ERIC Number: ED225200
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Can We as Communication Scholars Teach Ethics without Preaching Values?
Rozema, Hazel J.
Even while struggling with their own biases and values, communication scholars can and should teach a unit on ethics in the basic communication course. One possible approach begins on the cognitive level by describing four different orientations toward ethics: hedonistic, legalistic, altruistic, and situational. By working out case study situations in small groups, students clarify their own ethical orientations. When students ask for an ethical absolute, the principle that communication must have an upbuilding, loving effect on the receiver is useful, but not as simple as it first might appear. Teachers must also confront the question of whether they should express their own values and biases in the classroom. Historically, colleges and universities have provided moral education; in fact, values are inherently taught in every classroom in every discipline. Thus, the issue is not whether but to what extent and in what manner values and biases will be expressed. Most teachers fit into one of the following teaching styles: (1) ignores ethics completely; (2) transmits certain vital values; (3) upholds the standards of the culture; (4) acts as a "gatekeeper," focusing on student values; (5) plays "devil's advocate" by constantly asking provoking questions; (6) tries to serve as a personal model for proper behavior; and (7) affirms personal values without forcing them on the students. (JL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982).