Last Fall I gave a presentation to faculty in the Rock Ethics Institute entitled The Ethics of Blogging Ethics in which I outline some of the main pedagogical benefits of adopting an open blog as a site for cooperative learning.
Subsequently, I posted a screencast of a related presentation entitled the Pedagogy of Blogging that articulates why I consider blogs pedagogically important.
Today, as I address another group of faculty from the Rock Ethics Institute, I would like to focus attention on one specific dimension of teaching ethics, namely, the cultivation of the excellences of dialogue.
Obviously, ethics is a multifaceted thing, and there are many ways to teach it. This presentation, however, is designed to point the virtues or excellences of dialogue which are themselves best taught by being practiced.
So, I will begin by focusing on the way I used blogs in one of my Philosophy courses in order to empower students to take an active role in their own education. One of the main pedagogical goals of the course was to cooperatively develop with my students the excellences of dialogue, some of which I consider to be: openness to difference, an ability to embrace ambiguity, patience, generosity, and ethical imagination – the ability to imagine new possibilities of relation when old habits reveal themselves as corrosive, limited and limiting.
The Approach to PHIL200: Ancient Greek Philosophy
In order to illustrate something of the experience my students and I had in this course, we put together this video which attempted to capture something of the level of dialogue in which we were engaged and the dynamic nature of the community we created together.
The video below was produced by me and my students. It uses only the words that were posted on the blog, but for the video, we read excerpts directly to the camera in order to add a visual dimension to our written conversation.