Theories on Teaching & Training in Ethics
Bowden, P. & Smythe, V. (2008). Theories on Teaching & Training in Ethics. EJBO - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Vol. 13 (2). Retrieved from http://ejbo.jyu.fi
The paper examines the education and training of adults in ethics. It applies to courses at universities and colleges as well as in the work place. The paper explores the evidence on our ability to strengthen moral behaviour through courses on ethics, finds it to be weak, so starts with the assumption that we cannot teach people to be ethical. The paper asks therefore what the objectives of a course could be and how best to achieve them. It examines the different theories in the literature, eventually settling on four objectives: increasing moral cognition; teaching a widening and strengthening of ethical practices; adopting teaching approaches that maximise learning impact, and developing the personal skills of individuals in negotiation and persuasion. All four objectives are of value to people who seek an ethical work environment. The paper then explores the theories and differing approaches used for achieving each objective, including among others, public interest disclosures, structuring and using codes of ethics, case problems and other experiential learning techniques, organisational and institutional approaches to ensuring ethical behaviour, classroom interaction, the role of theory, team teaching and tailoring the courses to meet an ethical needs analysis for that discipline, profession or organisation. ...