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1. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Mark Vopat, Alan Tomhave A Note From the Editors
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2014 presidential address
2. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Deborah S. Mower Reflections on . . . A ‘Group’ Culture
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The facility and rapidity with which we form groups—and that we often do so on the basis of manipulated and inconsequential features—highlights the fact that group identification, and hence in-group favoritism, is often arbitrary. I call the arbitrariness of in-group favoritism the “moral problem of group identity.” Focusing on helping behaviors, I argue that although the exposed arbitrariness of our motivations and actions is both surprising and discomforting, we can use knowledge of the moral problem of group identity as both a theoretical and a pedagogical tool.
articles
3. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David J. Burns, Pola B. Gupta Ethics Integration across the Business Curriculum: An Examination of the Effects of the Jesuit Approach
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In response to recent lapses in business ethics, ethics have become integral components of the curricula of most business schools. The effectiveness of these attempts, however, is in doubt. The objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness of one form of ethics integration by exploring whether business students attending Jesuit universities differ in their perceptions towards ethics and social responsibility from business students attending state universities. It is hypothesized that students at a Jesuit university more strongly believe in ethics and social responsibility than students at a state university. Interestingly, the results were opposite of those hypothesized. The results seem to suggest that even when ethics are incorporated throughout a university curriculum (not just in the business school), it does not appear to be effective. Indeed, the results seem to support research which suggests that ethics instruction may have an effect opposite of that generally believed.
4. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Roslyn Weaver, Jack Menzies Freak Show Bodies and Abominations: Teaching Research Ethics From Dark Angel
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Teaching research ethics often relies on a textbook-approach that is heavily theory-based. Students can find it difficult to engage with the material because of the difficulty of learning new terminology. In the health professional education disciplines in particular, students may perceive these courses to be difficult or irrelevant because their other courses are usually, in comparison, highly practical, hands-on, or more obviously relevant to their future career. This paper therefore explores another approach to teaching research ethics. Popular culture texts have been used in health education previously to engage students in lessons about communication, professionalism, and clinical ethics. This could be extended to teaching research ethics generally, and this paper outlines suggestions for doing this using one television program, Dark Angel, which offers potential for provoking discussions and learning about research ethics, in and outside of health education. Dark Angel, a science-fiction television program, reflects real-life ambivalence about medical research in the program’s presentation of medical experiments, suggesting that genetic research leads to grotesque monsters and also flawless superhumans. The series offers many storylines and episodes dealing with key ethical principles: research merit and integrity, informed consent, respect and vulnerable groups, and risk and benefit. Dark Angel and popular science fiction texts like it provide—even if unintentionally—the opportunity to consider possible consequences of scientific research, and potential ethical dilemmas. The program offers a forum for discussing real-life research issues in an accessible medium that could be used as a supplement to the ethics education of students.
5. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
J. Alden Stout Pedagogy and Principled Thinking about War
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Students generally approach the topic of warfare with naïve assumptions. They tend to believe that the U.S is always on the right side of any conflict. This is particularly prevalent in discussions of terrorism. Terrorism is what the “bad guys” do and fighting terrorists is what we, the “good guys,” do. The goal of this paper is to present a Socratic strategy to challenge these assumptions. This approach involves showing that a popular conception of terrorism entails the conclusion that nuclear deterrence is itself a form of terrorism. I call this “the terrorist problem for deterrence.” When students are presented with the deterrence problem, they must either reject the conclusion that terrorism is always wrong or that U.S foreign policy is always right. Presenting students with this dilemma leads them to a more complex perspective regarding the ethics of war and peace.
6. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Stephan Millett, William Budiselik, Andrew Maiorana Teaching Ethics in Exercise Science
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Against a background of scandals involving misuse of drugs and other substances, the discipline of exercise and sports science has come under intense scrutiny. Exercise and Sports Science Australia is the national association for practitioners and among its core functions is the accreditation of university courses in which practitioners are to be trained. One of the important elements for accreditation is that a course should include components dealing with legal and ethical competency. This paper discusses the development of a unit of instruction that addresses legal and ethical competency for exercise science courses via a pedagogical approach predicated on constructed understanding through collaborative learning. The choice to implement such a pedagogical approach was predicated on the authors’ experience in ethics education, an understanding of what a profession is and the idea that for sports and exercise science to be a profession it must help future professionals to understand that they need to adopt a moral fiduciary relationship with discipline peers and clients. Student responses provide rich data as to the effectiveness of the unit.
7. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Azalea M. Hulbert Better World Theatre: A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Teaching Ethics through the Arts
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Better World Theatre is a unique arts-based ethics pedagogy introduced at Samford University that effectively and creatively provides students the opportunity to 1) identify and explore real-life ethical issues; 2) practice ethical deliberation and engage in structured and intentional moral discourse; and 3) develop and strengthen their own ethical values through the lens of professional identity. This pedagogy can be effectively applied in either a course-based or co-curricular context. As there is to date no formal data on the effect of this particular pedagogy at Samford, this paper focuses on the anecdotal evidence that points to increased moral reasoning capacity in previous student participants, as well as on evidence in existing literature on the topic. It also examines the pedagogical structure, as well as variables that may impact its effectiveness, such as the maturity of student participants, their field of study, and the method of delivery (i.e., curricular or co-curricular).
8. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William J. Frey Teaching Responsibility: Pedagogical Strategies for Eliciting a Sense of Moral Responsibility
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This paper will outline a pedagogical approach to teaching moral responsibility by unpacking this concept, following Herbert Fingarette, as moral responsiveness to essential moral relevance (Fingarette 1971: 186–7). As response to relevance, moral responsibility begins with sensitivity to the moral aspects of the surrounding situation and unfolds with the development and execution of skillful action to transform surroundings in light of this moral relevance. Developing moral responsibility poses a series of pedagogical challenges that arise out of its cognitive and volitional skills, the first detailing how the agent hones in on moral relevance, the second how the agent responds through action to this relevance. These challenges overlap substantially with the widely known skill sets laid out by the Hastings Center. Teaching modules published in an ethics across the curriculum toolkit will show how responsibility can be learned by redeploying existing pedagogical practices such as case discussion, role-playing, debating, dramatizing, and framework-aided practice sessions in problem-solving. These familiar classroom practices can be used to support a skills-based pedagogical approach that directly addresses the unique challenges presented by the practice of moral responsibility. In summary, this essay outlines a proactive approach to moral responsibility, describes the pedagogical challenges it poses, and offers specific and concrete classroom responses to these challenges.
9. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Barry Sharpe, Reba West From a Student’s Perspective: Faculty Workshop as Faculty-Student Collaboration
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To support faculty who teach sections of a new general education course that focuses on ethical reasoning skills, I offered a three-day Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) workshop. I wanted to ground the faculty development experience by framing it in terms of expected student learning. In other words, I structured the workshop so as to put faculty in the position of students for the workshop. This student-based experience was supported by having a student serve as co-facilitator of the workshop. The decision to make the EAC workshop a faculty-student collaboration proved to be the most important one I made in the design of the workshop. This essay will document parts of this faculty-student collaboration and review some of the important faculty learning that took place as a result of student involvement and leadership.
10. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Daniel F. Hartner Should Ethics Courses Be More Practical?
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Philosophy courses are now regularly under fire from educators, administrators, politicians, and financially overextended students and parents demanding shorter and more economically fruitful college degree programs in a climate of economic austerity. Yet, perhaps in the face of a number of high-profile ethical violations in the business and professional world, many of these groups have been calling for more, and more effective, pre- and professional ethics education. This paradoxical call for more ethics and less philosophy is finding unlikely support from a number of academic philosophers who argue that traditional forms of ethics education, which emphasize reflection on abstract normative theories and principles, ought to be replaced with more practical ethics courses that emphasize real-world moral training and which focus on shaping character and behavioral dispositions. I examine this trend toward practical ethics education and argue that it wrongly decouples rationality and moral motivation, threatens to erode a crucial distinction between ethics and policy, and contributes to widespread misunderstanding of the nature of ethics.