Ethics & Education
By The Center for Ethics & Education
Thinking better about ethical questions in education. We also make episode study guides to use in your sociology, education, and philosophy classes.
Produced by the Center for Ethics and Education in WCER at UW-Madison with funding from the Spencer Foundation.
Produced by the Center for Ethics and Education in WCER at UW-Madison with funding from the Spencer Foundation.
The Ethics of Teacher Strikes
At the Center for Ethics & Education, we (obviously) think a lot about the ethical dimensions of teaching. But what about the ethical dimensions of *not* teaching? We invited labor scholar Eleni Schirmer into conversation with philosopher Tony Laden to talk about what makes successful teacher strikes successful, strikes as direct action, what the bargaining process does to trust, and a great chicken analogy. Transcript Recorded remotely September 2021. Music is Wavy Glass by Ketsa, used under a creative commons license.
January 11, 2022
Love and Teaching
Why is it weird to talk about loving your students? A great conversation about love and teaching. Featuring philosopher Meghan Sullivan in conversation with Maria Salazar about what it means to bring love into the classroom and why more philosophers should study love. Transcript The Good Life Method book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/624476/the-good-life-method-by-meghan-sullivan-and-paul-blaschko/ Conversation recorded remotely on December 15, 2021. Music is Hip Hop Instrumental 2 by Ketsa from the Free Music Archive. Used under a creative commons license.
January 04, 2022
Navigating Educational Opportunity: The Case of Christopher Jencks
Navigating educational equal opportunity is hard. Christopher Jencks's five principles for equal education opportunity make navigating equal education a little bit easier - once we understand the principles, of course. In this episode, Avra Reddy interviews Jaime Ahlberg (University of Florida) about how we can use moral principles to understand theories of justice in Jencks's paper. They explore questions like: why do principles matter? What is the difference between weak and strong humane justice? How do we pick the best principle? Plus an analogy to help you better understand how principles can help us navigate our lives. Are you teaching Jencks in your education or philosophy class? There's a study guide for this episode! Study guide Transcript Web link Article discussed in this episode: Jencks, Christopher. “Whom Must We Treat Equally for Educational Opportunity to Be Equal?” Ethics, vol. 98, no. 3, University of Chicago Press, 1988, pp. 518–33, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2380965. Produced by Avra Reddy and Carrie Welsh. Interview recorded in September 2021. Music is "Frieden" by Ketsa, from the Free Music Archive.
November 16, 2021
Pedagogies of Punishment
How and why should we punish schoolchildren--if at all? That's the guiding question of the Pedagogies of Punishment project. This episode features the project's PIs, John Tillson (Liverpool Hope University) and Winston C. Thompson (The Ohio State University). Pedagogies of Punishment: https://www.pedagogiesofpunishment.com/ This project was a grantee of the Center for Ethics & Education! We're proud. Transcript Recorded July 2021. Producer: Carrie Welsh. Music is "Wavy Glass" by Podington Bear and "Stay With Me" by Ketsa, used under a creative commons license.
October 05, 2021
Learning Through Conversation
What can we learn from conversation that we can't learn on our own? Agnes Callard (Philosophy, University of Chicago) talks about the paradox of learning through conversation, the secret to asking a good question, chatting with the ghost of Aristotle, and that time her lecture notes were stolen and it ended up being a good thing for her teaching. Mentioned in the episode: Boat thinking (Kant) Study guides Transcript Website Pairs well with: Reasoning by Anthony Simon Laden Recorded in Chicago, July 2021. Thanks to Agnes Callard and Sol Miller. Producer: Carrie Welsh. Music is "Wavy Glass" and "Good Times" by Podington Bear, used under a creative commons license.
September 08, 2021
Trailer - Fall 2021
Welcome to a new season of the Ethics & Education podcast! Here are some snippets of episodes we'll share this fall, featuring the voices of Agnes Callard, Lindsey Schwartz, Winston Thompson, John Tillson, Jaime Ahlberg, and Quentin Wheeler-Bell. Stay tuned for more episodes starting in September. In the meantime, we’ll keep making study guides for you to use in your classes to teach philosophy of education. Find the study guides here: https://ethicsandeducation.wceruw.org/curricula/ If you have ideas for episodes, study guides, or just want to say hi, send us an email or leave us a voicemail. Music is "Wavy Glass" by Podington Bear, used under a creative commons license.
