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Virtue ethics si presentation

Virtue ethics si presentation



My presentation will focus on identifying, understanding, and cultivating batches of associated skills and dispositions desirable and needed if SI leaders are to perform their functions well, and if ...

My presentation will focus on identifying, understanding, and cultivating batches of associated skills and dispositions desirable and needed if SI leaders are to perform their functions well, and if instructors are to effectively integrate SI leaders into their courses. These sets of skills and dispositions are termed intellectual and moral virtues in classical (particularly Aristotelian) Moral Philosophy, upon whose resources I will be drawing to illuminate topics in my presentation. I will also be drawing on my three year experience of full-time teaching Core courses and employing SI leaders at Fayetteville State University, which included some successes and also some failures with SI.
In the course of my presentation, I will introduce the participants to some of the rudiments of classical moral theory, discuss what intellectual and moral virtues are and how they are cultivated, identify which virtues are particularly needed by SI leaders and instructors and how they may be thoughtfully cultivated and progressively built. I will also provide participants with take-away resources to assist them in further study of the matters discussed.



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    Virtue ethics si presentation Virtue ethics si presentation Presentation Transcript

    • Teaching (With the) Virtues ThroughIncorporating Supplemental Instruction Gregory B. Sadler, Ph.D President and Founder, ReasonIO Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy Marist college
    • Skills and Dispositions  What skills and dispositions go into making an SI leader effective as an SI leader?  3 intuitively evident answers  Disciplinary knowledge  Pedagogical expertise  “People skills”  These are bodies of skills and dispositions ReasonIO
    • Introducing An Aristotelian Understanding These are all examples of what in classical philosophy of education are termed: hexis (in Greek) or habitus (Latin) Prevalent misunderstandings among students:  Education as mere production of knowledge, understood as information  Expertise is simply having more knowledge  Learning is just acquiring more knowledge Basic Problem: That’s not what expertise is – not even what knowledge really is ReasonIO
    • Deeper Dimensions Disciplinary and pedagogical practice and reflection Learning, expertise, education, real knowledge involves:  Development of Skills  Some general, some specific  Can be scaffolded into higher structures, transferred to other contexts  Cultivation – sometimes change – of Dispositions  Habits, attitudes, affective orientations, patterns of desire and emotional response  Skills and Dispositions are complex, interconnected ReasonIO
    • Example: Critical Thinking: Skills (from APA Delphi Report) Skills Comprising Critical Thinking Analysis Evaluation Inference Examining Ideas Assessing Claims Querying Evidence Identifying Arguments Assessing Arguments Conjecturing Alternatives Analyzing Arguments [Assessing Information Sources] Drawing Conclusions Interpretation Explanation Self-Regulation Categorization Stating Results Self-examination Decoding Significance Justifying Procedures Self-correction Clarifying Meaning Presenting ArgumentsSupported and Integrated by set of roughly 19 DispositionalTraits, rooted in habits, affectivity, attitudes, practices of the Critical Thinker ReasonIO
    • Ideal Instructor Has highly developed Disciplinary Knowledge Has (at least implicit) Pedagogical Expertise Has “People Skills” (communication, empathy, capacity to reach students, size up cases well) Each of these is a well-established habitus These sets of skills and dispositions interpenetrate and inform each other [Key questions for non-ideal instructors:]  How did we get as far as we have come?  How do we keep improving? ReasonIO
    • Situations of Education:Superficial Student Learning Information from Discipline is Conveyed Teacher Student has Habitus: Disciplinary Knowledge Does not develop Habitus of Disciplinary Knowledge maybe Pedagogical Expertise, People Skills Acquires knowledge as Information Student provides Information from Discipline back ReasonIO
    • Situations of Education: Deeper, Retentive Student Learning Information from Discipline is Conveyed Skills from Discipline are Introduced, Modeled and Practiced Teacher Studenthas Habitus: Disciplinary Knowledge Dispositions are Does develop Habitus fostered, examined, of Disciplinaryhas Habitus: Pedagogical modeled, improved Knowledge Expertise, People Skills Integrates Information, Skills, Dispositions Student provides Information from Discipline back Student provides evidence of Skills in Practice and Performance ReasonIO
