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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.