A Brief Commentary on A Levinasian Ethics for Education’s Commonplaces: Between Calling and Inspiration by Joldersma

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With the renewed emphasis on teaching and learning across colleges and universities, there has been increased scholarship of teaching and learning. Clarence W. Joldersma addresses the ethics and justice in teaching and learning in his 2014 book. In his book, Joldersma claims that learning inspires the student to the call of justice, whereas teaching calls teachers to be responsible for students. He applies this analysis to argue that the curriculum, through teachers, encourages students to be responsible for the world revealed through disciplinary knowledge. He also argues that institutions can help enact justice as they navigate the many ethical responsibilities to the many different people that participate in colleges and universities. For Joldersma, the end goal of teaching, learning, the curriculum, and institutions is “the goal of individual and collective human flourishing, something marked by social justice” (p. 113). In the commentary, I argue that Joldersma’s claims are too narrow, as he limits how teachers and students are called and inspired and how justice may be served.

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