Distributive Justice and Equity in Grading: A New Instructor’s Reflections
Sayre, Molly Malany
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The author reflects upon early teaching experiences to identify a conflict between minimal distributive justice, or the distribution of goods that ensures all individuals have an acceptable level of that good (Deutsch, 1985), and grading of students’ assignments. Instead of addressing the unequal distribution of college preparedness among her students, the author’s grading reflected and potentially reinforced educational, racial, and economic inequalities. In agreement with Anastas (2010), an ethic of social justice is recommended for use in social work education. Social work educators can provide greater access to resources (e.g., the instructor’s time) for students experiencing disadvantages that affect their academic performance.
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