    • Adding an SI Leader Makes Situation of Education More Complex  Like this?Teacher SI Leader Studenthas Habitus: developing Disciplinary Habitus of Does develop Knowledge Disciplinary Habitus of Knowledge Disciplinary has other Knowledge Habitus Has or develops other Habitus ReasonIO
    •  Or it is – or should it be -- more like this? Student Teacher Does develop has Habitus: Habitus ofDisciplinary Knowledge Disciplinary Knowledge has other Habitus SI Leader developing Habitus of Disciplinary Knowledge Has or develops other Habitus ReasonIO
    • Let’s Be Honest How do we – or imagine some other Instructor! – employ SI Leaders? Well? Poorly? (I admit I’ve done that sometimes!) How do we know? What do we want to have occur through SI? Change the question:  What kind of person do we need for SI Leader?  What has to happen for the SI Leader to develop well? ReasonIO
    • Virtue Ethics enters the Conversation Virtue Ethics: family of approaches in moral theory  Western examples: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas  Non-western examples: Confucianism, many tradition-based Ethics  Also includes contemporary interpreters of these thinkers Focuses very closely on issues of skills and dispositions Focuses on intellectual and moral virtues and vices Questions about SI involve moral questions, practical reasoning – Virtue Ethics holds out best prospects for useful dialogue ReasonIO
    • Distinctive to Virtue Ethics Reframes thinking in terms of horizons of human flourishing, excellence, and happiness Thinks out the (often taken for granted) relations between means and ends Identifies and analyses specific range of virtues and vices that need to be cultivated or rooted out Determines how virtues and vices are to actually be cultivated or rooted out in actual practice. ReasonIO
    • The Big Picture I’m Proposing Virtue: Virtue: Generosity Habitus: Habitus: Moderation Disciplinary Pedagogical Knowledge Expertise Virtue: Virtue: Honesty Habitus: Justice People Skills Virtue: Virtue: Educational Situation: Classroom, Course Friendliness Courage Design, Feedback, Assessment, etc. Intellectual Virtue: Virtue: State: Good Phronesis Self-Control TemperBroader Concerns and Horizons: Moral Life, Development of the Person, Relationships
    • What I’m going to do here with VirtueEthics Very brief overview of Virtue Ethics as a moral theory. Look at the purposes or ends of SI within that framework. Discuss which virtues (and vices) are important to focus upon in order to ensure effective use of SI. Discuss conditions necessary for developing virtues and integrating them with the three other sets of skills and dispositions. ReasonIO
    • What are Virtues? Habitual dispositions gradually by practice established within a person’s character or personality. Take the form of typically and characteristically acting, feeling, and making use of things like property, relationships, pleasures and pains, even one’s time in good or right ways. Virtuous person right assessments and attitudes towards what is to be done, what goods are at stake and how they ought to be best ordered, pursued, produced, or preserved. Virtues are really sets of dispositions and skills, having interconnected practical, affective, and intellectual dimensions. ReasonIO
    • Virtues/States Needed in SI Leaders Moral Virtues:  Justice  Moderation  Courage  Generosity  Honesty  Good Temper  Friendliness or Compassion State: Self-Control or Perseverance Intellectual Virtue: Practical Wisdom ReasonIO
    • How are Virtues Understood andCultivated? Teaching, progressively acquiring, building, and synthesizing knowledge as information – e.g. actually studying Virtue Ethics texts, thinkers, etc. Even more through practice, through acting, feeling, choosing in determinate situations – we become what we do and choose repeatedly We have to resist societal and cultural pressures to misunderstand virtue and vice, practice the wrong things We also have to model virtues for our students and SI leaders ReasonIO
    • Reversing Aristotle’s Dictum To lead well, one must have followed well: taking direction, understanding , then meeting and then exceeding expectations reasonably placed upon one. In order for this to occur, they must not only have followed well, they must have been led well -- to be taught If virtues are needed by SI leaders, instructors will have to take on the task of instructing them and guiding them This in turn will require that instructors, if not virtuous, be at least on the way to virtue and have an adequately developed degree of knowledge of virtue ReasonIO
    • Follow-up Questions, concerns, comments, further discussion? Email: greg@reasonio.com ReasonIO