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Epistrophe (EPREPE)

Journal of Professional Ethics in Philosophy and
Education. Studies and Practices

 

   

 

Epistrophe (Eprepe)

Journal of Professional Ethics in Philosophy and Education. Studies and Practices

Revue d’Éthique Professionnelle en Philosophie et en Éducation. Études et Pratiques

vol. 3, 2019-2020

http://eprepe.pse.aegean.gr/

ISSN:1234-5678-9000

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Introductory Note

pages 13-20

Didier Moreau

L’éthique de la résistance

Ethics of resistance

pages 21-45

Jean-Louis Genard

Des rapports dysphoriques au politique à la ʺmoralisationʺ de la critique sociale

From dysphoric relationships to politics to the ʺmoralizationʺ of social criticism

pages 46-66

Camille Roelens

Éthiques éducatives scolaires et familiales face au défi de l’individualisation de masse
Enjeux, tensions et perspectives


School and family educational ethics facing the challenge of mass individualization
Issues, tensions and perspectives

pages 67-114

Roger Monjo

Neutralité ou neutralisation?

Neutrality or neutralization?

pages 115-132

Alfred Romuald Gambou

L'exemplarité du maître et l'inconfortable idée de neutralité à
l'école de la République


The exemplarity of the master and the uncomfortable idea of neutrality
at the school of the Republic

pages 133-152

Dominique Ottavi

L’éthique professionnelle en contexte

Professional ethics in context

pages 153-167

Alexandros Theodoridis

The ethos of the teacher as a critical thinker

L'éthos de l'enseignant en tant que penseur critique

pages 168-193

Samuel Heinzen

Précautions éthiques dans l'enseignement du principe de précaution

Ethical precautions in teaching the precautionary principle

 pages 194-207

Gabriele Di Patrizio

De «l’entre soi à l’entre-l’autre»: Émergence du locus du respect en formation

About «the between self to the between-the other»: Emergence of the respect's locus in training

pages 208-229

   

Introductory Note

In order to implement their sociopolitical goals, contemporary educational institutions in Europe do nοt resort at all to what they had been practicing for the last fifty years any more, namely, the «geist governing»[1]. It seems that the new mode of educator subjectification has definitively deviated from the paternalistic guidance of Higher Schools that provide a Continuing Professional Development, via university structures. The French paradigm is characteristic: the period of university institutions responsible for the continuing professional development of teachers in France (IUFM), has been a critical one, with a high degree of pedagogical and philosophical inventiveness, which, rapidly, however, came under the control of a neoliberal perspective of continuing professional development through the exposure of new educators to imperilments[2] that bring them face to face with risky situations without however having had prior mutual preparation within a professional community. As a result comes the massive profession commitment withdrawal and candidacy withdrawal from recruitment exams, the erosion of what we would continue to call «mission» against a secularized public service for the benefit of a profession bricolage without any other structure rather than that granted by the survival mechanisms as adopted by the institution, on an instructional pseudoscientific and ethical level[3].

Recent history on educators’ ongoing education in France has not only got a clarifying or incidental value; it also possesses a paradigmatic function in relation to the general unfolding movement of the hierarchical allocation of life skills which thereon we have to literally consider as abilities in bare life with the intention of arranging biopowers, according also to Foucault’s analysis. The studies on education have long since shown that school assessments or the ones corresponding to lifelong learning or vocational training had no more been aiming neither at conceptual intelligence nor at the ability of a rational and practical orientation within the world for which we are being educated, but rather at the ability of compliance with norms, endurance to tests that lack the initiation function; in a word, of consent to a certain degree of voluntary slavery associated with the social hierarchy. At the time of the fading of institutions, which succeeded the period of ’68 in the world, ongoing education seemed to correspond to the capacity of promoting a self-educating ability. But at the same time, the institutional authority collapsed through this same opening under the faded form of coaching and under the demand, according to which, each will have to become the «entrepreneur of himself / herself», so as to align oneself with the general expectations of the economic entities. The ethical question transformed into a claim of «ethical health», of extended precaution against evil and its private distortions which are added to the horizon of normative health. We have surely moved away from the desideratum of public or private morality that is associated with institutions of «geist governing», but the structure, as Karl Löwith has shown, remains unchanged, namely, that of the planning of the shift of spirit in order to gain salvation[4]. Against this demand for ethical precaution, the only way of resistance is the building of a certain individual morality that is formed by each educator himself/ herself.

