Mildred Fish Harnack Professor of Philosophy, Affiliate Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The past 3 decades have seen a massive expansion in school choice and the use of markets in education. Programs such as parental choice programs, school vouchers, charter schools, and tax credits for private schools, were introduced to improve the education system. In their new book, philosophers David Schmidtz and Harry Brighouse present differing perspectives on the expansion of markets: Schmidtz arguing that it has been justified, Brighouse offering a more critical view. At this session Brighouse will introduce the book, explore how philosophical perspectives can inform our judgements about the evidence, and argue that while markets can sometimes serve our purposes, we should generally be skeptical that they will play a significant role in prompting improvement
Associate Professor of Philosophy, City College of New York and the Graduate Center—CUNY, Fellow with the Center for Ethics and Education
Using social science evidence, Morton uncovers how disadvantaged students and their communities are unjustly and disproportionately affected when these students achieve upward mobility. Broken ties with family and friends, severed community connections and loss of identity often result from complex economic, cultural and structural factors. Morton suggests educators empower students with an honest assessment of upward mobility that recognizes and acknowledges its ethical costs.
Co-sponsored by the Carl A. Grant Scholars Lecture Series and the Center for Ethics and Education.
Distinguished Fellow, Economic Policy Institute
Senior Fellow (Emeritus), Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and is a fellow of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Economic Policy Institute. He is also a former columnist for the New York Times. Rothstein’s lecture will focus on his recently published book, The Color of Law, in which he argues that dominant explanations for racial segregation which assume that de facto segregation—or informal practices, such as discriminatory lending practices—are flawed. Rather, Rothstein argues that de jure segregation in the form of explicit policies and laws are to blame for the segregation of African Americans from whites in American neighborhoods. Rothstein’s talk will be of interest to students and faculty interested in questions of race and ethnicity, inequality, and education.
Co-sponsored by The Center for Ethics and Education, The Department of Educational Policy Studies, The Department of Philosophy, and The Institute for Legal Studies with help from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Funding provided by the University Lectures Knapp Fund.
Michael McPherson, President Emeritus, Spencer Foundation
Karl Scholz, Dean, College of Letters and Sciences
Tim Dale, Political Science, UW-La Crosse
Fay Akindes, UW System
Emily Fletcher, Philosophy, UW-Madison
Lynn Glueck, Instructional Coach, MMSD
Christian Cuevas, Computer Science, UW-Madison
Lexi Argall, Political Science, UW-Madison
Kailey Mullane, Economics, Communication Arts, UW-Madison
Joe Venuta, Philosophy, UW-Madison
How to improve our teaching? The first recommendation of The Future of Undergraduate Education, a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is that we work to improve undergraduate instruction. But how? Join the Center for Ethics and Education, the College of Letters & Sciences, and the American Academy for the Arts and Sciences for lunch on May 31st, to discuss strategies for improving instruction. Panels will feature faculty from the UW-Madison and the UW system, and students from UW-Madison, offering practical ideas for improving instruction.
Co-sponsored by The American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the College of Letters & Science.
Research Associate, Economic Policy Institute
Senior Fellow, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley
In this lecture, Richard Rothstein draws from his new book—a National Book Award finalist—exploring a history of how U.S. government policies have led to segregation.
Co-sponsored by The Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Ethics and Education.
Lisa Andersen, Juilliard
Kathleen Elliott, UW–Whitewater
Paula McAvoy, UW–Madison
Nancy Kendall, UW–Madison
During this interactive session, panelists will offer historical, contemporary, and philosophic perspectives on the central question: Should sex education be student-centered? Drawing upon examples of peer education, GSA clubs (original name: Gay-Straight Alliance), and teacher centered approaches, the panel will highlight tensions between adult authority over the curriculum and promoting the development of student autonomy.
Susanna Loeb, Barnett Family Professor of Education, Stanford University
Harry Brighouse, Dickson Bascom Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
We spend a lot of time arguing about how schools might be improved. But we rarely take a step back to ask what we as a society should be looking for from education—what exactly should those who make decisions be trying to achieve?
