Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 76--77

Comment on Student-teacher research: A dilemma between power, ethics, and morality


Deepak Saxena1, Deepika Singhal2, Minal Patel2,  
1 Department of Epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, GMERS Medical College, SOLA, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Saxena
Department of Epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar
India




How to cite this article:
Saxena D, Singhal D, Patel M. Comment on Student-teacher research: A dilemma between power, ethics, and morality.Indian J Ophthalmol 2015;63:76-77


How to cite this URL:
Saxena D, Singhal D, Patel M. Comment on Student-teacher research: A dilemma between power, ethics, and morality. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Nov 18 ];63:76-77
Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2015/63/1/76/151485


Full Text

Dear Editor,

We read with interest the article written by Bandhu and Raje, [1] We would like to draw the attention of the authors on the following: "There is an ongoing debate among members of academia and researchers on the relationship between authority, power, and morality, on researcher done on students by teachers specifically to suggest how this relationship plays out at the micro-level of classroom interaction" that might surf in research done by teachers on students. [2]

Critics of research on students are especially concerned with the issue of teacher authority, and in two senses: Being an authority in the classroom and being in authority: "The former refers to the teacher's ability to direct actions within the classroom, the latter to her status as the possessor and transmitter of sanctioned forms of knowledge." [3] Authors in the above-mentioned articles have cited the subject as the students of the seventh semester possibly the students who are appearing in the final examination for the ophthalmology and community medicine in a couple of months. There is a high possibility that the instructional discourse is embedded in the regulative discourse so that "the teacher is inevitably using their authority both for purposes of regulating power relations and for moral ends. [4] Authors in the above article are assumed to be the researcher, as well as the teachers. Authors in the appendix have enclosed the evaluation of E-learning-students feedback form; the first line itself is name of the student and the semester. In the entire article, the authors have not mentioned any methods for blinding the data collectors, the analyzers and the participants as well. We would like to draw the attention of authors as well the readers to a larger issue on of regulating power relations, ethics, and morality that can be debated in the said article: Teachers are both a political and a moral agent in the classroom" and there can always be tension between power and morality and research ethics and hence, the result obtained might not be the true reflection and a strong response bias cannot be denied. Moreso, we expected a disclosure of conflict of interest between the authors and the management who had supported the entire study but authors have failed to mention if the support was technical, financial, administrative or providing ethical clearance to the study. It is quite evident from the skewed responses about 75% did not comment on disadvantages of E-learning, and only 12.5% narrated the medium E-learning to be a costly affair.

Ethics should be at the heart of any research involving student-teachers relationship. Such research needs to balance between research and how it is done. There needs to be an insight on the research to be conducted on students based on a wide range of life experiences, reflections on how teachers might respond to moral dilemma with adequate sensitivity and balancing the competing urge for research of teachers and urge of students to pass the exam without difficulties.

References

1Bandhu SD, Raje S. Experiences with E-learning in ophthalmology. Indian J Ophthalmol 2014;62:792-4.
2Bullough RV Jr. Ethical and moral matters in teaching and teacher education. Teach Teach Educ 2001,2011;27:21e-8.
3Buzzelli C, Johnston B. Authority, power, and morality in classroom discourse. Teach Teach Educ 2001;17:873e-4.
4Colnerud G. Ethical conflicts in teaching. Teach Teach Educ 1997;13:627e-35.