EDUC 3013: School and Society
Teacher Ethics Commentary Requirements and Rubric
➢ Total % of final grade: 10
➢ Details: 3-6 pages, double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman, must use
in-text citations and include a bibliography at the end of your paper in APA format (or the
format your discipline uses)
➢ Due: Nov 5th
Purpose of the assignment:
For this assignment you will write a 3-page analytic “commentary” on the ethical case we read and
discussed in class. A thoughtful response includes a careful analysis of the problem (what makes it a
dilemma? What values and principles are at stake?) and developing your own response to the problem,
supported by arguments and relevant evidence from the case. Here, you should expect to draw on
what you learned from the readings and class discussion, and to support your reasoning with
relevant facts of the case study and perspectives from the commentaries that support your points.
As part of your commentary, please address the following three dimensions:
1. Analyzing the central problem and the values at stake. What is the central dilemma in this
case? Why is this a dilemma? What values or principles are at stake? Is there disagreement
about these values? Do they compete in some way? What practical and/or policy
considerations are at stake? Is there disagreement about these? Do they compete in some
2. Formulating possible responses, choices, actions. What the reasonable choices or lines of
action might be available, and to whom? How does each of these choices frame and address
the issues at stake? For each choice, what is gained and what is lost? Who should take action
(or not)? What should they do? Why?
3. What have you learned from this case that might apply elsewhere? What are the broader
lessons that we might take from this case for how you understand educational policies or
practices? Issues of educational equity and fairness? Other principles or values that might
guide the practice of teaching or the organization of schools?
Ethics Commentary Rubric
Total Points: /24
4: Excellent 3: Good 2: Fair 1: Poor
Offers a well-organized and
thoughtful introduction to the essay.
Clearly highlights essay’s organization
and main argument. Gives reasoning
for why position is taken. Integrates and
draws on some (a couple) sources from
class reading and discussion.
why position is
Clear thesis, but rather
Very difficult to
Offers a careful, thorough and nuanced
summary of central dilemma of the case
and relevant details; clear analysis of the
potential value conflicts
Provides a thorough
summary of central
dilemma in case.
between case and
Basic summary of
dilemma of the case,
some cursory mention
of values or ideas at
Weak and partial
Clear position on the circumstances of
the case through well-developed
arguments that are supported by careful
reasoning and evidence from the case.
and evidence from
the case. Explains
why conclusions are
Defends position by
making points rather
Doesn’t explain why
Evidence from case and other
commentaries used to support
arguments. Excellent integration of
quoted/paraphrased material into
writing. Anticipates and takes seriously
objections and/or alternative evidence
that might challenge thesis.
evidence used to
support thesis and to
sources into writing.
Anticipates but does
objections and notes
Sometimes weak use of
supports thesis and/or
material into writing.
Does not anticipate
Very weak use of
evidence, fails to
n and clarity
Coherent and clear, all paragraphs
support position, each paragraph
cumulatively builds case, each paragraph
supports its topic sentence, excellent
transitions. Clear writing.
supports thesis (but
Often lacks coherence,
mixed support for
thesis, transitions often
missing or weak;
informal language or
weak and often
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