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Authority in the Classroom: Ethical Issues

Date: Thursday February 19, 2009
Location:

For additional workshop details, please click here.

Description:

Moderator: Mitch Green, Cavaliers’ Teaching Professor of Philosophy
Panelists:  Alison Booth, Professor of English
Richard Handler, Associate Dean and Professor of Anthropology
Jeffrey Rossman, Associate Professor of History

Three panelists will approach the issue of the Workshop from various perspectives, and catalyze discussion of the issue among our audience. Mitch Green, Cavaliers’ Teaching Professor of Philosophy, will act as moderator.

Instructors sometimes find themselves in classroom situations in which they might reasonably be concerned about the abuse, if only inadvertent, of their authority. Students ask us our views about religion, politics, or choices of lifestyle out of genuine interest, and we may reply honestly for a variety of good reasons. Further, the nature of our course topic or materials may invite such exchanges. Yet because of our status as authority figures, certain self-disclosures might make some students feel pressure to conform with our own views rather than arriving at their own. Is there a reasonable line to draw between what we as faculty say as experts in our fields, and what we say as private individuals? If there is such a line, are students equipped to understand where it lies? Finally, what are the implications for our students or their learning of our decisions to self-disclose or not do so?

Prominent academic/public intellectuals have taken a stand on the issues we aim to discuss. Stanley Fish is one example. See for example his comment in a recent book review.

Intended audience: faculty and graduate students in all schools.

For additional details, and to Register, please click here.



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