Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Milgram effect and teachers.

Gary Stager has posted a great piece comparing the famous Milgram Effect experiments and the practice of teachers. It raises some really good questions about why we do what we do and whether we are being ethical in doing it. If we sense that we are doing harm how should we react? Should we fight the entrenched system, quit our jobs, close the door and do what we want?

See it here.

I posted a reactionary response to see if anyone will take the bait. :-) I do believe that teachers deserve more credit than they are given by society and to point to them as unprofessional for doing their job (as defined by their school district) is a cheap shot.

Jim :-)

1 comment:

Plakboek said...

I recall this experiment from my psychology studies many years ago but the comparision with teaching is fascinating.

It isnt right to impose cruel and unusual forms of punishment, even if they are framed in the context of a pedagogical practice. Absolute compliance and obedience to authority is probably something that we should only weave into our teaching practice for safety related issues.

It is important that educators undertake sufficient professional reading and research to backup or cease any action that might harm students. It doesnt hurt to ask the right questions of the school administration or the evidence used to support any mandated action.

In the film 2001, the computer HAL was only following orders by killing off the crew when they became a threat to the success of the mission. Results are not everything and not everything that matters can be measured.