One Recipe for Clearly Unethical Performance

I spend a lot of time helping students and colleagues develop the skills they need to think and behave more ethically. Today, I want to look at the other side of the coin.

Obstacles to Practicing Professional Ethics in Real Life

Why might well-educated professionals take ethical missteps?

Coarse Evaluations of Course Evaluations

Some student complaints seem to represent a fundamental mismatch between what students and faculty expect and what they experience in their courses.

Ethics on Vacation

All situations have ethical dimensions; I hope my students become more attuned to the ethical issues that permeate their professional lives. My example comes from my vacation...

Students Can Learn a Lot From Current Events

News items about human behavior make wonderful teaching devices. It doesn’t take much to stimulate thoughtful discussion about the complexities involved in human behavior.

The Ethics of Sharing Client Stories

How can I use my clients as examples in my teaching, while honoring my clients’ confidentiality and therapeutic experience? What are the ethical limits to telling clients' stories?

Reading With Purpose, or Purposes

My university hired a PR firm to help sell us. The major slogan they came up with was “Learn with Purpose.” I was cynical at first, but it turns out to be a pretty good principle!

Am I Ready to Teach?

It’s the night before classes, and all through my brain all I could think of was the emotional strain…

Take Note! Taking Notes

It seems obvious that motivated students will take notes without being encouraged. But how shall we encourage students to bring notebooks to class and actually take notes?

Donald Trump, the University, and Meanings of Fairness

Celebrities help me teach. Not deliberately, but their actions and words often help me make important points to my students. Now, it’s Donald Trump’s turn.

Lessons From Teaching About Our Latest Scandal in Psychology

Like other momentous events in psychology, the torture scandal left a permanent mark on our field. There are profound consequences, and the dominoes haven't stopped falling.

A Bright Future for Teaching: Views From the Heartland

Yeah, this is anecdotal evidence. But it’s enough to reinforce my optimism about the future of college teaching.

Forms of Address in Academia: Etiquette or Ethics?

How should students address their professors?

2 Strikes Against Virtue

Virtue ethics helps us make ethics personal and real. A few days ago I had two experiences that shook my faith in how virtues are valued and implemented these days.

Hey Prof, Can I Make Up the Exam?

One difficult decision we face as instructors is what to do when students miss a test. We should consider why we give tests at all before making judgments or policies.

Two Common (and Useless) Skills that College Students Learn

There are two relatively useless skills that college students spend a lot of time practicing. They are useless because people are seldom called upon to use them in real life.

The Big Lie Professors Are Telling Their Students

The big lie is this: That a college education is ....

Personal & Professorial Ethics: Does Turpitude Trump Tenure?

At what point does someone’s personal behavior interfere with the performance of their professional functions?

Best Ethics Ever?

I’m puttin’ out the call. No money needed (I make a lot of money as a college professor….). Just stories. Reply to this blog with stories of professors (or others) who went above and beyond in a way that exemplified competence, respect, justice, prudence, integrity, beneficence, or some other ethical principle or virtue.

Student Questions: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting

Lots of professors love it when students ask questions. At best, questions reflect activity and engagement. As a way to encourage students to ask questions, professors might say something like, “There’s no such thing as stupid questions.” I agree. But I would consider some questions to be “bad.”

5 Positive Lessons from Negative Comments

The media have been going wild this week covering Donald Trump's extreme and negative comments, focusing on how negative the comments were. My advice: Look at the substance of Trump's remarks--see what you can learn from them! Today I'm going to follow my own advice--not with Trump's comments, but with some negative comments I've received.

Conceptual Chicks & Experiential Eggs: Teaching Philosophies

Last spring I helped design a training program for aspiring college teachers. I had great fun being on the small planning committee; our disagreements were especially enlightening. My favorite disagreement was about whether we should have our students develop and write their teaching philosophy.

The Ethics of Extra Credit: A Case to Ponder

Extra credit is a common, complex and controversial issue. See what you think of this case.

Is It Ethical for Professors to Assign Their Own Books?

Lots of people—students, friends, colleagues, and publishing professionals—who think it’s automatically a conflict of interest for professors to assign their own books. But is it an unethical conflict of interest? Does the base motive for money unduly contaminate the noble motives to help students?

The Case of the Incentivized Applicant

How much is a job interview worth?

Searching for the Topless Classroom

Many professors teach in a bottomless way. The class I observed was topless.

What Would Your Professors Say About You?

Dear students: Here are some questions you can ask yourselves about your behavior, along with possible thoughts instructors may have about them.

My Favorite Gift This Year

This semester I develop what I considered a great metaphor to help students use the skills they are learning. But was the metaphor an effective teaching device? Was there a lasting impact?

Please Don't Reach Out to Me

It’s comforting to know that some things never change. Here’s one constant I've noticed: extra words. Even in our digital age, when we measure communications in bytes and characters rather than pages and paragraphs, students use extra words in their writing, just like we do.

The 5-Sided Flashcard

The first flashcards were probably etched on small stone tablets by anxious cave-students. Innovations since then have included printing, new fonts, color, and the ability to design flashcards on-line. But I’m here to tell you about what I (humbly) consider the best innovation ever...