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Meeting Minutes: December 5, 2009

May 11, 2010

Conscience Project Meeting 12-05-09

The meeting was conducted at Ethna’s home. Present were Ethna, John, Sister Mary, Jere, Matt, Meg, Susan and Joe.

The minutes from the previous meeting 9-26-09 were reviewed and accepted.

Jere announced “We have a place to publish what we are doing.”
He was referring to the second website wherein will be found easy to read monthly posts relevant to recent research, news or other interesting items related to the scope of the Conscience Project. The second website is Conscience Chronicles at

The librarians in the Conscience Project have established links from Conscience Chronicles to the original website Conscience Works (CW) at

Jere put up the first commentary 12/4/09 which introduces visitors to the Conscience Project and invites their comments and questions. The next post will be an edited summary of our last Conscience Project meeting, 9-26-09. The second website has potential for blogging that CW does not.

On 10/14/09 in conference call, Matt, Meg and Leslie discussed Leslie’s research proposal. Barb provided input ahead of the call. A summary of the call, available upon request to Conscience Project participants, was prepared by Matt.

Meg and Matt reported that the workshop “Understanding Conscience in Ethics and Faith Experience” had been conducted at a local church on six consecutive Sundays between 10/18 and 11/22/09. Further discussion of the experience was deferred in the interest of proceeding with the presentation on academic cheating by Susan and Joe.

Susan and Joe gave a marvelous presentation on academic cheating. Susan provided her perspective of cheating in earlier school years while Joe provided perspective on cheating in professional school. Susan’s presentation was a lesson prepared while having in mind Collaborative Based or Project Based Learning. “Before He Cheats” A Teacher’s Parody (of a song) was shown and copies of the lyrics distributed. Susan then handed out seven brief news articles on cheating to Conscience Project participants who were asked to read them and then provide one sentence summaries. Animated discussion ensued after each synoptic account.  During the presentation the following were highlighted. Often plagiarism preceded cheating. Joe indicated there might be generational as well as cultural contexts to consider in what should count as plagiarism.  One study indicated 75% of students admitted to cheating in high school. John took up an article that prompted discussion of the difference between discipline and oppression. Sister Mary read an article which reflected there were various opinions regarding the practice of checking test takers’ electronics at the door versus solely relying upon an honor code which prohibited cheating. Ethna summarized an article that involved one institution adopting an honor code from another institution (but done entirely without attribution). Meg discussed a report of cheating on a test that occurred at still another institution; in this case the test was on ethics. Joe commented on the psychobiological aspects of cheating and, in moral nature, cheating detection. Matt read an article on firefighters cheating to complete requirements for EMT certification. Jere reported on an article citing the rise of cheating in business academia. Joe commented that a specialty had sprung up called forensic accounting around the activity of searching for fraud.  Matt and Meg reflected upon their experiences with use of the value matrix in exploring learners’ perceptions of becauses for cheating (as well as for lying to patients).

After the presentation on cheating there was still time for other conversation:

John had conducted a power point presentation to social work staff at VA on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, making references to the book by B.Verkamp that he had been reviewing for the Conscience Project. A major theme struck was, in the face of the traumatic events, experiencing one’s own betrayal variously applied to one’s values, conscience, essence or soul. Ethna associated to three soldiers who had been convicted of killing Iraqi civilians.

Sister Mary was concerned about a nurse practitioner who experienced betrayal by the military in the form of involuntarily separation.

Ethna revisited the phenomenon of synchronicity and dreams, relating one experienced and told to her by a friend which had premonitory and memorializing content. There was ensuing discussion about the limits of objective knowledge.  Meg was reminded of a book she had enjoyed, entitled Leisure the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper, translated by Alexander Dru with an introduction by TS Eliot (The New American Library, New York, 1963) which characterizes two ways of knowing: ratio and intellectus. Susan in turn was reminded of a pioneer in career counseling named Holland (of Holland’s Code Inventory) who had made distinctions between skills and talents, vocations and avocations.

The next meeting of the IU Conscience Project on Saturday 3/20/10 at 10:00 AM to noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Edited for Conscience Chronicles

Matthew Galvin

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