ERIC Number: EJ861164
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 12
Should Faculty Members Teach Virtues and Values? That Is the Wrong Question
Roche, Mark W.
Liberal Education, v95 n3 p32-37 Sum 2009
Academic professionalization and specialization recognize the faculty member's mastery of method and a discrete sphere of knowledge while insisting that ultimate questions be bracketed from the academy. Early in the twentieth century, Max Weber (1946) argued for the separation of knowledge and morality, insisting that values are not scientific and cannot be defended via reason. In "The Making of the Modern University" (1996), Julie Reuben tells the story of how American higher education has increasingly moved toward this separation of knowledge and morality. It has been an increasingly accepted position that faculty members are no longer responsible for moral formation, and if they were to engage in it, they would surely do a poor job. However, faculty members do not ignore moral formation. This author contends that, despite their caution, reticence, and open denials, faculty members are heavily engaged in the moral formation of students. The author stresses that critical inquiry model and the moral formation model are not so easily separated. As Mark Schwehn notes in "Exiles from Eden" (1993), many intellectual pursuits presuppose virtues of character, and so the two often develop in tandem. The author asserts that faculty members do not only educate students in virtues and values, but they want to do so. The very faculty members who stress critical thinking and often shy away from discussion of values lament that today's students are too oriented toward material gain and insufficiently interested in values.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Faculty, General Education, College Faculty, Ethical Instruction, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States