Ethical thought in education, if it constitutes a philosophical question, has a direct political risk which ought to produce results according to two temporalities. The first one, the long-term, is that of the education's horizon and of its programmed abandonment to the teaching and training’s markets. But the second one is calling us urgently: it is that of the actual situation in which practicing teachers are disorientated and made weak in their struggle; in the School, against the rise of segregations and the disavowal of accountability for the students' ability to think. Hence, the upgrowth of the ethical demand in School, has nothing to do with a return of morality and consensus; it is about a process aiming at a politics of the self that renders each and everyone responsible for his/her personal and collective commitment while exerting a liberty and while putting up resistance against dominion and non-critical compliance. Then, it is about raising again the question of the principal function of philosophy as an education of the self itself.

The connection between education as an institution, the multiform practice of pedagogy within this very institution, the ethical and axiological parameter as critical parameters for the justification and legitimization (or delegitimization) of various systemic functions, philosophy and philosophical analysis- research, becomes vital: in other words, it is all about an explosive and devastating union due to the growing of opposing and complex forces from these practical and epistemological environments, which are often linked with difficulty. Bringing this connection to light, we would like to understand it through the prism of professional ethics, which in our judgement, becomes an actual laboratory for the identification and the philosophical processing of ethical questions that multiply (often urgently) within the educational act in all its levels: from the principles to objectives and aims, from criteriology to axiology, from theories to reasoning and arguments, from the classroom's micro-level to the macro-level of the institution and politics. The developing of the criterion and of the ethical judgement (something that refers to an education of judgement) seems to be perceived as a sine qua non of the developing of the pedagogical consciousness itself, as well as of the educational/institutional culture.

However, philosophical analysis attempts to clarify (and abolish, overshadow or confirm) the categorizations, the criteria and the axioms of normative practical ethics, seen through social procedures, namely, through their mandatory nature as regulations that ought to create a common framework for the distinction and adoption of ways of practice. It is about an intensive propaedeutic which underlies self-reflection on theories and practices (so as to conceive the ethically ambiguous or the unacceptable). Teachers are called to examine ethical theories, principles and norms taking the risk and the benefit of their conflicting dynamic especially in the context of a professional deontology diffused and pressing (and often incomprehensible within its regulating logic). Their participation in the making of such an ethics could only be associated with their ability to constitute it actively and to defend it through a detailed observation of practice, a conscious and clarified overall estimation of thoughts and arguments in the perspective of reinforcing the principle of responsibility (individual and collective), commitment and self-regulation. It is this ability which the philosophical approach would want (in an effort to attenuate the institution's inherent consequences of authority), to awaken, to process and to support on account of the person (like an original project) within formal discourse, in so far also as the professional framework (or the order) is governed par excellence by parameters of heteronomy and depersonalization, which create conditions of adjustment to reality (an adjustment however which typically is not adequately processed). Parameters regarding the obvious or latent exercise of authority, obedience acts, disciplinary and monitoring acts, acts of required application to stated or unstated codes, rules and norms, the emphasis on excellence and expertise, the legal support (namely, with whatever seems to ensure professionalization at a first level). Therefore, ethical deliberation obsessively includes questions related to the limits, the determinations, the preferences, the demand for justice, the meaning of acts of ascribing value, the axiom of constant process of perfecting, the principle of relevance and suitability, values, beliefs and traditions, conflicts, judgment, family and religious ethics, personal ethics, the utopian element, in an effort to share with the community the meaning of actions.

In this 3rd volume, we can observe the development of a strong dynamics as far as concerning the display of the political and social parameters in the formation and understanding of ethics regarding the educational institution. A set of concepts permit us to have multiple entrances to ethical phenomenon and make more or less visible connections with the field of professional ethics by provide us various instruments in order to grasp its different aspects, namely the complications concerning un array of questions emerging in education. We distinguish four axes for the articles presentation. In the first axis articles we find thematics and conceptualizations related to a connection between the question of ethical education and socio-political challenges: in this frame, ethics reveal its critical formative power, its power of resistance and support of the democratic ethos (s. the articles of Didier Moreau, Jean-Louis Genard and Camille Roelens). Second axis elaborates the concept of neutrality in education on the one hand by putting in doubt the pretention of impartiality and on the other hand by showing its limits comparing to the development of exemplarity of the teacher figure in the republican school (s. the articles of Roger Monjo and Alfred Romuald Gambou). The third axis proposes the recognition, in philosophy of education, of a work par excellence reflective and capable of point out the new ethical principles that could govern the teaching practice; in the same way, the moral figure of the teacher can introduce in education the critical power supporting an array of moral values (s. the articles of Dominique Ottavi and Alexandros Theodoridis). Fourth axis presents the application of theoretical and conceptual analyses in the frame of specific professional cases/spaces (s. the articles of Samuel Heinzen and Gabriele Di Patrizio). This axis development draws lines of understanding of professional ethics indicating commonplaces, thematic and conceptual, that researchers approach in different ways according to the theoretical, cultural, historical, epistemological, practical context. The critical and reflective thinking, the teacher person, the rebellion against conformation, moralization, institutionalization, the relation to the institution, the association with socio-political evolutions, principles and ethical values, the distinction between ethics and moral, the care for the other, the construction of democratic education, the scientific, pedagogical, teaching practices, the relation between individual and collective.

With his article on The ethics of resistance, Didier Moreau on the one hand reveals the fundamental interest of the question of ethics as a force for resistance to traditional or institutional morality, as manifested in the current struggles against discrimination and unequal harassment. It offers a genealogy of the ethics of rebellion through the criticisms of metaphysical ethics by Wittgenstein and Heidegger. He then studied through Canguilhem's early works the meaning given to the teaching of philosophy as a self-care formation and a call to secession. By developing his thought on the passage From dysphoric relationships to politics to the ʺmoralizationʺ of social criticism, Jean-Louis Genard notices that there are many indications of a rising dysphoric relationship to politics and the importance of the semantics of disgust as well. At the same time, several “new social movements” are explicitly gathering around the semantics of indignation. At the parallel with this, there is an explosion of populisms. He puts the question on the possible ways to grasp these new relationships to politics by relating this analysis with the moral register. The analyses will then specify the affinities between this rise in dysphoria and certain “political theorizations” that often accompany it, such as conspiracy or complotism, and it will finally draw attention to the shifts that social criticism is undergoing at the same time. Camille Roelens with his article School and family educational ethics facing the challenge of mass individualization. Issues, tensions and perspectives, connects school and family as social institutions by confronting school and family educational ethics with the mass individualization in a contemporary context. Through a possible enrichment of professional teaching ethics, drawing on the source of the underlying ethics of a liberal family education, the author suggests that schools would benefit today from considering positively the contribution of inspirations from the democratic ethos of contemporary civil society.

By putting the question Neutrality or neutralization?, Roger Monjo puts in the same time in question the concept of neutrality, or more precisely teachers’ impartiality, being at the center of the professional ethics promoted by the educational institution and allowing us to reflect on teacher’s position on the model of the position of the referee in a sports competition or of the judge in the judiciary field. He wonders if its function, as in the case of a referee or a judge, does not actually aim to neutralize the space it occupies by idealizing it. Even more, if the dramatization and ritualization of these spaces (school, sports, judiciary) may hide a project of neutralization that allows to build a pseudo-reality, ideal but fictitious, to isolate (sanctuarize) a part of the social world (a system, an institution, a ground, an object, etc.) by presenting it as autonomous and self-referential. Alfred Romuald Gambou discusses the theme of a neutrality by connecting it with the notion of the exemplarity of the teacher in the frame of the school of Republic; his article The exemplarity of the master and the uncomfortable idea of neutrality at the school of the Republic, aims to show, through the analysis of the history of education, that education has always been thought in relation to models, from the 5th century BC, with Greeks. Far from this very convenient idea of neutrality, according to the author, this research highlights the fact that the teacher's exemplarity results from particular modalities, be it his relationship to himself, to knowledge, to culture, that in the way he invests and awakens in his young minds the sense of the vast problems of life and the world.

