ERIC Number: ED314104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct-12
Community Colleges and Civic Literacy: The Quest for Values, Ethics, and College Renewal.
Parsons, Michael H.
Several institutions, including churches, community groups, and political organizations, lay claim to the task of bolstering existing values and restructuring the ethical set of the nation. The higher education community has an equally legitimate claim for the responsibility of inculcating values. The role of education in values transference is not new, and each time society experiences a moral malaise, discussion begins anew. Throughout the 1980's, educational writers have stressed that a carefully selected curriculum not only teaches about intellectual values, but also nurtures them. Instructors dealing with ethical issues in their disciplines have been urged to discuss the art of commitment in a pluralistic and uncertain context. Toleration for ability and willingness to act decisively when faced with uncertainty have been represented as a type of civic literacy. With values, ethics, and a moral point of view considered essential to quality of life, colleges were perceived as having potential civic functions which no other single institution can provide. Writers supported the contention that the development of civic literacy is a legitimate role for America's higher education community. Colleges were urged to forget their institutional egos and become involved in social needs and concerns, and students voiced concern with the consequences of unethical behavior and the effect of organizational structures and leadership on the prevention of misconduct. Though many community colleges have long been involved in programs and projects designed to improve the economic and social quality of life in their communities, few complete models exist for fostering civic literacy. One example, at Hagerstown Junior College, in Maryland, uses a colloquium approach to analyze such diverse topics as social change, leadership, and the new corporate system. In fall 1988, over 100 faculty, students, administrators, and community members met to discuss the state of ethics in the professions. (JMC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Virginia Community Colleges (Roanoke, VA, October 12, 1989).