Essay about Composition Instructors Face Ethical Challenges

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Composition instructors face ethical challenges every day in their professional lives—when they are required to act in their teaching practice, in their interactions with students, and in their relationships with their colleagues, departments, and schools. Many times such actions are made due to on the spot decisions rather than carefully arrived at through a thoughtful, informed decision-making process, and likewise are often defended by an on the spot justification. However, when a composition instructor arrives at a professional decision by considering his or her own personal ethical values and how she or he has come to possess those beliefs (Boylan 4; Palmer 10; Weimer 23; Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher 17; Fink 71; Richlin 9), then such decisions are no longer based on hasty justifications; rather they become the result of an intelligent, informed, thoughtful process. This decision-making process is complicated by the need to consider the expectations of the students, department, and institution involved (Schneewind 156; Fink 70; Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher 55-58; Richlin 12-17). Informed decision-making takes time, practice, and forethought, and it requires critical self-reflection. Critical self-reflection is considered by education theorists to be an important part of any instructor’s course design (Richlin 9-11; Weimer 24; Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher 26; Palmer 4). Informed decision-making using critical self-reflection is more than a good habit or good…

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