Dilemmas of Educational Ethics

Dilemmas of Educational Ethics Cases and Commentaries

Edited by Meira Levinson and Jacob Fay
paper, 264 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-932-7
Price: $33.00

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Pub. Date: May 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-934-1

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Educators and policy makers confront challenging questions of ethics, justice, and equity on a regular basis. Should teachers retain a struggling student if it means she will most certainly drop out? Should an assignment plan favor middle-class families if it means strengthening the school system for all? These everyday dilemmas are both utterly ordinary and immensely challenging, yet there are few opportunities and resources to help educators think through the ethical issues at stake.


From teaching to running schools to system-wide design, educators face deep and difficult choices. This remarkable book shows the richness of the ethical answers that can be developed through practical reasoning. Its provocative case studies—and the widely varied responses—are models to be emulated as well as prompts for further reflection. A major contribution to the important, growing field of educational ethics. — Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard University

Our field is long overdue for the grounded approach to problem solving proposed by Levinson and Fay. If we intend to develop innovative and transformative educators and systems of education, we would do well to treat this book as a beacon call to change the way we wrestle with the most pressing challenges that face our field. — Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, associate professor, Raza Studies and Education, San Francisco State University

Dilemmas of Educational Ethics ultimately offers accessible prose and a set of pedagogically robust tools to enhance ethical praxis in the field of education. It is well-positioned to make a major impact in and beyond the classroom, especially aiding policy makers and analysts as well as future educators to develop greater capacity for collective phronetic processes of ethical inquiry and action. — Natalie JK Baloy, Educational Review

Provides a valuable update to the resources available for teaching educational ethics. — Rebecca M. Taylor, Philosophical Inquiry in Education

Dilemmas of Educational Ethics: Cases and Commentaries adds a valuable dimension to the literature on educational ethics in theory and practice. This book departs from more traditional utilitarian or deontological approaches to ethical reasoning. — Shannon Robinson, SAGE Publishing: Theory and Research in Education

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About the Editors

Meira Levinson is professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, following eight years as a middle school teacher in the Atlanta and Boston public schools. Her most recent books include Making Civics Count, which she coedited with David Campbell and Frederick Hess, and No Citizen Left Behind, which won awards in political science, philosophy, social studies, and education. A Chinese translation is forthcoming. Meira’s recent work on educational ethics has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Spencer Foundation. She earned a BA in philosophy from Yale University and a DPhil in political theory from Nuffield College, Oxford. Meira lives in Boston with her husband and two school-age daughters.

Jacob Fay is a doctoral student and member of the Early Career Scholar Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on the ethics of education policy and practice, as well as contemporary theories of injustice. He has served as the cochair of the board of the Harvard Educational Review and was a member of the Spencer Foundation’s Philosophy of Education Institute. Prior to his doctoral studies, he taught eighth-grade history at the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. He holds an AB in history from Princeton University, an MA in American history from Brandeis University, an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a proud graduate of the Shady Hill Teacher Training Course. Jacob lives in Cambridge with his wonderful wife, Sarah.

Table of Contents


Blog Post: "Ethics in Everyday Teaching Practice"

Interview with Author

E-book available through online booksellers

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