August 24, 2021
Humor, Movement, and Multimedia (Teaching Series)
At CEE, we think a lot about good teaching. This is the fourth episode in our 2021 Teaching Series. And it's the last episode of our first season! Jen Kling is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and the director of the Center for Legal Studies at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She's also the Executive Director of Concerned Philosophers for Peace, the largest, most active group of philosophers in the US working on the causes of war and the prospects for peace. In this episode, Jen touches on all the themes of our 2021 teaching series: philosophy as both a skillset and a disposition, finding an entry point for students new to philosophy, and using games to teach social contract theory. Jen has a lot of fun in the classroom. And her students do too! One student, Betty Varland, even adapted an Adele song to Aristotle. You'll get to hear that in the episode. Jen says: "So much of what I do is just to make people laugh. I really think it's genuinely important. I think philosophy is very serious, it can be very important, heavy topics. You have to find your way in to these questions. And for me, humor and movement is the way to do that. And so I try to impart that to my students." Episode transcript Produced by Carrie Welsh. Interview recorded at APA Central, February 2020. Music is My Tribe by Ketsa and Cascades by Podington Bear. Special thanks to Betty Varland for permission to use her song. ---- This is the last episode of our first season. We'd love your feedback on our next podcast season! Survey link here: https://forms.gle/UBvQZo2qoYtRL9Jw6
April 27, 2021
Being in Love with Knowledge (Teaching Series)
At CEE, we think a lot about good teaching. This is the third episode in our 2021 Teaching Series. Bailey Szustak is a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this episode, Bailey talks about teaching new philosophy students in a way that helps them feel at ease with and compelled by philosophy. After all, that's what the word 'philosophy' means--a love of knowledge. Bailey says: "How can I make my teaching something that every single student, or as many as possible...finds themselves in what we're doing in a way that is accessible to them? So not scaring them off by immediately throwing them into Kant... But asking questions and thinking about ideas that are relevant to their life. And then it turns out, they've been doing philosophy without realizing it." Episode transcript PS: Bailey is also a welder and a painter! Check out some of her art here: https://thefabulosopher.wordpress.com/art/ How do you engage your students? Do you teach "covert philosophy"? Send us an email or leave us a voice message. Produced by Carrie Welsh. Interview recorded at APA Central, February 2020. Music is Blessed Horizons by Ketsa and Cascades by Podington Bear.
April 20, 2021
Argument and Curiosity: Practicing the Skills (Teaching Series)
At CEE, we think a lot about philosophical skills and good teaching. This is the first episode in our 2021 Teaching Series. W. John Koolage is a philosophy professor and the Director of General Education at Eastern Michigan University. John is a philosopher of education who thinks a lot about teaching and learning. In this piece, he talks about how to engage undergrad students in philosophy classes by giving them opportunities to practice skills like curiosity and argument. And he talks about engaging students outside of the classroom in high-impact learning projects like the EMU Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy, which now has an international attendance. John says: "You want students to use these things they learn in their general education programs inside their major and inside their lives." Argument and curiosity "can actually fit in anything you do. They might make you a better parent, they might make you a better manager, they might make you a better chemist. That's the sort of idea that you really want in your general education program, so that these things can infuse it." Episode transcript Links: EMU Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy: https://www.emuucip.com/ Paper about the conference: https://www.pdcnet.org/teachphil/content/teachphil_2018_0999_8_28_90 George Kuh's high impact practices (excerpt): https://www.aacu.org/node/4084 Interview recorded at APA Central, February 2020. Music by Ketsa and Podington Bear. Produced by Carrie Welsh.
April 13, 2021
Teaching Feminist Critiques of Social Contract Theory (Teaching Series)
At CEE, we think a lot about good teaching. This is the second episode in our 2021 Teaching Series. Susan Kennedy is a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at Harvard University, where she works with the Embedded EthiCS team to integrate ethical reasoning into the computer science curriculum. In this episode, Susan talks about teaching non-canonical texts, using games to teach feminist critiques of social contract theory, teaching students how to conference, and offers some advice for teaching STEM students. Susan says: "I think their interest just goes through the roof when you can present the material in an interactive and engaging way, as opposed to just having a lesson plan, where I'm, you know, lecturing about feminist critiques or something like that." If you’d like to learn more about the simulation or the conference guide, Susan invites you to contact her: https://www.susan-kennedy.com/ Episode transcript How do you engage your philosophy students? Send us an email or leave us a voice message. Interview recorded at APA Central, February 2020. Music is Summer Melody by Ketsa and Cascades by Podington Bear. Produced by Carrie Welsh.
