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Old April 12, 2013, 08:12 PM   #39
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,700
Originally Posted by Jammer Six
...when I talk about teaching ethically, or a set of ethics, what I'm really saying is simply that as instructors, we need to teach ethically. We need to give sufficient information without going beyond our mandate to teach. We don't have any business telling students who to vote for or which car to drive-- we can probably agree on that. As the information gets closer to what we are teaching, we will probably start to disagree over whether or not it belongs in our classes....
  1. Okay, teaching ethically involves teaching material appropriate to the subject and consistent with what we said we would be teaching in the promotional materials folks relied on to decide to sign up for our classes.

  2. It also imposes a duty on us to assure that what we teach is accurate and fairly presented.

  3. But there might still be quite a bit of disagreement over exactly what scope of information should be included in a particular level class. And in some sense, there's no right answer.

    Consider two well established and highly regarded first level defensive handgun classes: Gunsite 250 and Massad Ayoob's MAG-40. Each provides a different range of information. The differences in the syllabuses for each reflects certain differences in the philosophies and values of the respective originators. Yet each is a worthwhile class and offers a valuable range of information.

    But if you'd propose that one is more "ethical" than the other, I'd categorically reject that contention.

  4. But in any event, the ethics of teaching, when considered in the terms I've described, doesn't preclude offering women-only classes.

Originally Posted by Jammer Six
...To put it mildly, things other than shooting are being taught under the banner of handgun classes...
But things other beyond merely shooting should be taught in a handgun class, especially one intended to begin to prepare a student to effectively defend him/herself or someone else. Such things can include, based on the syllabus for the NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home class: mindset; levels of alertness and situation assessment; psychological and physiological effects and after effects of a high stress event; legal issues of self defense; and some elementary tactics.

Of course, a lot depends on what the class is intended for and the amount of time available. A basic skills class covering a few hours is one thing, and first level defensive handgun class lasting several days would be another.

And in this regard I see ethics material in two ways:
  1. Has the instructor properly described the class so the student can reasonable understand what he or she can expect to learn.

  2. Has the instructor properly constructed the syllabus, and allotted sufficient time, to reasonably achieve the stated goals and reasonable expectations of the students.
But none of that would be an ethical bar to offering a women-only class.

Originally Posted by Jammer Six
...I see limited points in self defense classes. But I would put such points beyond what we teach. I teach defensive handgun, not defensive walking or tactical talking. My classes start at the instant the fight starts...
Rather beyond what you teach. Others might teach other things.

As long as what you teach is accurate, valid and useful, and fairly described to those who sign up for your class, and what others might teach is accurate, valid and useful, and fairly described to those who would sign up for those other classes, I see no ethical issue.

Originally Posted by Jammer Six
...I categorically reject “what sells” or “what customers want” as a basis for ethics...
No, the marketplace doesn't determine ethics. But if our goal is providing education and training, and since we can only help educate and train those people who sign up for our classes, ignoring the marketplace undermines achieving our goal. Our classes need to be acceptable to our market, or we will have no one to teach.

Originally Posted by Jammer Six
...So unless you're going to teach separate Defensive Handgun classes for different races, doctors, on-reservation, teachers, bus drivers and plumbers, there is not an ehical reason to teach women separately...
Nor is there an ethical reason to not offer a women-only class. And there appear to be pedagogical reasons to do so.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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