"Educating for Ethical Decision-Making
and Social Responsibility"
Keynote speaker, Nel Noddings and
John Dewey Project Director, Kathleen Kesson
The Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences is an association of scholars and educators. Every year the VAAS sponsors an annual conference on a topic of contemporary relevance. At this time they honor the achievements of Vermont citizens who have contributed to cultural and intellectual life by inducting Fellows into the Academy.
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Introduction to Conference
as published in a September 18, 1998 Press Release
Dewey believed that human intelligence, combined with moral reasoning and applied to social problems would result in a society of increasing justice, equality, civility, security, and freedom. In his educational philosophy, students would learn through genuine experiences how to create the conditions for democracy, solve social problems, and engage in moral decision making. With our contemporary emphasis on education "excellence", high test scores, uniform national standards and job preparation, we sometimes forget what in Dewey's mind was the primary function of schooling: the preparation of youth to become active, engaged participants in a democracy.
In keeping with Dewey's vision of schooling and society, the John Dewey
Project on Progressive Education is co-sponsoring, with the Vermont Academy
of Arts and Sciences, a one day conference entitled, "Educating for Ethical
Decision-Making and Social Responsibility." The conference is on
Saturday, October 17th, in the Memorial Lounge (Waterman Building) on the
Campus of UVM. Registration will begin at 8:30AM, and the conference
will begin at 9:00AM
Saturday, Oct. 17, 1998, 8:30am -4:00pm
9:00 Opening Remarks
Judith Ramaley, President of the University of Vermont. Introduction to Judith Ramaley by Milton Potash, Professor Emeritus University of Vermont and
Trustee, Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences
Marc Hull, Vermont Commissioner of Education. Introduction to Marc Hull by
Jill M. Tarule, Dean of the College of Education & Social Services
9:30 Keynote Address - “Toward Democracy in Schools”
Nel Noddings, Professor Emerita, Stanford University
Introduction to Nel Noddings by Kathleen Kesson, Director, John Dewey Project on Progressive Education
10:30 Keynote Panel & Open Discussion
Moderator: Milt Potash, VAAS
Panelists: Roddy O’Neil Cleary, Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington
Connie Krosney, St. Michael’s College
Steve Schapiro, Goddard College
10:30 Workshop A Session I - puppet making with Frank Gonzalez
11:45 -12:00 Celebration of John Dewey - Frank Gonzalez, Artist/Educator
1:00 – 2:45 Workshops
3:00 Closing Discussion – “Where do we Go from Here?”
Facilitators: Dave Conrad, Professor of Education, University of Vermont
David Shiman, Professor of Education, University of Vermont
3:30 – Performance – Frank Gonzalez & Friends
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A. “Puppets As a Teaching Tool” - Session II
Facilitator: Frank Gonzalez, Artist-educator
Ethical and social responsibility through the use of puppets as a teaching tool. Using ordinary materials found at home, participants will learn how to make and use puppets effectively and creatively. Participants will share ideas for development and presentation.
B. “Story Power, Identity and Democracy”
Facilitators: Glenn Hawkes, Parents, Students & Teachers for Social Responsibility
Kerrin McCadden, Montpelier High School
The workshop will present an overview of an interdisciplinary pilot curriculum designed for senior high students, and centering on the simple yet far-reaching question: what does it mean for human beings to grow up, to mature – not only as individuals in the here and now, but as members of the species. The curriculum features the idea that “democratic spirit” is a function of the right and responsibility that people have to VOICE no less than to VOTE. One workshop objective is to begin a dialogue with teachers and other educators who might want to collaborate on similar curriculum initiatives.
C. “Cultivating Community Virtues”
Facilitators: Madelyn Nash, Orchard School, Linda Pearo, Swanton Central School
This workshop is intended to get participants to think about, engage in, and explore ways to cultivate virtues that build community and promote responsible citizenship within the classroom, the school, and the larger community. Participants will discuss some essential questions that help define what it is to be a good person as well as a responsible and caring citizen.
