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Posted on April 1st, 2012, by

Although Haverford is one of the oldest colleges in the USA, its Honor Code does not seem outdated. I found that the original Honor code was adopted in 1896, but in 1980s it was expanded. New educational trends caused the necessity of expansion beyond narrow borders of academic honesty to social activity. I mean the idea of two-way education and the exchange of experience. Student can get knowledge from the teacher, from other student or from literature, at the same time teacher can get experience from his students. This is something that we call “free intellectual exchange”ť. This exchange is impossible without the equality of teachers and students. In my comprehension the equality means respect and political correctness without breaking the college hierarchy.

Teacher who respects his students should distinguish mistakes and original view. If the student’s opinion is not the same to teacher’s one, it does not mean student is mistaken. Student who respects his or her teacher should not break the Honor Code even in solitude, because the main motivation is respect, not fear.  For example, student should follow the rules doing take-home examinations, but he or she do this not for getting higher points, just because of respect. The trust, another corner stone of Honor Code at Haverford, is closely connected with respect.

For the first glance this all is very simple. However, the impact of the Code goes much deeper. Mutual respect has to force out racial and sexual discrimination and other infamous trends of modern society. The greatest thing is the Honor Code is student-running. In the wide sense, the Honor Code at Haverford reflects the principles of ideal democracy, the society of conscientious citizens. And I think that the conscience of all people in Haverford should be the essential condition of collegiality, trust and respect.

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