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Saturday, February 7, 2009
Session 12: Engage- Barry Schwartz
Title Slide: a collaboration with Ken Sharp for a book that someday... he hopes to finish
Obama appealed to each of us at his inauguration:
"The time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation..."
Barry's goals of this talk:
• Why Obama was right about virtue
• Practical wisdom (Aristotle) is the key virtue
• Nonetheless, we're making a war on wisdom (in the US and it's unwittingly
• But there are sources of hope
Example: the long list of a janitor's duties. Nothing on it involves other human beings. BUT janitors reported that their attitudes and actions in their jobs were purposefully a result of their relationships and respect for people at the hospital.
Practical wisdom is Moral Skill plus Moral Wisdom: A wise person knows when and how to improvise, a moral jazz to accommodate situations and this person is made, not born. you need to have/be mentors.
"Rules and procedures may be done, but they prevent you from having to think" -Scott Simon
Rules: we need better ones if we're going to use them. But they don't make things better in the long run. Moral skill is chipped away as the effects come down the line. They don't allow the wisdom of the people trying to convey the
Incentives the war on moral will: motivational competition. they don't promote peoples interest in doing the "right thing", but a moral drive alone causes people to
people lose morale and morality.
Good news: You don't need to be brilliant to be wise
Bad news: But brilliance doesn't mean you are wise
"We must ask, not just is it profitable, but is it right?" -Obama 12/18/08
people become addicted to and focused on the wrong thing.
We must re-moralize work: it's not about teaching ethics courses. it's about celebrating moral heroes. acknowledge and be proud of these people.
Aaron Feurrstein and Malden Mills had a devistating fire but he kept all employees at a profit loss because it was right. Ray Anderson turned his "evil empire" into a green company AND learned it made a greater profit too! Morality should be "ordinary" if not "extraordinary" so that when we do right it shouldn't be against the tide.
Ethics as lived, not as taught [KIPP]
As teachers must remember we're always teaching, the camera is always on. And we must always be an example of morality.
Kids need to respect themselves, their teachers, others and to respect learning. Teachers must always embody it. Kipp is great as a teacher because of it.
Honesty, kindness and courage are a natural follow to morality.
And hope is wanting to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. We must pay attention to what we do, how we do it, why we do it.