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Ch 4 Callahan   Academic Paternalism
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Ch 4 Callahan Academic Paternalism


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  • 1. “Academic Paternalism” Joan C. Callahan
    • Are university, college, department policies or practices paternalistic?
    • Two Classes of Possible Paternalistic Behavior: Academic and Non-Academic
    • What is the appropriate model of the university/student and faculty/student relationship?
  • 2. Paradigm Case of Paternalism
    • Paternalism: a relationship where one party acts on the presumption that he knows what is best for the other party.(106)
    • Paternalism involves beneficence or the interest in the well-being of the child.
    • Paternalism is objectionable when applied to adults- particularly when the acts lack beneficence.
  • 3. Problem of Paternalism in Higher Education
    • When policies, decisions, or behaviors involve an interference with the liberty of students for their own good.
    • When policies, decisions, or behaviors toward students involve treating students in patronizing or other ways which fail to recognize their adult status. (106)
    • Callahan argues that occurs in higher education is NOT paternalistic.
  • 4. Instructor/Student Relationship
    • All policies or actions based on the presumption that one party knows what is best for another does not count as paternalistic.
    • Fundamental difference is that the service being provided is requested by the client or trainee.
    • Relationship between the two is essentially contractual.
  • 5. Rights of the Trainee
    • Right to require a justification for professional decisions
    • Right (and freedom) to ignore the professional’s advice
    • Right to withdraw from the relationship
  • 6. Rights of the Professional
    • Right to terminate the relationship if the client demands he/she act in ways below professional standards.
    • Right to terminate if the pupil refuses to cooperate in the learning process.
    • Analogous Models: Professional/Client or the Master/Apprentice
  • 7. Goals of a University Education
    • Developing capacities for autonomous agency
    • Preparation for the professions
    • Formation of educated persons fit for citizenship in a free society
    • Cultivation of individuals for their own purposes.(107)
  • 8. University/Student vs. Parent/Child Relationship
    • Student voluntarily enters into the relationship with another agent/agency for a specific purpose
    • Student and university are free to terminate the relationship.
    • Relationship is essentially contractual.
  • 9. Academic Paternalism and Paternalistic Rationales
    • Departmental Requirements
    • College/University Requirements
    • In-Course Requirements
    • All requirements are justified provided they further academic ideals e.g.”What every educated person should know.”