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ERIC Number: ED568736
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 264
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-61250-933-4
Dilemmas of Educational Ethics: Cases and Commentaries
Levinson, Meira, Ed.; Fay, Jacob, Ed.
Harvard Education Press
Educators and policy makers confront challenging questions of ethics, justice, and equity on a regular basis. Should teachers retain a struggling student if it means she will most certainly drop out? Should an assignment plan favor middle-class families if it means strengthening the school system for all? These everyday dilemmas are both utterly ordinary and immensely challenging, yet there are few opportunities and resources to help educators think through the ethical issues at stake. Drawing on research and methods developed in the Justice in Schools project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, "Dilemmas of Educational Ethics" introduces a new interdisciplinary approach to achieving practical wisdom in education, one that honors the complexities inherent in educational decision making and encourages open discussion of the values and principles we should collectively be trying to realize in educational policy and practice. At the heart of the book are six richly described, realistic accounts of ethical dilemmas that have arisen in education in recent years, paired with responses written by noted philosophers, empirical researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. The editors illustrate how readers can use and adapt these cases and commentaries in schools and other settings in order to reach a difficult decision, deepen their own understanding, or to build teams around shared values. The book begins with an Introduction (Meira Levinson and Jacob Fay), followed by seven chapters paired with responses. Chapter 1: Promotion or Retention? (Meira Levinson). [Responses: Square Pegs, Round Holes: The Need for Reform (Melissa Aguirre); Toward Pragmatic Educational Ethics (Jal Mehta); Humanism and Standards (Sigal Ben-Porath); Promotion, Retention, and the Rights of the Child (Willie J. R. Fleming); The Pedagogical Implications of Case Study Structure (Brendan W. Randall); and Systems, Not Individual Saviors, for All Students and Schools (Toby N. Romer).] Chapter 2: Rocky Choices: Scientific Inquiry, Discipline, and Mental Illness at Rivers Elementary (Meira Levinson and Sigal Ben-Porath). [Responses: Navigating Rocky Choices with Practical Wisdom (Joshua Wakeham); Educational Justice in the Inclusive Classroom (Jaime Ahlberg); Preparing Teachers for Complex Decisions (Elisabeth Fieldstone Kanner); Academic Engagement as Classroom Management (Seth Andrew, with Natalie Gould and Miriam Joelson); Promoting the Values of Inclusion, Learning, and Expertise in Complex Situations (Diana Hess); and From Interests to Membership (Jacob Fay).] Chapter 3: Stolen Trust: Cell Phone Theft in a Zero-Tolerance High School (Kailey Burger and Meira Levinson). [Responses: The Challenge of Responding to Injustice (Tommie Shelby); Thinking Creatively in a Bind (Jeffrey Smith); No Just Outcome (Elizabeth Anderson); Agency, Bias, and Imagination in Doing Educational Justice (David J. Knight); Three Frames for Good Work (Howard Gardner); and Whom Can You Trust When Everyone Is the Police? (Mary Pattillo).] Chapter 4: Inflated Expectations: How Should Teachers Assign Grades? (Meira Levinson and Ilana Finefter-Rosenbluh). [Responses: Putting School Mission First (Rebecca E. Yacono); Three Ways to Grade (Rob Reich); Grade Inflation as a Tragedy of the Commons (Jennifer Hochschild); Inflated Expectations in a World of Hypercredentialing (Peter Demerath); Grades Miss the Mark (Deepa Sriya Vasudevan); and Protect Teacher Integrity (Doris A. Santoro).] Chapter 5: Is Pandering Ethical Policy? Power, Privilege, and School Assignment (Meira Levinson). [Responses: Can Pandering Promote Equality of Opportunity? (Andrée-Anne Cormier); Don't Pander, Go for Growth! (Michael J. Petrilli); School Assignment Lotteries: What Should We Take for Granted? (Jennifer M. Morton); Pandering in a Context of Limited Choices and Costs (Andres A. Alonso); Means and Ends: Practical Considerations for Equitable School Reform (James E. Ryan); and From Principles to Practice and the Problem of Unintended Consequences (Christopher Winship).] Chapter 6: How, If at All, Should Charters Be Compared to Local Districts? (Meira Levinson). [Responses: The Trouble with Universality (Frederick M. Hess); Compromising Charter Schools' Efforts to Serve Disadvantaged Youth (Harry Brighouse); The Need for Equity-Based Policy (Pedro Noguera); Not Perfect for All, But Perfect for Some (Ayo Magwood); Charter Schools, Education Markets, and Democracy (Lawrence Blum); and Schools for All Our Children (Patricia D. Jehlen).] Chapter 7: Engaging with Dilemmas (Jacob Fay and Meira Levinson, with Elisabeth Fieldstone Kanner). Also included are Notes, Acknowledgments, sections about the editors and the case study, a list of contributors, and an Index.
Harvard Education Press. 8 Story Street First Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 888-437-1437; Tel: 617-495-3432; Fax: 978-348-1233; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education