Self-with-Other in Teacher Practice: a Case Study through Care, Aristotelian Virtue and Buddhist Ethics.

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Author: Dave Chang
Author: Heesoon Bai
Many teacher candidates get their first taste of life as a full-time teacher in their
practicums, during which they confront a host of challenges, pedagogical and ethical.
Because ethics is fundamental to the connection between teachers and students, teachercandidates
are often required to negotiate dilemmas in ways that keep with the ethical
ideals espoused both by the professional body and the community at large. Presenting
the case of a teacher-candidate who finds herself emotionally depleted in her devotion to
students, we look to the ethics of care and virtue, two luminary paradigms, for clarifying
insights. Care ethics extols inter-subjectivity and reciprocity, while virtue ethics enjoins
commitment to a noble ideal for its own sake; both perspectives offer useful insights for
our case. We argue that the perspectives and practices of contemplative traditions can
facilitate the integration of care and virtue ethics, mitigating the risk of disruption in
caring relations while minimizing the possibility of a personal preoccupation with virtue.
Drawing on the Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism, we posit a “practice of selfwith-
other” as a way to enlarge a teacher’s relational capacity, thus apprehending
reciprocity and virtue as an interpenetrating mutuality. We conclude with reflections on
how contemplative perspectives might inform the teaching of ethics in teacher education
Published as
Chang, Dave, & Bai, Heesoon. (2016). Self-with-other in teacher practice: a case study through care, Aristotelian virtue, and Buddhist ethics. Ethics and Education: Ethics in Professional Education, 11(1), 17–28.
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Ethics and Education: Ethics in Professional Education
Document title
Self-with-Other in Teacher Practice: a Case Study through Care, Aristotelian Virtue and Buddhist Ethics.
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