Jennifer Morton | What Should a Teacher Believe?

This is an Archive of a Past Event

We expect teachers to play distinct critical roles. One of them is to nurture and care for students in their development. In this role, teachers are expected to "believe" in their students' potential to succeed. Another role teachers play is as pedagogical experts in their domain. In this role, teachers are expected to enact pedagogical practices based on rigorous, evidence-based beliefs about their students’ skills and knowledge. Sometimes these roles clash. In this paper, Morton investigates this conflict and how the institutionalization of evidence through standardized testing and assessments can erode a teacher's ability to play both roles well. 


About the Speaker

Jennifer Morton is the Presidential Penn Compact Associate Professor of Philosophy with a secondary appointment at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences for the 2023–2024 academic year. She was a senior fellow at the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she has held positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the City College of New York, the Graduate Center-CUNY, and Swarthmore College. Her areas of research are philosophy of action, moral philosophy, philosophy of education, and political philosophy. She's interested in how poverty and social class shape our agency. Her book Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility focuses on the ethical sacrifices that first-generation and low-income students make in pursuing upward mobility. It was awarded the Frederic W. Ness Book Award by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, selected as Princeton President Eisgruber’s Pre-Read for the Class of 2025, and the Grawemeyer Award in Education. 

This workshop is co-sponsored with the Stanford Chapter of Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) in the Philosophy Department, as well as the “Inclusive Teaching in Philosophy” Project through the Center for Teaching and Learning.