My alma mater, Swarthmore college, prides itself on being a force for social justice in the world. Swarthmore makes a big deal about being environmentally conscious, educating students to have a strong sense of “ethical intelligence” (in the words of former college president Al Bloom) and providing generous loan-free financial aid packages so that it is financially viable for economically disadvantaged students. Swarthmore is home to the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, which supports student groups devoted to promoting social justice, encourages student engagement with issues in the local community, and works with professors to incorporate service learning into their courses.
But what are a college’s ethical obligations, and how does Swarthmore measure up? I’m actually chaperoning a week long field trip to England with a group of French students from the Lycee I’m teaching at this year, and I have limited computer access, so I don’t have time to answer the question now. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I just wanted to get something posted so that I would have an incentive to follow up soon, since I’ve been neglecting the blog recently.
More to come soon!