Pursuing social justice in education raises ethical questions about teaching practice that have not been fully addressed in the social justice literature. Hytten (2015) initiated a valuable way forward in developing an ethics of social justice educators, drawing on virtue ethics.

In this paper, I provide additional support to this effort by arguing that a virtue approach to ethics of teaching is in fact compatible with responsiveness to social context in teaching. I then propose a refined framework for considering the virtues of teachers, one which asks us to identify virtues relevant to teaching within the broad categories of intellectual and moral virtue. For any potential virtue of social justice educators, we should then consider (a) its characteristic psychology, (b) its relationship to the aim of social justice, and (c) both the internal and external conditions for its success. I use this framework to elaborate one particular intellectual virtue in teaching for social justice, open-mindedness.

Response to Article

Kathy Hytten, Ethics in Teaching for Democracy and Social Justice