Messy ethics in pedagogy




Pedagogy is an interesting topic. It is a field that quickly gets messy when there is no strong foundation or structure to fall back on. The whole landscape of educational courses has been altered. For almost one year and a half, most schools held their courses online, mostly through zoom, and students handed in their assignments through an online drive or link. Ever since the fall in 2021, in my experience at least, state legislators have been heavily pandering for all of us to immediately get “back to normal” and go back to in-person classes.

Pedagogy has been heavily damaged by the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but the apathetic and ableist push to send young adults and kids back to physically attending schools and to drop social distancing and mask mandates as quickly as possible. To a point that it was completely jarring and impossible to properly adapt to.

All of this shows that pedagogy over the past three years has been messy in its ethics. Specifically, that the things we have started to talk about within education has grown and evolved. We have lately started to talk about the problematic affects that grading systems have on students. Students grow up believing that grades are the most important part of their education. They don’t learn anything useful in their classes. Everything that motivates them has to do with grades.

We talk about this all the time, but the grading system of pedagogical systems is the driving force for students’ performances. So when other issues appear that negatively impact their education, it’s even harder to tackle these problems.

Privacy is one concern for students. Despite being online, they still have to show their physical faces in order to be considered present for class. This shouldn’t be a problem because students can still speak in their microphones and messaged in the zoom chat. Students also have to deal with the probability of their personal data being leaked. With the internet being a cesspool of chaotic, uncontrollable events, should students also have to fear a portion of their online privacy leaking out?

I think about students’ use of technology a lot. When their taking online classes they use zoom, when they turn in their discussion posts they enter it into a class-privy discussion forum or a public blog made specifically for the class. Should we be worried about this? Is this even a problem? I didn’t think too much about the privacy of students a few years ago. I never gave any thought to the online privacy of students’ domain until recently. At most, I worried about students physical appearances being shown because someone recorded the class meeting and posted it somewhere. Just barely, though.

But the readings from this week prompt me to wonder how much domain students are lacking when it comes to online education.


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