Ethics Day, A Transformational Program


Published on

Imagine a day that follows four months of meaningful conversation and planning engaging students, faculty, trustees, and alumni. Faculty learn how to team up with seniors to run ethics based seminars including participants in 6th through 12th grade. Beyond basic Socratic skills, faculty learn about leading open-ended conversations that bring out each participant’s voice, how to apply ethical frameworks, and how to bring alive an ethical challenge within a chosen school wide topic. The day starts by honoring newly elected distinguished alumni who reflect on the ethical lessons and moral character that they learned while in school. Several blocks of student/faculty run seminars follow that focus on issues within a given topic such as health, food, or simply decision making in areas of consequence when there is no easy answer and no ultimate resolution.

In the afternoon of Ethics Day, alumni come to campus and offer seminars on ethical dilemmas within their chosen professions. Students connect with graduates, learn about different careers, and then typically address case studies that open their eyes to real world applications. Alumni are inspired by the opportunity to return to their school to teach. Finally, students engage in some reflective conversation and writing to finish a truly transformational day.

This conference session will cover the overall design and philosophy behind running an Ethics Day program, the many and varied benefits of such a program, mistakes to avoid, and lots of interactive conversation about how this might be adapted to different school cultures. At Kent Denver we feel a fundamental obligation to help students practice making the very most difficult decisions before they, in fact, have to do so. This is what Ethics Day is designed to do.

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Ethics Day, A Transformational Program