April 05, 2021
Teaching, Indoctrination, and Trust
Who do you trust? Are universities trustworthy? Professors? What about students? Philosopher Tony Laden (UIC Chicago) is writing a book about democracy. He sees higher ed as a way to think about trust networks and broader questions about how we talk to each other. Episode transcript Citations (and further reading!): Binder, Amy J., and Kate Wood. Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ Press, 2014. Brown, Adrienne M, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Chico, CA: AK Press, 2017. Jack, Anthony Abraham. The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. Laden, Anthony. "Teaching, Indoctrination and Trust." (forthcoming in Academic Ethics Today, ed. by Steven Cahn (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022). Lao-tzu and Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1994. Nguyen, C. Thi (forthcoming). "Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude." Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Westover, Tara, Educated: A Memoir. New York: Random House, 2018. Special thanks to Grace Welsh, Carrie Peredo, and Natnael Shiferaw for reading the student excerpts. This episode was produced by Carrie Welsh, with help from Natnael Shiferaw, Harry Brighouse, and Tony Laden. Recorded January 2021. Music is "Eye on Me" by Ketsa and "Cascades" by Podington Bear.
March 24, 2021
Principles are your pal. They offer both theory and a diagnosis to help you figure out what the problem is. But on their own, they're not enough. Where do they fit in decision-making? Plus a burning question about relativism. At the NAAPE Conference in 2019, Grace Gecewicz (UW Madison Philosophy undergrad, '20) and Abby Beneke (UW Madison Educational Policy Studies PhD student) interviewed Professor Jaime Ahlberg (Philosophy, University of Florida). This is a great piece for understanding principles and decision-making. Recommended reading: Dilemmas of Educational Ethics, edited by Meira Levinson and Jacob Fay. Episode Transcript Recorded October 2019. Produced by Grace Gecewicz, Abby Beneke, and Carrie Welsh. Music by Podington Bear and Ketsa.
March 09, 2021
New Universities and Relational Equality
This piece features two voices: sociologist Dr. Laura T. Hamilton (UC Merced) and philosopher Dr. Kathryn Joyce (Princeton University). Educational Policy Studies PhD student Abby Beneke (UW-Madison) interviewed Laura when she came to UW in 2019 to give a talk on her book project, Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Universities, which she co-wrote with Kelly Nielsen. Dr. Hamilton: “What I want people to understand is that the hierarchies that we see today are about racial resentment.” We asked philosopher Kathryn Joyce to respond to Laura's interview from a lens of relational equality. Dr. Joyce: "Addressing racial hierarchies is not primarily a matter of rooting out racists and removing them from positions of power. It's a matter of eliminating dominant racial ideologies.” Transcript Website Study guide for this episode coming soon! This episode was produced by Abby Beneke and Carrie Welsh, and mixed and edited by Kellen Sharp.
February 23, 2021
Education for Liberation
"Education doesn't always need to start with an answer. It starts, sometimes, with a question." Professor Quentin Wheeler-Bell (Indiana University) discusses one of the driving questions of his work: what is liberatory education? Transcript Produced and edited by Kellen Sharp. Recorded at the NAAPE Conference, October 2019.
February 09, 2021
The Ethics of Doctoral Admissions
It’s late January, which means snowstorms (here in Wisconsin, anyway), the start of the spring semester, and grad school application deadlines. Universities will be making admission decisions over the next few months, and then applicants will decide where to go. But who really knows what they're getting into when they apply to grad school?? This is a timely piece on informed consent and the ethics of doctoral admissions, featuring Center Fellow Professor Bryan Warnick, a philosopher at the Ohio State University. It's based on his paper, "The Ethics of Doctoral Admissions" (forthcoming). We also asked four PhD students their thoughts on grad school. Thanks to Pedro Monque (CUNY Graduate Center), Garry Mitchell (Harvard University), Kathryn Joyce (University of California San Diego), and Kirsten Welch (Columbia Teacher's College) for sharing their perspectives. Transcript Recorded at APA Central in Denver, February 2019. Mixed and edited by Kellen Sharp. Produced by Grace Gecewicz and Carrie Welsh.
January 26, 2021
Grace Gecewicz and Madeline Brighouse Glueck interview Jennifer S. Hirsch (Public Health, Columbia University) and Shamus Khan (Sociology, Princeton University) about their book, Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus. This conversation offers a hopeful vision for the future of sex education, preventing sexual assault, and developing an empathetic understanding of young people today. Transcript Study guide: The Ethics of Sexual Citizenship Recorded in December 2020. Theme music by Podington Bear. Episode produced and edited by Carrie Welsh.
January 07, 2021
The Ethics of Opting Out
What are the ethical questions behind opting out of state testing? Professor Terri Wilson (University of Colorado Boulder) discusses a case study she co-wrote on opting out of state standardized testing. Study Guide: Opting Out of State Assessments - with a Structured Academic Controversy activity Audio Transcript Recorded at the American Philosophical Association Central Conference in Denver in 2019. Produced by Carrie Welsh and Grace Gecewicz and edited by Kellen Sharp. Theme music by Podington Bear.
