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ERIC Number: EJ855755
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1744-9642
Respect-Due and Respect-Earned: Negotiating Student-Teacher Relationships
Goodman, Joan F.
Ethics and Education, v4 n1 p3-17 Mar 2009
Respect is a cardinal virtue in schools and foundational to our common ethical beliefs, yet its meaning is muddled. For philosophers Kant, Mill, and Rawls, whose influential theories span three centuries, respect includes appreciation of universal human dignity, equality, and autonomy. In their view children, possessors of human dignity, but without perspective and reasoning ability, are entitled only to the most minimal respect. While undeserving of mutual respect they are nonetheless expected to show unilateral respect. Dewey and Piaget, scions of the same liberal tradition, grant children a larger degree of autonomy and equality thereby approximating the full respect conditions reserved for adults in the prior theories. In this article, after reviewing the premises of respect, I attempt to blend the divide--between minimal and full respect--by separating "respect-due" from "respect-earned". While the former, premised on human dignity, should be granted unconditionally to all, the latter is contingent upon qualities that one possesses or acquires over time. Adding the notion of respect-due is a constraint on the prevalent school practice of turning respect into demands for deference. The relevance of this distinction is discussed in terms of student-teacher relationships. (Contains 3 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A