  1. 1. Kent Denver School “ Excellence in Scholarship and Character” Integrity – Respect – Personal Growth – Community - Wisdom
  2. 2. ETHICS DAY: An invitation to a year long conversation
  3. 3. Institute for Global Ethics Conference Memphis June 2010 <ul><li>Good morning! </li></ul><ul><li>What would you like from this session? </li></ul><ul><li>Any burning questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Participate! </li></ul><ul><li>PP online </li></ul><ul><li>Your voice matters </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ethics Day: A Path to Demystification <ul><li>Mel Levine: Demystification of learning disabilities. Making a ghost tangible. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning: Howard Gardner, Daniel Pink, John Medina, Etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics/Moral Development: Robert Coles, Lawrence Kohlberg, </li></ul><ul><li>Rushworth Kidder, </li></ul><ul><li>Institute for Global Ethics, </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical Fitness </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Kent Denver Path “Excellence in Scholarship and Character” <ul><li>Vision Statement Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Community engagement and infusion of Vision Statement in talks, writing, decisions, surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Community focus on elements of “ Character ” </li></ul><ul><li>The Virtuecrats step-up.. A cautionary tale </li></ul><ul><li>Honor Code…2 year failed process </li></ul><ul><li>KDS Core Values…2 year successful process </li></ul><ul><li>Writing, speeches, decisions, but needed more…. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics Day….Looks Good so Far </li></ul>
  6. 7. Ethics Day: General Considerations <ul><li>Develop rationale and buy in from all administrators and board of trustees. </li></ul><ul><li>HOS must champion the cause </li></ul><ul><li>Form student/faculty committee with mavens and connectors to develop concept, with guidelines from HOS </li></ul><ul><li>Good intentions, meaningful action, or sacrificial commitment? </li></ul>
  7. 8. Ethics Day Committee Charge <ul><li>Develop, Plan, Discuss: </li></ul><ul><li>Vision for day </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of day </li></ul><ul><li>Resources required </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>What will success look like? </li></ul><ul><li>How can it be measured? </li></ul>
  8. 9. Ethics Day Mission Statement <ul><li>Ethics Day celebrates and promotes </li></ul><ul><li>ethical inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>for the Kent Denver School community </li></ul><ul><li>to explore ethical challenges </li></ul><ul><li>while reinforcing </li></ul><ul><li>the school’s core values </li></ul>
  9. 10. Your turn……… <ul><li>What would you like to see happen with a day like this if it happened at your school? </li></ul><ul><li>What might it accomplish? </li></ul><ul><li>What would be some desirable outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>(small group work) </li></ul>
  10. 11. What would you like to see happen with a day like this? (1 of 3) <ul><li>Year long dialogue to demystify and strengthen commitment to ethical behavior and moral courage </li></ul><ul><li>Engage 6-12 as a community </li></ul><ul><li>Bring alumni back to school to engage </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguished alumni program….character matters most </li></ul><ul><li>Education for making the most difficult of decisions, where independent schools must step-up </li></ul><ul><li>Increase ethical, moral, character literacy </li></ul>
  11. 12. What would you like to see happen with a day like this? (2 of 3) <ul><li>Bring out voice of each individual student (This I Believe…). Not a prescriptive exercise. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore ethics of a specific content area (health, food, energy, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce that all big decisions have an ethical dimension </li></ul><ul><li>Improve authentic student leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Blend ethics in careers and career fair elements </li></ul><ul><li>Include the arts! </li></ul>
  12. 13. What would you like to see happen with a day like this? (3 of 3) <ul><li>Develop ethical frameworks and approaches for faculty and students to use year round </li></ul><ul><li>Help faculty grow in teaming with students and using seminar approach </li></ul><ul><li>Empower students (what about me) </li></ul><ul><li>Get rid of typical clutter in a school day and focus only on this </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen ability for reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Make Core Values tangible, compelling, and useful </li></ul>
  13. 14. Most Important….The Faculty <ul><li>Commitment and Rationale from Head of School and Community Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Training During Existing Meeting Time </li></ul><ul><li>Guest Speakers, Case Studies, Frameworks... </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit Champions, Mavens, Connectors </li></ul><ul><li>Respect Committee Process and use advisor time </li></ul><ul><li>Moodle site resources: </li></ul>
  14. 15. Sample Daily Schedule- Morning <ul><li>8:15 Continental VIP breakfast: </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguished alums, trustees, alumni board, ED Committee </li></ul><ul><li>9:00 All school assembly </li></ul><ul><li>Music Performance , HOS remarks/presentations , Dist. Alum remarks, guest speaker </li></ul><ul><li>10:00 6-12 conversations in Ethics session #1 </li></ul><ul><li>11:00 6-12 conversations in Ethics session #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch </li></ul>
  15. 16. Sample Seminars 2010 <ul><li>It's My Body and I'll Eat (Chili Cheese) Fries If I Want To! </li></ul><ul><li>Hungry for a Hamburger: Got E. coli? </li></ul><ul><li>Food, Inc .: Whose health are we talking about—Planet, Animal, Human? </li></ul><ul><li>Do old people have a “Duty to Die?” </li></ul><ul><li>End of Life Decisions—Murder of Mercy?      </li></ul><ul><li>To steal, or not to steal </li></ul><ul><li>The Ethics of Abortion--Should we have the freedom to choose? </li></ul><ul><li>Organ Transplants: the physician, the poet, or the prostitute?   </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanasia: is it ever justifiable? </li></ul><ul><li>Weighing the Ethics of NBC's The Biggest Loser </li></ul><ul><li>The Man in the Mirror </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics in the ER. </li></ul><ul><li>International Health and Emergency Care: Who gets it and when </li></ul>
  16. 17. Sample Daily Schedule - Afternoon <ul><li>Grades 9-12 </li></ul><ul><li>1:00 Ethics in Careers #1 </li></ul><ul><li>2:00 Ethics in Careers #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Grades 6-12 </li></ul><ul><li>1:00 units on specific heath education and community work or movie </li></ul><ul><li>All </li></ul><ul><li>2:30 Reflective sessions with writing by advisor groups for archives </li></ul>
  17. 18. Student Reflection: Guiding Questions <ul><li>Personal Discoveries or Insights? </li></ul><ul><li>Changes? </li></ul><ul><li>Actions? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Action is the sole </li></ul><ul><li>medium for the </li></ul><ul><li>expression for ethics” </li></ul>
  18. 19. Resources required: <ul><li>Commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Training time for faculty (4 x 1 hour) </li></ul><ul><li>(moral/ethical frameworks, seminar teaching, examples) </li></ul><ul><li>Advisor time (4 x 20 minutes) </li></ul><ul><li>Stipend for coordinator $ 500 to $ 2,500. </li></ul><ul><li>Book for every family? $ 0 to $ 9,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Guest speaker? $ 0 to $10,000 </li></ul><ul><li>VIP breakfast $ 500 to $1,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Misc (printing, posters) $ 500 </li></ul><ul><li>Total $1,500 to $20,500 </li></ul>
  19. 20. How to Measure Outcomes? <ul><li>Adjust and frame expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Advisor group follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of reflective pieces </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic survey </li></ul><ul><li>Committee debrief </li></ul><ul><li>Check against </li></ul><ul><li>original goals </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to </li></ul><ul><li>change </li></ul>
  20. 21. Thank You!!!