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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 9, 2012

Yusuf M. Sidani, Jon Thornberry
Pages 215-231

A Problem-Based Learning Approach to Business Ethics Education

There are several challenges associated with traditional business ethics education. While case studies have been used extensively in ethics education, such use can be complemented by using Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL represents a pedagogy employing more collaborative tools that involve students more extensively in the learning process. A well-designed teaching approach based on PBL can have significant positive impact on students’ learning. This paper supplies a representative teaching interaction based on PBL, and discusses the implications of its structure. Introducing PBL is challenging and comes with significant costs as faculty members have to be trained, roles have to be exchanged, powers have to be relinquished, and learning materials have to be written. We conclude that PBL is suitable for an ethics course as most ethical situations require introspection, reflection, discovery, and concern for other viewpoints, all of which can be facilitated in a PBL environment.

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