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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Wednesday, June 17 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
CON03.12 - Exploring the contextual variables and ethical ideologies that help inform decisions about everyday moral dilemmas in teaching

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Educators are regularly confronted with moral dilemmas for which there are no easy solutions. Increasing course sizes and program enrolments coupled with a new consumerist attitude towards education have only further exacerbated the quantity and quality of students’ requests for special academic consideration (Macfarlane, 2004). Extensions, late submissions, and grade bumps – once rare – are now commonplace. However, there is very little in the pedagogical literature that addresses these everyday dilemmas. In a culture of transparency, unspoken policies that inform these requests are the form of learner consideration that is the least transparent to students and educators alike. This session will explore some of the variables that contribute to the complexity of these dilemmas, and the ethical ideologies that can inform their resolution. Our goal is not to provide best practices, but rather to facilitate reflection about how individuals make these decisions. Participants will be presented with fictional vignettes of real-life teaching dilemmas, and asked how they would resolve them, using clicker voting and group discussion. We will then describe the notions of relativism and idealism as two axes that define Forsyth’s (1980) four ethical ideologies, and help participants identify their own ethical ideology as it applies to teaching. Finally, we will look at centralization of academic integrity (cf. Neufeld & Dianda, 2007), and explore its parallels with issues around ethical dilemmas in teaching. With participant engagement, we will look at both sides of the debate around centralization of special academic consideration to further illustrate the inherent complexity of teaching with integrity. 

Neufeld, J., & Dianda, J. (2007). Academic dishonesty: A survey of policies and procedures at Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities.

Forsyth, D. R. (1980). A taxonomy of ethical ideologies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(1), 175-21.

Macfarlane, B. (2004). Teaching with integrity: The ethics of higher education practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Cypress 1 Room

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