Welcoming Letter to Task Force Members,
March 2, 2007
I am writing to thank you for agreeing to serve on the ASA Task
Force on Teaching Ethics. The Task Force has been appointed by the
Council and I have had initial conversations with Carla Howery and
other ASA staff. My purpose in writing at this time is to let you know
who is on the Task Force, remind you of our charge, and start you
thinking about some of the issues we'll be examining during the
next two years (or less if we are really fast).
First, our official title is:
Task Force on Teaching Ethics throughout the Sociology Curriculum
Our official charge is:
Working with members of the ASA’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE),
this Task Force would develop curriculum materials to teach students about
professional ethics from early in their undergraduate careers throughout graduate
school. The Task Force would develop case materials (some of which exist from
earlier COPE work but need updating) and course modules that faculty could
include in a variety of courses. The resulting set of materials would be housed
on the ASA website so they can be downloaded quickly and easily and can be
updated. The Task Force would also offer a series of workshops at the ASA and
regional sociology meetings to illustrate how these materials can be used.
The Task Force membership is:
Earl Babbie, chair
A more detailed listing of members is in the attached pdf file.
Carla Howey, ASA liaison
Ruben Rumbaut, Council Liaison
Jean Shin, ASA liaison when Carla retires from ASA
Tom Van Valey, member
Lisa Ann Zilney, member
We will have one or more Task Force meetings at ASA in NYC in August.
Before then, however, I am hopeful that we will be able to prepare and
circulate some draft pieces on various topics to launch our discussions
in NYC and give us a good start toward completing our work.
There is nothing specific for you to do at this point, but you might be thinking
about the following kinds of questions:
Who will be the audiences for our products?
I will have another conference call with ASA regarding some of the resources
we already have, and I will be back in touch with the Task Force shortly after
Undergraduates, Graduate students, Faculty, Administration, Public?
When should ethics be taught in the curriculum?
Ethics of what roles: researcher, teacher, advisor, activist?
Specific topics to be covered: plagiarism, confidentiality, informed consent,
missrepresentation, service learning, etc.?
In the meantime, if you want to communicate with the rest of the Task Force
you can do so by a REPLY ALL (or whatever) to this email.
Thanks again for your service to ASA. I am looking forward to our working
together on a significant undertaking.