How does one stir the embers within the hearts and minds of students in their search for knowledge and their quest for understanding? If a student’s assignment submission is substantive, thought-provoking, and uses examples to give evidence of the depth and breadth of the subject matter, hopefully my response to the submission will not be canned. If so, the students’ embers will soon die, whereas if my response mirrors their submission, the embers will burst into flames. Continue reading
Earth Day – April 22, 2020 – Earth Day — Living in Harmony with and Interactions among human beings, non-human beings, and the natural world.
One day a child, Sarah saw an older man digging a hole in the earth. She asked the man, “Must you do such heavy work at your age? Have you no to help you?” The man kept digging. “This work I must do myself.” Sarah asked, “What kind of tree are you be planting?” “I am planting a fruit tree. “When will your fruit tree bear fruit?” asked Sarah. “In 20 years, the tree will bear fruit” responded the man. Sarah asked, “But surely do you think you will live that long?” “No, I do not think so, but I must plant this tree. When I came into this world there were trees here for me. It is my duty to make sure that when I leave this earth, there will be trees here also.” What will your legacy be? Continue reading
We use language in part to enable reasonable persons to distinguish acts that harm from those that enhance human welfare and the well-being of other sentient creatures. In Ethics class try this exercise regarding virtues and vices.
In your small groups, using the alphabet, think of a virtue that begins with each of the letters of the alphabet; secondly, using the alphabet, think of a vice for each letter of the alphabet. Do not use any technology, such as a smart phone unless outside help is needed. When the groups have finished, have each group share their vices and virtues. Continue reading
Model, Mentor, Motivator, Messenger of Hope
In my ethics’ classes, I begin each class by inviting anyone to share, for the sake of discussion, any recent events that may have ethical/moral implications, challenges, and/or dilemmas or any individuals who gave evidence of moral courage or even moral outrage regarding unethical behavior or practices. One of the students mentioned Greta Thunberg who, at age 16, appeared before European Leaders and the United States Congress; and she was instrumental in being a catalyst for over 4 million individuals throughout the world who marched as a united moral force on September 20 to express their collective concerns and warnings about the dire consequences of global warming. Continue reading
What would Aristotle say about employability skills?
Employability Skills: In addition to specific job-related training, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has identified core abilities that are transferable and go beyond the context of a specific course.
- Communicate Effectively
- Work Cooperatively and Professionally
- Think Critically and Creatively
- Solve Problems Effectively
- Value Individual Differences and Abilities
- Demonstrate Personal Accountability
- Demonstrate Community and Global Accountability
Socrates holds before us the keys to a meaningful and purposeful life by reminding us to “Know Thyself” and “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Continue reading
Confucius reminds us that education is not teaching students what to think, but how to think. The following exercise challenges students of ethics to think logically while working together in groups of 7. Continue reading
How do I know you, let me count the ways? On the first day of class, ice breakers are a way of breaking the tension and creating an atmosphere of familiarity and commonality. One of the more used ice breakers would be an exercise like BINGO where everyone is in motion to have his or her card signed by finding someone whose favorite color is blue, or born in February, or likes country music. At best, an ice breaker exercise is superficial and non-threatening, and does break the ice. Continue reading
After my ethics classes are finished for the day, I summarize what we have discussed and/or completed in class for the sake of review, continuity, and if a student was absent who could then review the content discussed in that class. In addition to summarizing each class, I add quotations that reflect the diversity of various belief and philosophical systems which are fundamental to ethics to further enhance good choices and right behavior whether one believes in a higher power or not. Continue reading
As we are nearing the end of another semester, I asked my students to write a paragraph or two offering advice to future students who will be taking this ethics course; in turn, when I meet with a new batch of students, I will share with them the advice offered by former students — here is what one class had to offer: Continue reading