Florida Atlantic University

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Florida Atlantic University

Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty Learning Community 2009-2010

Ethics and Values Across the Curriculum (EVAC)


LEADER: Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD (abarsky@fau.edu)

Professor: School of Social Work

FOCUS: In recent times, we have seen extraordinary ethical issues arise in many areas: business (Enron, WorldCom, and financial services), medicine (end-of-life decisions, reproductive technology), government (fraud, conflicts of interest, and government-sponsored torture), social justice (controversial responses to poverty, immigration, and crime), and religion (sexual abuse scandals). Universities can play a leadership role in promoting more effective critical thinking and ethical decision making by ensuring that students are provided with ethics and values education, whether or not they take a specific course on these topics. Universities are intended to provide students with tools required for exemplary participation and leadership in various aspects of society – the workplace, the family, the community, and civil society. Thus, regardless of a student's chosen field of study, it is important for students to learn about values and ethics. The focus of this Faculty Learning Community is to provide a forum for sharing information, teaching and learning materials, teaching and learning successes and failures, and interdisciplinary support for integrating ethics and values in courses across the curriculum.
GOALS: This community, using a focus group approach, will assess the extent to which ethics and values are currently integrated in our courses, including what are the strengths and what are the needs or gaps that we should begin to fill. Strategies designed to enhance ethics and values education (e.g., critical thinking skills, oral and written communication skills, knowledge of specific ethical theories and decision-making frameworks, values clarification exercises, resources for moral support and ethical commitment, service learning, appreciation of culture and diversity) will be explored. We will evaluate the current strengths within the EVAC community, and strategize about whether and how to redress identified needs. The ultimate goal is to promote higher levels of ethical analysis, understanding, and commitment among FAU students and faculty members
EXPECTATIONS (specific to this community’s participants):

  • Provide the facilitator with suggestions for agenda items, readings for preparation, and ideas for enhancing ethics and values across the curriculum.

  • Actively contribute through various roles to the EVAC community (e.g., web design, identifying ethics research, facilitating topical discussions, inviting guest speakers).

  • Implement evidence-based strategies or best practices in at least one course.

  • Share experiences with EVAC members and other members of the FAU community.

  • Share what the EVAC community is learning with other professors and instructors (through open workshops, information provided online, and an evaluation of the EVAC community's process and outcomes)

PROPOSED MEETING TIMES (at the Boca Raton campus):

Monday afternoons: 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Aug.31, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Oct. 26, Nov. 16., Dec. 7 (Spring 2010 dates to be determined)
STIPEND: You will receive a $1,000 stipend for your active participation in the FLC and upon fulfilling all FLC expectations

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