December 15, 2020
What is a Charter School?
What is a charter school? Philosophy professor (and director of the Center for Ethics and Education) and UW-Madison student (and undergraduate project assistant at the Center) Grace Gecewicz host this episode about a type of school that everyone seems to have an opinion about. Find out who the "strange bedfellows" were that came up with the idea of charter schools and learn to ask the right questions about the effects of charter schools. Featuring scholars Erica Turner (Educational Policy Studies, UW-Madison) and Gina Schouten (Philosophy, Harvard University) Paper by Brighouse and Schouten: "To Charter or Not to Charter: What Questions Should We Ask, and What Will the Answers Tell Us?" Study Guide: What is a Charter School? Transcript Recorded in 2018 and 2019. Produced by Carrie Welsh and Grace Gecewicz. Edited by Kellen Sharp. Music by Bad Snacks and Podington Bear.
December 08, 2020
Ethical Costs: Higher Education and Social Mobility
What ethical compromises do students make when they seek upward mobility through education? We talk with Professor Jennifer Morton about her new book, Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (2019). Morton is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a senior fellow at the Center for Ethics and Education. Book: Moving Up Without Losing Your Way, by Jennifer Morton This audio is paired with free, downloadable curricular materials to use in undergrad and graduate education classes. Visit our website for more info. Study Guide: Ethical Costs: The Case of Higher Education and Social Mobility Audio Transcript Recorded October 2019. Produced by Carrie Welsh and Grace Gecewicz. Mixed and edited by Kellen Sharp. Theme music by Podington Bear.
November 24, 2020
The Case of the Privileged Poor
We talk with Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, an assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, about his new book, The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students (2019). Jack’s work examines the often-overlooked diversity of low-income college students. Book: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack This audio is paired with free, downloadable curricular materials to use in undergrad and graduate education classes. Visit our website for more info. Study Guide: Navigating Non-Ideal Institutions: The Case of the Privileged Poor Study Guide: Student Materials Recorded in Toronto, April 2019. Audio Transcript Produced by Carrie Welsh. Edited by Kellen Sharp. Theme music by Podington Bear. Study guide created by Harry Brighouse, Abby Beneke, Grace Gecewicz, and Carrie Welsh, with consultation from Anthony Jack.
November 10, 2020
Kellen Sharp is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Communication Arts. He is a McNair scholar with aspirations of attending graduate school and earning a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies. Kellen was the Undergraduate Research Scholar at the Center for Ethics and Education in 2019-20, where he co-produced and edited the podcast and helped develop curricular materials. This is his reflection on that work. Transcript Written and produced by Kellen Sharp, May 2020. Theme music by Podington Bear.
October 27, 2020
Good Sex Education For Good Sex
Grace Gecewicz is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a certificate in gender and women’s studies. During her time as an undergraduate, she was also an undergraduate project assistant at the Center for Ethics & Education, where she worked on the podcast and curriculum development. To read Grace's honor's thesis, "Let's Talk About the Birds, Not the Bees: Sexual Education for a Flourishing Life," you can reach out to her via email: email@example.com. Recommended Readings: Archard,D. (2000). Sex Education. Impact, 2000(7), vii-47. Kukla, R. (2018). That’s what she said: The language of sexual negotiation. Ethics, 128, 70- 97. McAvoy, P. (2013). The aims of sex education: Demoting autonomy and promoting mutuality. Educational Theory, 63(5) 483-496. Transcript Written and produced by Grace Gecewicz, May 2020. Theme music by Podington Bear.
October 20, 2020
Professors Lauren Gatti (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Paula McAvoy (North Carolina State University) talk about their book project, Just Teacher: Ethical Thinking in the Profession of Teaching. Recorded in-person in February 2019 and over zoom in September 2020. Transcript Produced by Carrie Welsh. Theme music by Podington Bear.
October 13, 2020
Just Teacher - on Teaching in a Pandemic
This is a short piece cut from the longer conversation with Professors Lauren Gatti (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Paula McAvoy (North Carolina State University) about their book project, Just Teacher: Ethical Thinking in the Profession of Teaching. Here, they talk about the unique challenges the pandemic poses to teachers. Recorded over zoom in September 2020. Transcript Produced by Carrie Welsh. Theme music by Podington Bear.
October 13, 2020
Welcome to the Ethics and Education podcast from the Center for Ethics and Education. We host conversations with philosophers, educators, and researchers about ethical issues in education. This podcast is part of a curricular project that includes free study guides about our episodes. Get in touch; we'd love to hear from you. The Center for Ethics and Education is based at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Producer: Carrie Welsh Theme music by Podington Bear.
October 05, 2020