Susanna Loeb and Harry Brighouse will talk about their new book, written with Adam Swift and Helen Ladd, Educational Goods, which offers a way of combining rigorous thinking about values and careful consideration of evidence when making decisions about, and within, schools.
Nancy Cartwright, UCSD, Durham University
Eric Grodsky, UW-Madison, Sociology and WCER
Karen Bogenschneider, UW-Madison, SOHE, Emerita
Consulting the evidence should surely help in making better predictions about educational outcomes. That’s the core idea that makes evidence–informed policy so appealing. But what kinds of evidence can most help? Current orthodoxy majors on rigor: We want evidence that is rigorously established; we do not want to build our policies on shaky grounds. On this basis, RCTs have become widely accepted as gold standard sources of evidence for effectiveness in education and elsewhere. But there is often a trade-off between how rigorously a result can be established and how useful it is for achieving our goals. Nancy Cartwright will discuss this trade-off in the case of educational policy, and child welfare more generally. She will explain what kind of knowledge can be produced by RCTs and how policymakers can, and often do, go wrong when they fail to understand exactly what it is that has been rigorously established with an RCT; and she will offer some suggestions about how evidence can be more wisely used to make policy decisions and what other kinds of evidence this might require. Eric Grodsky and Karen Bogenschneider will comment.
Join WISCAPE for a conversation with with Harry Brighouse, professor of philosophy, about the award-winning book he co-edited, The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice.
Topics of discussion will include whether a liberal arts education has social value; the aim of developing students into critical thinkers; and the ethical issues and pedagogical questions arising from recent criticisms, particularly from legislators, that faculty at highly selective universities are disproportionately liberal.
Event Flyer (PDF)
Laura Hamilton and Nancy Kendall will each draw upon their research and experiences to answer: How does inequality get reproduced within the university? What, if anything, can universities do to undo, or mitigate, these trends?
Join our public discussion, participate in small group conversations and exchange ideas with the featured speakers.
Laura T. Hamilton, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California-Merced
Author of Parenting to a Degree and co-author of Paying for the Party
Download Dr. Hamilton's comments
Nancy Kendall, Associate Professor Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Author of The Sex Education Debates and co-principal investigator of “Constructing Affordability: How Institutional and Relational Contexts Affect Retention of Undergraduates from Low-Income Families.”
Jennifer Morton, Assistant Professor Philosophy, City College of New York
Event Flyer (PDF)
Jennifer Morton, Assistant Professor of Philosophy City College of New York
Jennifer Morton is an assistant professor of philosophy at the City College of New York and will be a 2015-2016 Laurance S. Rockefeller Faculty Fellow at the Princeton Center for Human Values. Her areas of research are philosophy of action, moral philosophy, philosophy of education and political philosophy. She was born and grew up in Lima, Peru.
In her talk, Morton will argue that the educator, as a representative of the political community, is tasked with two aims—one more ideal than the other. The first is nurturing students with the skills and knowledge they need for the non-ideal world as they will find it. The second is educating future citizens for a more ideal future. She argues that these two aims lead educators to confront important dilemmas and suggests a possible resolution that is of interest not only to educators, but also to political theorists interested in the divide between ideal and non-ideal theory.
5:30–6 p.m. Welcome Reception
6–7:30 p.m. Presentation, Discussion and Case Study
"When (if ever) should teachers share their political views with their students?"
The Center for Ethics and Education, a new project of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, invites you to a discussion focused on the ethical dilemmas teachers confront when introducing controversial and political issues to their students.
Diana Hess, professor of curriculum and instruction, UW-Madison School of Education; and Paula McAvoy, program director Center for Ethics and Education, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, co-authors, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education
Tony Laden, co-principal investigator Center for Ethics and Education, professor of philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago
Katie Jones, teacher, Malcolm Shabazz City High School
Harry Brighouse, co-principal invesigator Center for Ethics and Education, professor of philosophy and educational policy studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison