Sense-Making with Students: An Ethics in Action Case Example
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A student has recently returned from a service trip abroad, and meets with her academic advisor to plan classes for the following semester. The advisor is anxious to hear about the student’s experience, but as the student begins to share stories, she reveals some information that raises red flags for the advisor. She begins sharing the pictures she took with members of the host community that she has posted on her Facebook page, and there is little evidence that the host community participated in planning the event in any way. The advisor also suspects that the student has been allowed to complete duties outside her scope of knowledge, and with little supervision. As the advisor pushes on these points of concern, the student becomes frustrated and defensive. She believes the trip did wonders for the community it served, and she is shocked that the advisor might suggest otherwise. The student is planning to apply for professional medical programs and she is certain that this experience will give her a “leg up” in the admission process. The advisor isn’t so sure, and wants to help the student reflect more critically on the experience without shutting down her enthusiasm for serving vulnerable populations.