“On Being Human” lecture series continues

Southern Oregon University’s Science Hall was packed with students and community members alike for the April 29 “On Being Human” lecture.

Dr. Nel Noddings and Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University, delivered Friday’s lecture on the topic of her most recent book, “The Maternal Factor: Two Paths to Morality,” released April 2010 through University of California Press.

She has published 17 books as well as over 200 articles and contributing chapters. Dr. Noddings spent 15 years as a public school teacher, administrator and curriculum supervisor. She is also a three time recipient of Stanford University’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Noddings discussed how morality is a uniquely human concern. She also discussed that while most moral philosophy is traced through the male experience, based on fairness rooted in self interest, an alternative is through the female experience based in maternal instinct. Maternal instinct is a sense shared by both humans and animals. “It’s the only sense where the other matters more than the self,” Dr. Noddings said. “It’s an astonishing, powerful sort of experience.”

Dr. Noddings discussed natural caring, which requires no moral effort, as well as various applications of her principles for schooling. In October, Dr. Noddings will release her new book, “Peace Education: How We Come to Love and Hate More,” through Cambridge University Press.

The next “On Being Human” lecture will take place on Tuesday, May 3, in the Meese Auditorium at 7 p.m. Dr. Bill Gholson, Professor of English at SOU will lecture on the topic of “The Attraction of Argument and the Claims of Higher Education.”

In it he will discuss the features of curriculum built around communicative reason within the context of a culture of consumption and competition where powerful forces make claims on students to be career and consumer oriented.



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