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Plan 7 – Drawing up a teaching charter

Published on 03/05/2007

 

Universities generally have directives in place with respect to integrity in scientific research. Those that have charters on ethics in teaching are, however, few. Some countries do not even require teachers to have attended a seminar on pedagogy.

For some teachers, testing students’ knowledge is a necessary evil for eliminating students whose performance is too poor. However, these evaluations represent ,above all, a duty of fairness to the students, as they must be able to measure their progress, understand the relationship between their effort and their mark or grade, and compare themselves with other students.

Many types of pedagogical behavior are dictated by implicit codes of responsibility that are passed from master to disciple, from lab director to young assistant. Such codes could easily be made transparent and explicit.

Suggestions

• Appoint a body to draft a charter on pedagogical ethics.

• Involve teachers and those on an academic track (masters students, teaching and research assistants, doctoral students, etc.).

• Involve undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students.

• Have teachers and students commit to respecting the charter.