Fourth International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2009, August 1-5

Educational Neurosciences
and Ethics

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Antonio M. Battro
Academia Nacional de Educación, ARGENTINA
One Laptop Per Child Association. Chief Education Officer.

Neuroethics and Neuroeducation
The increasing involvement of the neurocognitive sciences in current education addresses many ethical issues of a new kind. In particular the study of moral development and of deontic logic (the logic of norms and rules) should incorporate the new advances in neuroethics. This is a new transdisciplinary field that merits a constructive dialogue among all the participants involved, philosophers, scientists and educators. We can represent the current state of affairs of neuroethics with three parameters: Prophecy, Prediction and Prognosis.
1. A prophetic view means a projection in a possible world. Examples in the field of computer sciences in education show sensitive ethical issues in an accelerated globalized world;
2. Prediction is based in rigorous models to be tested in a constructed (experimental) world. An example of inferred behavior from brain images and its moral implications will be discussed;
3. Prognosis anticipates outcomes in the actual world. Neuroeducators should be aware of the remarkable neuroplasticity of the brain in order to anticipate significant improvements in child development, even in cases of severe neural lesions. Compensatory analysis in neurology may complement the lesion analysis of a disabled person in order to provide new cues in teaching and learning. This has profound moral implications for a long term education.