ETHICS GOING BEYOND MERELY WHAT IS RIGHT, AND WHAT IS WRONG Opening Activity For this activity, go towards the corner of the room that you agree with. Stand by one of the four posters in a corner: “Agree”, “Somewhat Agree,” “Disagree,” and “Somewhat Disagree” Opening Acttivity -I have control over the grades I receive. -If I work hard on an assignment, I deserve a good grade on it. -If I complete every requirement in an assignment, I deserve a good grade on it. -Receiving a “C” on an assignment means that I met the teacher’s expectations, but did not exceed them. Ethic(s) Main Entry: eth·ic Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos Date: 14th century 1 plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation 2 a : a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics> <Christian ethics> b plural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c : a guiding philosophy d : a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic> 3 plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning> Going Beyond Dictionary Definitions The central question of ethics is: "What ought one to do?" Whenever you are faced with this question, you are dealing with ethics. In seeking to answer the question of "What ought one to do?" we are left with some enduring truths: Ethics is about relationships It's about struggling to develop a well-informed conscience It's about being true to the idea of who we are and what we stand for It's about having the courage to explore difficult questions It's about accepting the cost Going beyond a dictionary definition A few years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people, “What does ethics mean to you?" Among their replies were the following: "Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong." "Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs." "Being ethical is doing what the law requires." "Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts." "I don't know what the word means." These replies might be typical of our own. The meaning of "ethics" is hard to pin down, and the views many people have about ethics are shaky. What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. Learn More About Ethics http://www.ethics.org.au/ a. Why do the professors quoted in this article disagree with students’ assertion that if they work hard they deserve good grades? b. Do you agree that students have a heightened sense of entitlement when it comes to grades? Why or why not? c. Do you agree that students’ sense of entitlement is due to “increased parental pressure, competition among peers and family members and a heightened sense of achievement anxiety”? Would you add anything to that list? Would you take anything off of it? Why? d. Do you think that teachers at this school subscribe to the belief that if students “do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C”? How would you characterize the grading policies at this school? e. In your opinion, what would be the fairest approach to grading? Why? Independent Practice A group of concerned community members have noticed grade inflation at our school and have made a presentation to the school board arguing for the following policy to be put in place: “Starting next year, the default grade at this school will be a C. In order to receive a higher grade, students must do more than simply meet the standard requirements in any given class.” The school board has not yet decided whether or not to institute this policy and they have enlisted your help to research the issue. They have asked that you hold a debate on the proposed policy to help inform the school community about its pros and cons before a decision is made. What is the ethical thing to do in this matter? Should we change the way we grade?
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