D. “Children’s Literature, Discussion, and Action: Ethics in the
Facilitator: Elizabeth Baird Saenger, The Ethical Culture Fieldstone School, New York
Since 1983, Elizabeth Saenger has been a full-time teacher of ethics for children in grades two through six. In this workshop, she will describe and demonstrate classroom activities used at different grade levels, and will provide annotated bibliographies of children’s literature for class discussion. The voices of children themselves will be stressed throughout.
E. “Practice Meets Learner: Whose Diversity Is It?“
Facilitator: Sherwood Smith, Research Assistant Professor of Education
How does one provide education and social service to people culturally different from one’s self? Can there be justice in education without cultural awareness? If “education” is to be a means for greater justice and equity in society there are critical cultural issues of values, learning styles and identify development that must be taken into account.
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Roddy O’Neil Cleary spent 15 years as a campus minister at UVM. She also teaches courses in "Women's Spirituality" in the Women's Studies Program. Currently she is the Affiliate Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington.
Frank Gonzalez, artist-educator, has been working with children and adults for over 50 years. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Founder of the Learning Tree, a unique creative center in Shelburne, Vermont. His goal is to share how creativity and the arts can further learning while enriching the educational experience for teachers, children and community.
Glenn W. Hawkes is currently the Executive Director of Parents, Teacher & Students for Social Responsibility. He is the author of What About the Children? (1985) and a number of articles on educational philosophy and curriculum. He is the 1995 recipient of the Vermont National Education Association’s “Human and Civil Rights Award”.
Marc Hull is the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Education. Before his appointment in September 1996, he was the Superintendent of Schools for the Caledonia Central Supervisory Union for four years. Dr. Hull was an Assistant Professor and Associate Director in the College of Education at Texas A&M University.
Connie Krosney is on the faculty at St. Michael’s College in the Department of Education. She is the coordinator of the Graduate Teachers’ Licensure Program and Adult Education concentration. She serves as the Vice President of the Vermont Council of Teacher Educators.
Kerrin McCadden is chair of the Humanities Department at Montpelier High School and adjunct professor at the University of Vermont. She is a contributing author to Understanding Democratic Curriculum Leadership (Henderson & Kesson, Eds.). Kerrin is the 1998 recipient of the Grace Paley Kingdom Award for Teachers of English in Poetry.
Madelyn Nash has been both a school counselor and a classroom teacher. She is currently a counselor at Orchard School in South Burlington and is an adjunct faculty member at St. Michael’s College. Her focus has been developing conflict resolution and peer mediation programs in elementary and middle schools.
Nel Noddings is the Lee Jacks Professor of Child Education, Emerita, at Stanford University and is Professor of Philosophy and Education at Teachers College. She has written over 150 articles and book chapters. Some of her books include The Philosophy of Education; The Challenge to Care in Schools; and the soon-to-be-released edited collection Justice and Caring in Education (with Michael Katz and Ken Strike). Her current project is a follow up to the work on caring, entitled Care and Social Policy: Starting at Home.
Linda Pearo has been a classroom teacher for 20 years and is currently a multi-age fifth/sixth grade teacher at Swanton Central School where her curricular focus is Language Arts and Humanities.
Dr. Judith A. Ramaley is President and Professor of Biology at the University of Vermont. Dr. Ramaley has a special interest in higher education reform and has played a significant role in designing regional alliances to promote educational cooperation.
Elizabeth Baird Saenger grew up in Houston, Texas, where she graduated from Rice University. Her teaching experience is varied and lifelong. She and her husband have lived in Mamaroneck, New York for many years and have two grown and married sons.
Steven Schapiro is a core faculty member in education and psychology at Goddard College. He is a contributing author to Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge, 1998) and the editor of Higher Education for Democracy: Experiments in Progressive Pedagogy at Goddard College (Peter Lang, 1999).
Sherwood Smith is Research Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Vermont. His work includes faculty, staff, and student presentations and workshops on issues of multicultural awareness and intercultural understanding. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses.
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