Dominique Ottavi, is interested to understand how the ethical principles are developed on the level of teaching practice. In her article, Professional ethics in context, the author starts by remarking that the practice of teaching requires the application of rigorous principles and that faced with the difficulties currently encountered in France, we cannot content ourselves with reviving old principles. The concern for individual learning, to which the ideal of inclusive education testifies, leads in fact to ignore the existence of the collective. The school institution then risks losing its meaning, as well as the work of the teacher. It also leads to the incarnation of contradictory ethical principles. The remedy for these problems, according to the author, cannot be reduced to technical improvement; the philosophy of education must first analyze them in depth. Alexandros Theodoridis introduces the critical thinking in order to describe the ethos of a teacher held as the principal moral figure. In his article The ethos of the teacher as a critical thinker the author remarks that modern western societies, which are going through a deep crisis of meaning and find it difficult to think of themselves as something positive, are increasingly declaring their devotion to a relativistic world where everything is allowed. In such a context, we can understand the central moral figure embodied by a teacher, as well as his choices, to the extent that he too is bound by this anthropological condition. However, since not all traces of reflective thinking and political honesty seem to have been lost yet, the author believes that if the teacher tried to exist, animating his critical nature in the context of his professional capacity, in spite of the times, he should ensure and reaffirm his duty to save two principal values: the value of the love of truth and sincerity, as well as the value of respecting human dignity.

In the article, Ethical precautions in teaching the precautionary principle, Samuel Heinzen observes that teaching the precautionary principle questions professional ethics. This principle, he adds, raises a twofold problem: that of epistemological forecasting and that of ethical prudence. The author applies this analysis to an example of teaching of a geography lesson, so that it becomes possible to better identify the difficulties encountered both in terms of the reliability of the subject taught and the complexity of the ethical problem. Gabriele Di Patrizio in «The between self to the between-the other» Emergence of the respect's locus in training applies its analysis in the sector of care for dependent or disabled elderly people, where support and care are based on the Kantian moral obligation to respect their humanity. As author points out, trainings provided in a face-to-face mode, whatever its object, show another understanding of the notion of respect. Within the framework of relational and philosophical anthropology, this article shows that respect is developed in a space «between» that enables oneself and the other to make full use of their responsibility in building capable relationships for common action and humanity.

 

Elena Theodoropoulou, Didier Moreau

Oct.-Dec. 2020

 

[1] According to François Guizot; Cf. Nique, C., François Guizot, l’École au service du gouvernement des esprits, Paris: Hachette, 2000.

[2] Cf. Beck, U., La société du risque, Paris: Aubier, 2001.

[3] In this way, we can watch the French ministerial imposition of archaic reading methods in contradiction with the principle of pedagogical freedom, which has been conceded by Jules Ferry against the clergy's attacks, the praising promotion of cognitive sciences and the flooding of professional ethics by palliative ethics, the only ones capable of supporting educators under training from the minute they enter the profession.

[4] Löwith, K., Histoire et salut, Paris: Gallimard, 2002.

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Abstract:

The article raises the question of ethics as a force for resistance to traditional or institutional morality, as manifested in the current struggles against discrimination and unequal harassment. It offers a genealogy of the ethics of rebellion through the criticisms of metaphysical ethics by Wittgenstein and Heidegger. He then studied through Canguilhem's early works the meaning given to the teaching of philosophy as a self-care formation and a call to secession.

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Keywords: educational ethics, self-education, philosophical training, Georges Canguilhem.

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Abstract:

There are many indications of a rising dysphoric relationship to politics. The consultation of blogs talking about politics as well as the reading of slogans of manifestations reveal the importance of the semantics of disgust. Some prominent politicians are not hesitating to adjust to it. At the same time, several ²new social movements² are explicitly gathering around the semantics of indignation. At the parallel with this, there is an explosion of populisms. How do we grasp these new relationships to politics? First, the article attempts to clarify the status of these dysphoric affects by situating them on a continuum from reactions whose cognitive dimension manifests itself closest to corporeality (disgust) to more cognitively charged affects (indignation) to fully reflexive attitudes. The analyses will then specify the affinities between this rise in dysphoria and certain ²political theorizations² that often accompany it, such as conspiracy or complotism, and will finally draw attention to the shifts that social criticism is undergoing at the same time by giving more and more space to the moral register..

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Keywords: Dysphoria, new social movements, conspiracy, indignation, populism.

