Comment on The Professional Ethos by Geoff Cain

Hi Gardener, I struggle with this too watching a lot of the ethical concerns around OER popping up. I think it is important that we talk about ethics. I have recently gone back into teaching after a long stint in education administration (talk about ethical quagmires!) and working as an adjunct again has been eye-opening to say the least. I am struck by the sentence “an identification with one’s professional group and a sense of responsibility toward colleagues.” Who decides who is and isn’t a colleague? Often adjuncts are over-looked in professional development or in dept. initiatives specifically because they are NOT seen as professionals or as colleagues. I am not posting as a “difficult adjunct,” I just want to point out yet another aspect of university life that is exclusive, classist, and poses very difficult ethical dilemmas. I love listening to professors pontificate on critical pedagogy and social justice when they belong to a union that won’t fight for the health care of fellow teachers!

Comment on Responsibility by Gardo

All good questions, Stephen. I wish I had good answers. I will say that the monster’s self-education is admirably responsible, in the sense that he views the entire journey of discovery as an ethical quest as well.

Comment on Responsibility by Stephen Downes

Thanks for the context; that helps a lot.

I’ve been thinking about responsibility recently.

If an AI is autonomous, we might say it is responsible for its own acts, and if so, then does this absolve the creator of responsibility?

The Gothic character of this post led me to think quite naturally of the analogous argument from Mary Shelly: Dr. Frankenstein has created an (admittedly flawed) life, which is by all accounts autonomous, so we ask, is he responsible for the actions (and feelings) of his monster?

Comment on Responsibility by Gardo

@Stephen: I should have provided more context. I couldn’t think of a way to do it. Mayer uses “good American” ironically, as a way of saying that Americans are no more immune to denial of responsibility than anyone else. In this case, it’s a particularly harsh irony, as the subject of the book is Nazi Germany.

My apologies–and I mean that sincerely. I’ll edit the post to avoid misleading anyone else.

Comment on Beautiful Study by Steve

In this age of busy-ness and assessment and evidence of efficacy, it is good to hear your voice again reflecting on big issues, something you have a genuine talent for. This post made me think that sometimes true learning, deep learning requires patience and perhaps the appearance of doing nothing when we’re actually, thinking, perceiving, opening ourselves up to what might be revealed. Is it in part like when to see clearly you need to look not directly at the object, but rather to the side, to something else? Thank you for sharing.