and very thoughtful towards each individual teacher.”
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Nineteenth-Century Philosophy of Science, Stanford, Fall 2009

  • Professor McCaskey created the type of learning environment that makes a college experience: open discussion of all view points, an intimate engagement with the material, and demanding analysis of great works of scholarship.
  • Assignments were appropriately challenging.
  • This was a great class. With only four students, it can be difficult to keep a discussion going, but McCaskey ensured that every student contributed and was heard. He clearly knows and loves his subject, and his enthusiasm is infectious.
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What is Science? Explaining Nature from Pythagoras to Popper, Stanford, Winter 2009

  • This is probably the best class I’ve taken at Stanford, and I’m an engineering major. The material is extremely interesting and thought provoking, Prof. McCaskey is awesome, and the work is 100% useful. Everyone should take this class!
  • the readings were time consuming and sometime difficult but totally worth the effort. the paper requirement was confusing at first, but after I heard his explanation, that because everyone came from different backgrounds and each person would want to focus on different things. it makes sense. 
  • John’s ability to engage students and make them excited about the material is what makes him such an excellent discussion leader.
  • Probably the best class I’ve taken at Stanford. All around fun, interesting, and informational.
Click here to see all the student feedback for What is Science? Explaining Nature from Pythagoras to Popper, Stanford, Winter 2009
 

What is Science? Explaining Nature from Pythagoras to Popper, Stanford, Fall 2007

  • The scavenger-hunt assignments were very interesting! You learn so much when you take charge of the material and need to present it in an informal setting to the class. The readings were so inspiring for discussion: controversial, challenging, incomprehensible at times (in an insightful way). I liked that we read entire primary works and few secondary sources.
  • The best professor I’ve had at Stanford—intelligent, interesting and interested, enthusiastic and endlessly encouraging.
  • An amazing class—such a high level of intellectual stimulation, good discussions, and creative thought.
Click here to read all the student feedback for What is Science? Explaining Nature from Pythagoras to Popper, Stanford, Fall 2007
 

Revolutionary Scientific Ideas, Stanford

  • “Prof. McCaskey is very skillful at leading exciting, in-depth, & productive discussions. He encourages everyone to participate equally & is open to many viewpoints. Cares about students’ learning & respects their views. He made everyone comfortable.” “Best course I’ve taken in a long time. Best professor, too!”
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