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Abstract:

This text studies and discusses the contemporary confrontation of school and family educational ethics in face of the challenge of mass individualization. A first part offers a brief overview of the main lines of force for families and schools to consider the singular challenges of education in a society of individuals. A second part examines the issues, conditions and consequences of a possible enrichment of professional teaching ethics, drawing on the source of the underlying ethics of liberal family education. Finally, we suggest that schools would benefit today from considering positively the contribution of inspirations from the democratic ethos of contemporary civil society.

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Keywords: ethics, deontology, individualism, modernity, democracy, education, family.

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Abstract:

Neutrality, or more precisely teachers’ impartiality, is at the center of the professional ethics promoted by the educational institution. It allows us to reflect on the teacher’s position on the model of the position of the referee in a sports competition or of the judge in the judiciary field. However, we may wonder if its function, as in the case of a referee or a judge,  does not actually aim to neutralize the space it occupies by idealizing it. The dramatization and ritualisation of these spaces (school, sports, judiciary) may hide a project of neutralization that allows to build a pseudo-reality, ideal but fictitious, to isolate (sanctuarize) a part of the social world (a system, an institution, a ground, an object, etc.) by presenting it as autonomous and selfreferential.

 Download Full article here

Keywords: neutrality, impartiality, exemplarity, neutralization.

Άδεια Creative Commons 

Abstract:

This research shows, through the analysis of the history of education that education has always been thought in relation to models. The Greeks, from the 5th century BC, found and fixed a model of human character which was to serve as an example for the formation of man. The person of the sage or the master will become the figure. Far from this very convenient idea of neutrality, this research highlights the fact that the master's exemplarity results from particular modalities, be it his relationship to himself, to knowledge, to culture, that in the way he invests and awakens in his young minds the sense of the vast problems of life and the world.

 Download Full article here

Keywords: Philosophy of education, exemplarity of the teacher, neutrality, teaching ethics.

Άδεια Creative Commons 

Abstract:

The practice of teaching requires the application of rigorous principles. Faced with the difficulties currently encountered in France, we cannot content ourselves with reviving old principles. The concern for individual learning, to which the ideal of inclusive education testifies, leads in fact to ignore the existence of the collective. The school institution then risks losing its meaning, as well as the work of the teacher. It also leads to the incarnation of contradictory ethical principles. The remedy for these problems cannot be reduced to technical improvement; the philosophy of education must first analyze them in depth.

 Download Full article here

Keywords: ethical principles, inclusive education, school discipline, school life.

Άδεια Creative Commons 

Abstract:

Modern western societies, which are going through a deep crisis of meaning and find it difficult to think of themselves as something positive, are increasingly declaring their devotion to a relativistic world where everything is allowed. In such a context, we can understand the central moral figure embodied by a teacher, as well as his choices, to the extent that he too is bound by this anthropological condition. However, since not all traces of reflective thinking and political honesty seem to have been lost yet, we believe that if he tried to exist, animating his critical nature in the context of his professional capacity, in spite of the times, he should ensure and reaffirm his duty to save two principal values: the value of the love of truth and sincerity, as well as the value of respecting human dignity.

Download Full article here

Keywords: western societies, crisis of the meaning, relativism, teacher, ethics, truth, dignity.

 Άδεια Creative Commons

 Abstract:

Teaching the precautionary principle questions professional ethics. This principle raises a twofold problem: that of epistemological forecasting and that of ethical prudence. By clarifying the epistemological categories, it is possible to distinguish three forms of scientific forecasting. Each of them is combined in a particular way with the dominant currents of usual ethical debates. By applying this analysis to an example of teaching, in this case a geography lesson, it is possible to better identify the difficulties encountered both in terms of the reliability of the subject taught and the complexity of the ethical problem.

Download Full article here

Keyword: scientific forecasting, precautionary principle, ethics.

 Άδεια Creative Commons

Abstract:

In the sector of care for dependent or disabled elderly people, where support and care are based on the Kantian moral obligation to respect their humanity. A plan to combat abuse and a many of training courses regularly remind this to professionals working in nursing homes. However, trainings provided in a face-to-face mode, whatever its object, show another understanding of the notion of respect. Within the framework of relational and philosophical anthropology, this article shows that respect is developed in a space «between» that enables oneself and the other to make full use of their responsibility in building capable relationships for common action and humanity.

 Download Full article here

Keywords: respect, median space, intersubjectivity, otherness, relational geometry, the between self to the between-the other.

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