Ethics in the classroom and common ground

I have been involved in a very stimulating conversation on Durff’s blog around the issue of ethics in the classroom.

Both Durff and I agree that ethical behaviour must be stressed in the classroom and modeled by teachers. I think you can tell from our comments that we are both quite passionate about this.

Where our views start to differ is how this is done. You can read about our differing viewpoints in the comments to the original post – what I find interesting is the conversation that has developed.

Ethics is messy – it really does have to do with our own world-views and it can be messy and difficult to talk about the things that really matter to us, the things that hit us in our gut, that touch our values around what it means to be human. The rub in all of this is that we do not all have the same values nor the same world view.

Two of my beliefs related to this topic:

I do think it important – indeed necessary – to create a common ground in order to be able to have conversations around ethics, in order to be able to teach about ethics.

In trying to understand Durff’s insistence on an ethical plumbline, I wonder if perhaps this common ground is something along the lines of what she means.

Such a common ground for me would have to:

What would be important for you to have in this common ground?

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Creating new bridges

bridge and buds

I’ll be starting a new job on the 27th of August. I’ll be teaching and designing a new program for students in Grades 9-11 at Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay, Quebec.

This morning I published a new blog to accompany this new adventure of mine and to give voice to the stories I am sure will unfold.

Bridges

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The Future of Teaching: Let’s continue the conversation


Since yesterday, I have been involved in a conversation on Will Richardson‘s post The Future of Teaching.

The first part of this post was originally posted as a comment to The Future of Teaching.

I am getting the idea that we, at least those of us involved in this conversation, are ready to act on new ideas. People have asked for priorities, have asked about where we go from here.

I think that something like this can help us get there. I know that Gervase Bushe has been using Appreciative Inquiry with the Vancouver Public School System. This was published in the Summer 2007 edition of the SFU Business Newsletter, the Executive Edge:


In the last Executive Edge newsletter we told you about a $150,000 three-year research project to study a change management trend called appreciative inquiry. It’s a new process that works to change the way people think – to get them thinking collectively about how they want their organization to operate.


Gervase Bushe, SFU Business associate professor of management and organizational change, who is consulting and studying the process and its outcomes at the Vancouver School Board, reported on the results of the first year of study. “Preliminary indications are that the change process has been so successful that the BC Schools Superintendents’ Association is offering appreciative inquiry training and is also planning an appreciative inquiry summit for Kelowna in August,” says Bushe. What’s more, he says, numerous BC School Districts are planning to use appreciative inquiry in their schools next year.


It’s a powerful change process, based in the very foundations that have been brought up in with Will’s post.

Here is a recent article that Gervase wrote, which I think does a great job at outlining just what Appreciative Inquiry is:

G.R. Bushe (2007). Appreciative Inquiry is not about the Positive.

He talks about the generative nature of AI:

Generativity occurs when people collectively discover or create new things that they can use to positively alter their collective future. AI is generative in a number of ways. It is the quest for new ideas, images, theories and models that liberate our collective aspirations, alter the social construction of reality and, in the process, make available decisions and actions that weren’t available or didn’t occur to us before. When successful, AI generates spontaneous, unsupervised, individual, group and organizational action toward a better future.


If we were to design an appreciative change process for our school systems I think we could find our way to get there…together.

It would begin with a conversation that has already begun not only in Will’s post that I referenced above but in various places across the blogosphere – on LeaderTalk, on Scott Mcleod‘s blog, Kevin Sandridge‘s, Barbara Barreda‘s,  Miguel Ghulin‘s, Justin Medved‘s, Dennis Harter‘s, Stephen Ransom‘s,  and many others.

Is anyone interested in continuing that conversation? I’d love to be part of the process with you.

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Just whose achievement gap is it, anyway?


Image: found on the Internet Ray Tracing Competition website

Found this, love it.

We must reject the ideology of the “achievement gap” that absolves
adults of their responsibility and implies student culpability in
continued under-performance. The student achievement gap is merely the
effect of a much larger and more debilitating chasm: The Educator
Achievement Gap. We must erase the distance between the type of
teachers we are, and the type of teachers they need us to be.

From Teaching in the 408 by TMAO (really hoping that means what I think it means.)

Reminds me of a quote that used to hang in a colleague’s office:

If you’ve told him how to do it a million times and he still doesn’t get it, then who is the slow learner?

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Teaching and work/life balance: Whatcha think?


Image: Balance by EisforEdmund made available on flickr with a creative commons license.

I came across this little statistic today.

65%

Proportion
of former public school teachers who say they’re better able to balance
work and life now that they’re working outside the education field.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education; National Center for Education Statistics Teacher Follow-up Survey.

 

 

What do you think about that?



I found it reading an article called Why teachers quit by Kimberley Palmer in Teacher Magazine.

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