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ERIC Number: ED353607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-16
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ethics in Education: Should We Focus on Talent or Genius?
Flinders, Neil J.
This address begins by reviewing the long heritage in Utah (132 years) of teachers gathering together for the purpose of improving their service to students. But there is danger of the system hardening and becoming more important than the services it was created to deliver, and it is within the frame of these historical choices that the address then suggests that what in academia is now called "ethics in education" should be called "morality in education." The address argues that the issue of morality in education is the same issue that poses the central problem in intellectual history: Do individuals have both a spiritual and physical dimension or just a physical dimension? The address then considers a primary response to the problem, citing the historians' explanation for the shift from traditional beliefs to the modern perspective known as the "secularization hypothesis," an explanation popularized by theorists such as Marx, Comte, Dewey, Freud, and others. Two personal experiences which provide a "bookends" view of rhetoric are cited--that of winning a high school debate tournament, and, much later, that of serving as the president of the Far Western Philosophy of Education Society, and between these two experiences came the realization that talent, however useful, is not a quality foundation for human life. Instead, it is argued, morality is rooted in genius (in the ancient sense of an attendant spirit allotted to every person at birth to preside over destiny in life), not in talent. The address concludes that morality in education, therefore, depends upon the educator having the willingness and courage to acknowledge the existence of a spiritual domain. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah