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101. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis, Elisabeth Hildt, Kelly Laas Twenty-Five Years of Ethics Across the Curriculum: An Assessment
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After twenty-five years of integrating ethics across the curriculum at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions conducted a survey of full-time faculty to investigate: a) what ethical topics faculty thought students from their discipline should be aware of when they graduate, b) how widely ethics is currently being taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, c) what ethical topics are being covered in these courses, and d) what teaching methods are being used. The survey found that while progress spreading ethics across the curriculum has been substantial, it remains incomplete. The faculty think more should be done. From these findings we draw six lessons for ethics centers engaged in encouraging ethics across the curriculum.
102. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Tobey Scharding Crafting Maxims
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This article examines the role of maxims in Kantian ethics. Maxims are propositions that describe individual actions as instances of general rules. Because Kantian ethics evaluates the morality of actions by testing the actions’ maxims, it is important to formulate the maxim well. I begin by (1) investigating how maxims relate to actions. Next, I (2) review how Kantian ethics tests maxims, focusing on the Formula of Universal Law (FUL). I engage Kant’s conceptions of determining and reflecting judgment from the Third Critique to illuminate the role of judgment in crafting and testing maxims. Then, I present (3) my interpretation of how to craft maxims in a Kantian context: In condition C, I do action A. I apply my interpretation to (4) several examples, including Kant’s own, Kant’s critics, and contemporary Kantians. I (5) consider several objections and (6) explain how this interpretation of crafting maxims has helped my applied ethics students.
103. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Judith Lichtenberg Who’s Responsible For Global Poverty?
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This paper has two aims. The first is to describe several sources of the moral responsibility to remedy or alleviate global poverty. The second is to consider what sorts of agents bear the responsibilities associated with each source—in particular, whether they are collective agents like states or societies or individual human beings. We often talk about our responsibilities to poor people, or what we owe them. So the question is who this we is. I argue that the answer depends on the source of the responsibility. Some responsibilitiesbelong in the first instance to collectives, although they will also trickle down to at least some individuals within the collective. Other responsibilities belong in the first instance to individuals, but can, I argue, “trickle up” to collectives of which individuals are members.
104. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Bruce Maxwell The Debiasing Agenda in Ethics Teaching: An Overview and Appraisal of the Behavioral Ethics Perspective
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How should ethics educators respond to the picture of moral functioning that has emerged from the cognitive sciences of morality? A critical case study of an instance of knowledge transfer from social and cognitive psychology to the practice of teaching ethics, this paper assesses the answer that behavioral ethics gives to this question. The paper first summarizes the opposition that the notion of “teaching reasoning skills” meets in behavioral ethics and provides some examples of the research findings on which this opposition is based. It is then argued that, contrary to the prevailing view in behavioral ethics, maintaining a central place in ethics for teaching about explicit reasoning strategies is consistent with the dominant view in social and cognitive psychology that everyday ethical perception and judgment are significantly influenced by a wide range of non-conscious, affectively-laden and non-rational processes.
105. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Wendy Wyatt The Ethics of Trigger Warnings
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Trigger warnings captured national attention in 2014 when students from several U.S. universities called for inclusion of the warnings on course syllabi and in classrooms. Opinions spread through news outlets across the spectrum, and those weighing in were quick to pronounce trigger warnings as either unnecessary coddling and an affront to free speech, or as a responsible pedagogical practice that treats students with respect and minimizes harm. Put simply, the debate about trigger warnings has followed the trajectory of many debates in the public sphere: The issue has largely been framed by highly committed opponents and proponents whose positions represent the extremes of the spectrum. Lost has been the nuance that an issue like trigger warnings necessarily requires. This article examines trigger warnings—particularly the call for trigger warnings on university campuses—from a pluralistic ethical perspective and addresses the question: When, if ever, are trigger warnings ethically appropriate?
106. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Edith A. West Constructivist Theory and Concept-Based Learning in Professional Nursing Ethics: Implications for Nurse Educators
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Traditional methods of teaching professional nursing ethics in the classroom have translated into limited success in clinical practice. Students don’t perceive an integration of ethics education in practical clinical settings, while educators grapple with a lack of perceived ‘excellence of moral character’ in their students when they are taught intellectual virtues and theoretical wisdom in the classroom that they do not see demonstrated in the clinical setting. Also traditionally, emphasis in ethics teaching has tended to focus on the nurse-patient relationship, while less attention has been paid to nursing in a more inter/intra professional or global context. The purpose of using constructivist theory and concept-based learning strategies to teach junior level nursing students ethics was to present implications for nurse educators that will help them foster/improve their student’s critical thinking, and increase their mastery and global integration of the complex abstract concepts associated with professional nursing ethics.
107. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Jesús H. Ramírez Winning Entry, “The Bus Puzzle” Case Study: The Old Man and the Bus
108. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Deborah S. Mower Reflections on . . . The “Borders” of Identity and Intuition
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Because we automatically categorize individuals into members of in- or outgroups based on their perceived similarity to us, our social identity creates limitations and bias in our thinking. I examine the ways in which banal nationalism, cultural identifications, and group membership influence our thinking, the assumptions we hold, and the intuitions we form. If our goal is to engage in ethics without borders—a laudable goal—then we must uncover the ways in which our thinking is limited and consider strategies to escape or transcend such borders in our theoretical work and teaching. I offer two proposals using insights from cross-cultural psychology. First, I propose the acronym of WASPI as a description of the nonreflective assumptions held by many WEIRD university professors. Second, I offer a four-factor model of normative analysis as a concrete tool for our teaching and theoretical work. It is only through such processes of active and critical reflection that our goal of ethics without borders can succeed.
109. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Skylar Zilliox, Jessica Smith, Carl Mitcham Teaching the Ethics of Science and Engineering through Humanities and Social Science: A Case Study of Evolving Student Perceptions of Nanotechnology
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Ethical questions posed by emerging technologies call for greater understanding of their societal, economic, and environmental aspects by policymakers, citizens, and the engineers and applied scientists at the heart of their development and application. This article reports on the efforts of one research project that assessed the growth of critical thinking and awareness of these multiple aspects in undergraduate engineering and applied science students, with specific regard to nanotechnology. Students in two required courses, a first-year writing and engineering ethics course and a second-year social science course, went through nanotechnology modules as a part of their regular coursework. In the first-year humanities course, we observed self-reported increases in risk awareness, significant educational impact of the module, and a greater awareness of nanotechnology’s applications and social context. In the second-year social science course, we noted changes in risk/benefit analysis as well as in the character and depth of students’ historical analysis, but no change in comparative awareness of other topics, including labor issues and corporate motivations.
110. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Mary Jane Parmentier, Sharlissa Moore ‘The Camels are Unsustainable’: Using Study Abroad as a Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Ethics and Sustainable Development
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Sustainable development (SD) has contested meanings, and perspectives vary within and across societies. Emphases can range dramatically from recycling advocacy to eradication of poverty. Assumptions and approaches to sustainable development inherently contain many ethical considerations, yet U.S. students often have a limited understanding of ethical considerations in non-Western and global contexts. This paper describes an academic program on sustainable development we ran to Morocco and Spain. We describe the program’s pedagogy and assess learning related to ethics. The largest impact on students’ awareness of ethics resulted from their observations and experiences with socioeconomic inequities and unequal access to infrastructure. However, without explicitly teaching ethical frameworks to sustainability students, they tend to equate sustainability with morality, imputing their own normative presuppositions of right versus wrong onto the concept of sustainable development. Therefore, we conclude with a discussion on how ethics could be more systematically integrated into education for sustainable development abroad.
111. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Michael J. Murphy Ethics Education in China: Censorship, Technology and the Curriculum
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Philosophy departments in the United States have a relatively long history of teaching ethics as part of a philosophy curriculum. Further, some innovative programs have instituted “Ethics across the Curriculum,” incorporating ethics into discipline-specific courses in the sciences, in law, in medicine, engineering, and in the humanities (see Davis, Hildt, and Kelly “Twenty-five Years of Ethics Across the Curriculum: An assessment”). In contrast, the teaching of ethics in China, particularly outside medical schools and the recent focus on international business, is extremely rare. This is slowly changing as faculty from both Chinese and non-Chinese universities are increasingly recruited to help teach ethics and to give advice on incorporating ethics into existing professional programs; this is especially true in disciplines where recent public scandals have demonstrated a pressing need. This work addresses some of the difficulties related to both access to technology and issues with censorship as possible impediments when developing and implementing ethics education and training in China, as well as suggesting pedagogical approaches that limit such effects.
112. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Wade Robison Professional Norms
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It is unfortunate that it is all too easy to find examples of professional misconduct. Professionals are distinguished from the rest of us, and from each other, by learning the special skills and knowledge essential to the practice of their profession, by coming to think in different and distinct ways, and by taking on a special set of moral relations, including furthering the social purpose for which the state recognizes the profession. A professional can thus go wrong in any of a number of ways, but in criticizing professionals morally, it is often enough that we can appeal to the profession’s norms. No one is entitled to believe whatever they wish regarding ethical matters, and we need not appeal to competing ethical theories to make ethical judgments regarding matters of professional ethics.
113. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Kathleen A. Kelly Developing Sensitivity to Structural Injustice in a Foundation Humanities Course
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Foundation humanities courses often have as one of their objectives to raise awareness of ethical issues so that students get a taste for what might be involved in ethics courses and might build on that foundation in later courses. This three-week unit introduces Iris Marion Young’s social-connection model for responding to injustices caused by social structures and processes, and then applies that model to the response to injustices revealed in the memoir I Shall Not Hate by the Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish. Students are then asked to make short team presentations analyzing a structural injustice they have identified.
114. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Shurooq al Hashimi, Mercedes Sheen, Jessica Essary, Majeda Humeidan Integrating Ethics Training into an Undergraduate Research Program: Applying the Triplex Model
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This paper presents a model for integrating research ethics training into an undergraduate research program. The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) is a five-semester training program designed to teach research methods to multidisciplinary undergraduate students at Zayed University. The main challenge for the URSP ethics training is to be relevant and broad and this is best addressed through the use of the Triplex teaching model which consists of three integrative approaches: contextualization, conceptualization and problem-centering. The Triplex model uses teaching techniques such as case studies, role-plays, and discussion which enable students to examine real-world ethical problems encountered by researchers in a variety of contexts. This article discusses the URSP program at Zayed University and highlights the manner in which the Triplex model is embedded within an undergraduate research-training curriculum. Future work will assess the success of this model after additional iterations of implementation.
115. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Beever Teaching Ethics Ecologically: Decision-Making through Narrative
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Narrative based real world case examples are powerful tools by which to help learners more empathetically engage the complexity of ethical conflicts and interactions, enabling clearer analysis of ecological ethical issues and overcoming apathy toward real-world responses. In this paper, I develop ecological ethical inquiry as a means by which to use narrative-based case studies to help ethicists connect to and empathize with other morally relevant individuals. I argue that ecological issues not only benefit from but also require a narrative approach because of ethical and epistemic complexity. I first describe the problem of apathy toward motivation given the ethical and epistemic complexity in ecological ethics contexts; then, I offer a case study in ecological ethics that draws out this complexity; and finally, I point out several caveats concerning the conclusions I have drawn.
116. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Michael Davis From Practice to Research: A Plan for Cross-Course Assessment of Instruction in Professional Ethics
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This paper proposes a novel research program to assess methods of teaching engineering ethics, a program that would allow ordinary instructors, with little effort, to turn ordinary assessment tools (graded exams, homework assignments, and so on) into publishable research, whether the course in question is a stand-alone course in professional ethics or a technical course in which some professional ethics has been inserted. The paper has three parts. The first briefly distinguishes the subject of this research from the main line of research in ethics education. The main line is concerned with assessing improvement in ethical judgment (or moral development). In contrast, the research discussed here is concerned with assessing improvement in ethical sensitivity and ethical knowledge. The second part of this paper describes work already done that provides a model for what is proposed, the use of ratios between scores on course-specific pre- and post-tests to provide a measure allowing assessment across courses, programs, and even institutions.While the use of pre- and post-tests is not new, the use of their ratios across courses, programs, and institutions to do assessment is new. The third part of this paper sketches the research program itself—or, rather, a framework for answering a family of research questions.
117. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Leslie Francis The Significance of Injustice for Bioethics
118. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Matthew Hayden Education in Morality Through Natality: No More Morals
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This article revisits John Wilson’s “first steps” in moral education—a conceptual analysis of morality—and what he calls an education in morality. Education in morality focuses on morality as a form of life with a specific domain in which it aims to initiate students, and on education as a growth-oriented, progressive activity. Arendt’s conception of natality in education is then used to show how it provides a catalyst for growth, discovery, and tradition-trumping newness, and acts as a stepping-stone to public action as morality and recognition of the plurality of human life. It becomes clear that the inherent sociability of morality forces the consideration of it as a public and social act. Education in morality must preserve the potential for the capacity to contribute to the development of morality and concurrently develop that capacity through the production of plurality that follows and the negotiations necessary for its preservation. Morality, then, must not be taught as a static set of immutable principles, but rather as an inclusive, adaptive process by and through which groups govern their associations.
119. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Thomas Cooper Learning From Ethicists, Part 2: How Ethics is Taught at Leading Institutions in the Pacific Region
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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.
120. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Felicia Nimue Ackerman “You see now that it is at any rate possible”: Fiction, Philosophy, and Insight
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Fiction can help make students better thinkers about some philosophical issues, but this does not mean it will make them morally better people.