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On Teaching Teachers Justice

CAEC’s Spring Institute aims to bring virtues into the classroom


Bernice LernerBernice Lerner

Director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character

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Bernice Lerner discusses how justice can be taught in the classroom.

Nine of BU’s top leaders and scholars will spend part of the spring semester defining the concept of justice, looking for examples of both justice and its counterpart in everyday life, and discussing how teachers can best convey this concept to elementary and high school students.

Educating for Justice is a two-day, two-credit intensive course offered on April 28 and 29 through the School of Education’s Center for theAdvancement of Ethics and Character (CAEC). Although the course is near the end of the spring semester, students must enroll before the registration deadline ends, on Wednesday, January 30.

The CAEC’s Spring Institute is a retreat for educators, whose purpose is to cultivate their intellectual lives, renew a sense of responsibility and dedication to the art of teaching, and instill a deeper understanding of how to educate for character. CAEC associate scholars will present a range of philosophical and practical principles and ideas, shedding light on various aspects of the virtue of justice. Educators will learn strategies for helping students pursue justice and a deeper understanding of what it means to strive for right action in their own lives.

BU faculty and deans, as well as representatives from the Pursuing Justice Project, will give presentations. This year’s participants include Thomas Cottle, an SED professor of counseling and development; Kenneth Elmore, the University’s dean of students; Charles Glenn, SED dean ad interim; Michael Grodin, a School of Public Health professor of health law; David Lyons, a School of Law professor of law and a College of Arts and Sciences professor of philosophy; Richard Oxenberg, a College of General Studies assistant professor of humanities; and Virginia Sapiro, dean of Arts and Sciences. Lerner will present at the institute and teach two additional three-hour classes examining the concept of justice and presenting student research.

The course aims to deepen participants’ understanding of the virtue of justice, or righteousness, based on classical and contemporary theories. They will examine present-day examples and violations of justice in education, law, and medicine and learn strategies to explain and instill the concept as educators.

For more information, or to register, visit the CAEC Web site.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.


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