The Ethics of Care as a Framework for Higher Education Philosophy and Implemented Policy: Can Mentoring Micro Connections Produce Powerful Macro Effects?

Siobhán Ní Dhonacha
Siobhán Ní Dhonacha

Siobhán Ní Dhonacha is a candidate for the PhD in Education, Educational Foundations Specialization. She will be presenting the defense of her dissertation on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016 in Lab School Portable (LSP) 4A at 9:00AM. Faculty, students,  and other interested members of the community are welcome to attend.


Do we care because we are ethical, or are we ethical because we care? This is a philosophical argument deserving of contemplation and in reality may never be fully resolved. Are the ethics of care and the philosophy of caring in higher education in America an antinomy? Can, and should, the caring principle co-exist and interrelate as an implemented and sustainable policy in the often corporatized and quantitatively driven American higher education landscape? It is proposed that there is an ethics to caring, and there exists in society a shared social responsibility for the betterment of all.

Specifically, if the caring principle is successfully applied to individual student success and educational attainment through responsive, high level institutionally resourced and sustainably supported mentoring program encounters and micro connections (Hartley, 2004; K. A. Johnson, 2003; Lander, 2004; Zevallos & Washburn, 2014), caring may have a potentially powerfully positive global impact and macro effect, upon the student experience, American higher education recruitment, retention, and graduation, and upon the larger society.

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