Rights & Wrongs in the College Classroom: Ethical Issues in Postsecondary Teaching

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Postsecondary teaching has a formative influence on the nature of citizenry and the health of democracy. While the ethics of medicine, business, and government receive more press attention and have been widely analyzed and debated, the ethics of higher education is also of social import: Ethical judgments must be made, for example, about fairness in evaluation, how to respond to an offensive student, and whether faculty may date former students.

Written for teachers throughout higher education, this book begins with an examination of the reasons for the scarcity of educational ethics literature, proceeds to defend a set of principles for college teaching, and concludes with practical analyses of the ethical dilemmas which face professors in the classroom today. Rights and Wrongs in the College Classroom develops an ethic that integrates concerns for student rights, social goals, and academic freedom and can help faculty to understand what values are at stake and to make better decisions when confronted with moral dilemmas. There is a need for both institutional and faculty support of such a code of ethics, whose cultivation and observance has intrinsic rewards for faculty as individuals and professionals.

Contents include:

  • Academic ethics: Sources, principles, and responses to objections
  • Teaching advocacy and indoctrination
  • Conflicts of interest
  • The ethics of classroom grading
  • Offensive speech and behavior
  • Faculty-student relationships

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