Ethics and teaching: exploring the relationship between teacher and taught
In recent years there has been a growth in the study of ethics and teaching (Jarvis, 1997; Freire, 1998; Palmer, 1998, Macfarlane, 2004, inter alia ). In another sense, Levinas’ (1991a) study on Totality and Infinity is also an ethical study about learning in relationship throughout which he referred to teaching. I want to use some of the ideas in this study to explore an ethical approach to teaching based upon the nature of the relationship between teachers and taught, as I did in Ethics and the Education of Adults in Late Modern Society (Jarvis, 1997). Underlying this is Buber’s (1959) profound study I and Thou . However, using Levinas’ terminology I want to divide this chapter into three sections: teaching and the stranger – lecturing; teaching and totalising – managing the system; teaching and infinity – sharing and expanding. Each section contains an ideal type picture of a form of teaching, together with its strengths and weaknesses.