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Teaching Ethics

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published on July 12, 2017

Thomas Cooper

Learning From Ethicists, Part 2
How Ethics is Taught at Leading Institutions in the Pacific Region

This report includes 1) the previously unpublished findings of a current (2015–16) study (part 2) about the teaching of ethics at leading English-speaking institutions in the Pacific region, 2) a comparison of those findings with a companion study (part 1) conducted at leading institutions in the Atlantic region in 2008, and 3) the aggregate findings of the two studies considered as parts of a single research project. The purpose of the research was to determine how ethics is taught at selected leading English-speaking institutions of higher education, the challenges their ethics teachers and students face, how individual faculty members enhance their ethics teaching effectiveness over time, in what senses of the word “ethics” can ethics be successfully taught, what types of creative pedagogical tools have these faculty developed, whether the ethics professor should “take a stand” or be “unbiased,” and related questions. In both studies most participants stated that a passion for the subject matter, for teaching, and for assisting students was more important than new technologies, teacher training, teaching video recordings, and working with mentors.

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