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Ethical Teaching and the Social Justice Distraction


by Elizabeth Campbell — 2013

This chapter presents a conceptual argument that positions two broad areas of educational scholarship—the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching and social justice education—as being quite separate, different, and ultimately antithetical, despite contemporary trends towards merging them in both theoretical and practical ways. It argues that an emerging tendency in social justice education to position its political agenda as a moral or ethical endeavor, especially within teacher education, is problematic in that it complicates, rather than enhances, the conceptualization of teaching as moral practice; it further distracts teachers and student teachers from fully engaging with the ethical aspects of their daily professional work.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 112. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 13, 2013, p. 216-237
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18327, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 9:41:12 PM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Campbell
    University of Toronto
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH CAMPBELL is a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her scholarship and teaching focus on the areas of professional ethics in education and the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching. Her book, The Ethical Teacher, which was published by the Open University Press in 2003, was more recently translated into Chinese. She is an editor of the journal Curriculum Inquiry. Her current research project, entitled, “The Ethical Curriculum,” is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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