B4.2 Development of values and purpose
Chair: Eric S. Marx, Stephens College
Horse tales/tails/tells of care, concern, connection, and curriculum
Hannah R. Blackwell, University of Oklahoma
This presentation theoretically, philosophically, and practically explores the horse-human relationship in conversation with notions of ecofeminist philosophy and ethics of care. Drawing from my own ethnographic work with horses, critical discourse analysis of equine related media and texts, indigenous ways of knowing, and thought experimentation with ecofeminist structures of care and existing equine assisted learning frameworks, this work aims to uncover a space for practically re-imagining horse-human relationships as a site for care curriculum in the classroom that creates positive change in communities and countries alike.
Identifying and developing capacity to address animal ethics issues
Joy M. Verrinder, University of Queensland
Civic engagement in animal ethics issues is growing, requiring leadership from animal-related professionals. However little has been done to identify a common universal approach to ethical decision making on animal issues, or to develop capacity to prevent and address these issues. Recent new measures of ethical sensitivity and moral judgment in relation to animal ethics issues suggest high levels of sensitivity and principled reasoning. A proposal is outlined to develop leadership, engaging with communities, government and industry to prevent and address animal ethics issues.
Vegetarian and omnivore accordance of mind to consumed animals
Eric S. Marx, Stephens College; Gabriella Murray
The current study explored how accordance of mind to consumed animals differs according to diet preferences. Mind perception ratings of 32 animals from 236 participants formed two components: experience and agency, which explained 37-48% and 33-46% of variance in mind perception, respectively. Higher consumers of animal products ascribed less agency to animals than did those who consume few to no animal products, but perceptions of experience in animals were largely consistent across diet preference. The present study provides further support for the “meat paradox” and adds to knowledge of the construction of mind perception.
C4.2 Character education and civic competences
Askwith Lecture Hall
Symposium: Conceptualizing, assessing, and chronicling character development
Chair and Discussant: Marvin W. Berkowitz, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Virtue’s ancient conundrum continues: We need character development, want to teach character to our children, must assess if they become virtuous, and should record their growth but we can’t. Tools presented in this symposium may help solve virtue’s riddle. The first paper describes conceptualizations of multidimensional character strengths in Positive Psychology and how they have developed in the last dozen years since Character Strengths and Virtues was published. The second paper updates the search for a quantitative assessment of character development and describes the creation, validation, and pertinent elements the Character Growth Index. The third paper introduces a developing online platform to chronicle students” character training, activities, assessment, and growth over time: The Character Portfolio.
The next level: Character conceptualization in the second edition of Character Strengths and Virtues
Willibald F. Ruch, University of Zurich
Founders of Positive Psychology discovered that character was the primary determinant of well-being. Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV; Peterson & Seligman, 2004) established six ubiquitous virtues to be its basis. A team of social scientists determined eleven criteria delineate what strengths comprised character’s core. Of 18,000 character-related words, 24 met at least 10 of these criteria and became the foundation of Positive Psychology.CSV launched scores of studies and now is ready to glean their insights in its second edition. Ruch, chosen to be CSVs editor, will share the initial thinking inspiring this work and what challenges remain.
Can character development be quantitatively measured? Validation and uniqueness of the Character Growth Index
Marvin H. Berkowitz, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Mark A. Liston, The Liston Group
Talent often enables achievement but character sustains success. Assessing character development has proven difficult. Character education needs valid and reliable multi-dimensional character development measures. This study 1) conceptualizes the multidimensional structure of character, and 2) creates and validates a reliable character assessment corresponding to that structure. Relying on seminal models from three character-oriented fields Positive Psychology, Character Education, and Positive Youth Development a construct of primary character strengths was generated. Items were developed and field tested with adolescents to create the Character Growth Index (CGI). This study indicates CGI is reliable and valid with a clear factor structure.
Chronicling virtue development through an online character portfolio
Mark A. Liston, The Liston Group
What is required for a character resume? Schools want students to graduate and get into choice colleges or hired by good companies. Universities and employers increasingly want applicants with character. Currently no trustworthy tool exists to evidence one”s character training, activities, and development. How can universities and employers be confident they truly know a student’s character strength?
They must see:
1. A body of work: Character training, extra-curriculars, service learning, etc. and
2. Valid character virtue assessment: Self- and observer reports that area
3.Recorded year after year in a believable, accessible form.
The Character Portfolio provides these data.
D4.2 Narrative, story and history
Symposium: Difficult discussions in difficult times: What students learn from heated conversations
Chair and Discussant: Paula McAvoy, University of Wisconsin Madison
This symposium presents research about how young adults are affected by the divisive political climate in which they are coming of age. The first study investigated how high school students experience political talk at home and in the classroom. Next, two directors of a college service program that aims to create open spaces in which diverse students can discuss political issues will present a summary of their program; two students will briefly share their experiences. Finally, we present findings from a longitudinal study about this same program that show what effect these discussions had on students.
Discussing polarized elections: Students, teachers, and parents describe their experiences
Ann Herrera Ward, Carroll College
The political climate in which students, parents, and teachers experience an election has become increasingly polarized (Abramowitz & Webster, 2015), making it difficult for people to talk about politics (Wells et al., 2014). This study describes the experiences of teachers, students, and parents as they discussed an election at home and at school, in an intensely polarized state.
