How to be fair and ethical in the classroom
Many aspects of the teaching assistant’s role may create ethical dilemmas of one sort or another. Your roles as adviser, evaluator, exam administrator, authority figure and peer have the potential to become problematic at times, often because they present conflicting demands. Because fairness is a perception based on interpretations of behavior, not intentions, many instructors may inadvertently engage in what students perceive to be unfair behavior.
Although one might expect students to be most concerned with outcome or procedural fairness because it affects their grades, Dr. Rita Rodabaugh has found that students consider violations of interactional fairness to be the most severe. Interactional fairness refers to the nature of the interaction between instructor and students and encompasses impartiality, respect, concern for students, integrity and propriety.
Below we offer tips on how to be fair and ethical in the classroom, thereby avoiding as many classroom problems as possible.
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