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ERIC Number: EJ818824
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Academic Freedom: The Ethical Imperative
Slattery, Patrick
Childhood Education, v85 n1 p47 Fall 2008
In this article, the author takes his cue for discussions of academic freedom from Simone de Beauvoir as found in her classic text, "The Ethics of Ambiguity." Like other existentialists, de Beauvoir emphasizes that freedom and responsibility are intimately linked. Academic freedom is an ethical responsibility that compels the author to teach and write about dangerous, difficult, and disturbing issues in his field of study. The academic freedom he enjoys means that he has a responsibility to uncover layers of sedimented assumptions and deconstruct privileged knowledge for the purpose of advancing justice, compassion, and ecological sustainability in his field and in the broader global community. It is his responsibility to research, lecture, and edit from a position of freedom and justice. This is the heart and soul of a democratic education that defines academic freedom as an ethical imperative. The author contends that controversy surrounding ideas and issues in their disciplines can too often paralyze academics and students. The problem is not too much academic freedom, but rather the lack of commitment to democratic freedom and social justice in education, which causes most professors to seek the lowest common denominator and inert trivia and avoid controversy at all cost.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A