Tufts University Tisch Scholars Program: Transformative dialogue and community partnerships
Sherri Sklarwitz, Tufts University; Sara Allred, Tufts University
This talk will provide an overview of the Tisch Scholars program, a unique leadership development opportunity that combines academic coursework, fieldwork in local communities, skill-building, and critical reflection. The goal of the program is to provide students at Tufts with a transformative experience that gives them the tools and mindset to be active citizens in their communities long after they have graduated from college. A brief overview of the program will be provided. Next, two Scholars will present their experiences to describe how the program has shaped their personal identity, their connection to partner communities, and their future goals.
Growing Through Controversies: Longitudinal Findings from the Scholars Program at Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Tufts University
This portion of the symposium focuses on the impact of participation in a program that exposes students to controversial discussions within the context of community engagement and peer-to-peer interactions. This study provides quantitative and qualitative research that provides a backdrop to the students” own narratives about their experience in Tisch College’s Scholar’s Program. We will present findings from the longitudinal investigation of this program that followed students in classes of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 throughout college, one year after graduation, and five years after graduation.
H4.2 Media and curricula workshop
Muslim youth voices: Marginalization and resistance
Barbara Sahli, Harvard Graduate School of Education
This presentation will raise awareness about the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim youth in the U.S. Through counter-narratives, Muslim students convey their personal experiences with anti-Muslim attitudes and stereotyping in schools, communities, and American society. Their stories push back against dominant narratives and offer insight into the Muslim ‘other’ and our own assumptions. Participants will develop strategies to support Muslim youth and create equitable learning environments for students of all identities.
I4.2 Programs, interventions and evaluations
Chair: Daniela S. Wortmeyer, University of Brasilia
Communities of value: “Moral” education and boarding schools
Molly A. Sardella, Teachers College, Columbia University; Andreas Maltan, Independent Researcher
Boarding schools attempt to “shape” students into individuals who embody moral values by immersing them into a “community”, isolating them from other influences, and structuring their lives around routines. What happens when students enter a boarding school with different philosophies on life and education than they themselves adhere to? What do student lives look like? What are the implications for student well-being and learning? Based upon a year of ethnographic fieldwork, and utilizing collaborate research methods, the authors argue that competing moral visions of education can create an environment where the lived experiences of students are neglected or ignored.
Leaders of character: Perceptions of stakeholders at the United States Military Academy
Elise D. Murray, Tufts University; Kristina S. Callina, Tufts University; Richard M. Lerner, Tufts University
The purpose of this study was to investigate stakeholders’ perspectives about the processes involved in character and military and civic leadership development at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA). We analyzed qualitative data from faculty, staff, and students, regarding their perceptions of the character development process at USMA in order to ascertain which features of the context and personal development each group viewed as essential for achieving the expectations of character set by USMA and the greater Army. We then examined alignment in stakeholders’ perceptions.
Social guidance of moral values development in Brazilian military education
Daniela S. Wortmeyer, University of Brasilia; Angela U. Branco, University of Brasilia
In this paper, our aim is to analyze how military education works to promote the development of moral values, particularly in the Brazilian Army Military Academy. From a cultural psychological approach, we discuss how social guidance within military culture operates at different levels on the affective-semiotic regulation of individuals, structuring complex experiences that give rise to hypergeneralized meaning fields regarding morality and military values. We focus particularly on social suggestions that are nonverbal and implicit in educational activities, routines, rituals, and material features of the school environment, analyzing the impact of those aspects over the moral socialization of the students.
K4.2 Social media, activism and marginality
Chair: Jason M. Stephens, The University of Auckland
Predicting sportpersonship and academic Honesty: The contributions of contesting orientations, and the moral and motivational climates
David L. Shields, St. Louis Community College-Meramec
Contesting theory proposes that individuals interpret competitive situations using two root metaphors: contest-is-partnership and contest-is-war. People’s differential metaphor preference is referred to as their contesting orientation. In this cross-sectional study of intercollegiate student-athletes (n≈215), contesting orientations were compared with both the moral and motivational climate of their sport team for the prediction of both sportspersonship and academic honesty. Results revealed that the partnership orientation was the best predictor of sportspersonship. Regression analyses on academic honesty revealed that participants’ beliefs about the likelihood of their teammates cheating in games was the best predictor of their own likelihood to cheat in academics.
Can corruption be un-taught?
Martha Sanudo, Tecnologico de Monterrey; Bonnie Palifka, Tecnologico de Monterrey
An analogy is made between the book “Can Ethics be Taught?” and the way in which corruption can be taken to be taught through actions and omissions in Mexican primary education. We claim that the laxity with which academic dishonesty and copying is treated in the Mexican educational system, corrupts the moral character of students. We establish that perceptions of academic dishonesty influence perceptions of corruption, and fosters its acceptance. We propose that civic engagement may serve to precisely untaught the mental habits that condone corrupt actions.
Moral development in the aftermath of academic misconduct
Jason M. Stephens, The University of Auckland; Tricia Betram Gallant, University of California San Diego; David Rettinger, University of Mary Washington
At present, the vast majority of secondary and postsecondary institutions take a behavioral approach in dealing with student cheating—punishing those caught with grade reductions and/or suspensions. While some form of punishment maybe necessary, it is not sufficient. The proposed paper presents seeks to build on the scant literature related to developmental approaches to responding to academic misconduct. It does so by describing theoretical underpinnings and instructional design of one such program, the Academic Integrity Seminar, as well as results from a quasi-experimental study of its effects on participants’ ethical development.