ERIC Number: ED412045
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
The Value of Feminist Ethics in Experiential Education Teaching and Leadership.
Traditional ethics are founded on unquestioned principles that transcend the limitations of a particular person. The result is that behavior is judged on how well people follow rules, not on how well they treat one another. This essay contends that applying this patriarchal approach to teaching situations ignores the needs of students in experiential education programs. A feminist ethic is one based on a caring relationship. The universal concept in an ethic of caring is not a set of absolute moral principles, but one's internal commitment to promote another's well-being by learning about and understanding the other person. Just as a child in a caring relationship is inspired by the acceptance of adults to gain increasingly greater competence, participants in experiential education programs that are in caring relationships with program leaders respond with interest to the challenges offered. Experiential education practitioners can also borrow from the work done by feminist therapists in the area of power. Practitioners need to continually be aware of the power differential between leaders and participants so that it will not be abused, and to find ways that the strong can protect the weak without destroying their sense of dignity in the process. In an ethic of caring, judgment is replaced by acceptance and support. Contains 16 references. (TD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A