Teaching and learning about ethics on professional training programmes: insights and reflections on practice

Beth Hannah, Patricia Murray

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    Abstract

    The ability to be alert to the ethical dimensions of practice and to acquire professional knowledge and skills to make informed ethical decisions is a core competency of educational psychologists. This paper reports an exploratory investigation into the perceptions of ethics and ethical thinking of a group of trainee educational psychologists (TEPs) on one professional training programme. This investigation formed part of a systematic review of teaching and learning approaches. The primary objectives of the study were to: (a) gain an insight into the ethical awareness and understanding of TEPs in the early stages of their professional training; and (b) inform the teaching of ethics within the professional training programme. Fourteen TEPs participated in two focus groups, during the first term of year 1 of the programme, with the authors acting as facilitators. Questions explored their understanding of ethics and conflicts between personal, professional and interprofessional ethics. Sessions were audio recorded and transcribed data were thematically analysed by the authors using an inductive approach. Six main themes were identified: perspectives on ethics; ethics as a dynamic process; factors that inform ethical decision making; ethical dilemmas; ethical intentions and consequences; and personal values and career choice. The findings from this investigation stimulated thinking about ways of supporting TEPs’ ethical development through creating opportunities for learning about ethics and developing a supportive culture influenced by positive psychology. Implications for professional training programmes (for example social work and initial teacher education) and ideas for future research will be explored.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013
    EventSchool of Education, Social Work and Community Education Annual Research Conference - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
    Duration: 18 Jun 201318 Jun 2013

    Conference

    ConferenceSchool of Education, Social Work and Community Education Annual Research Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityDundee
    Period18/06/1318/06/13

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  • Cite this

    Hannah, B., & Murray, P. (2013). Teaching and learning about ethics on professional training programmes: insights and reflections on practice. Paper presented at School of Education, Social Work and Community Education Annual Research Conference, Dundee, United Kingdom.