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Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity

This research study is designed to develop ‘real-life’ case studies to help teachers learn how to make better ethical decisions at work. The research will explore teachers’ critical experiences about ethical choices and identify common difficulties and important characteristics. The project will create rich studies of modern ethical dilemmas that are recognisable to experiences in Australian schools. It will contribute to professional development in educational ethics for pre-service and serving teachers.

Our aim is to bring teachers together to talk through their common ethical dilemmas, and then hone these into generalised cases which retain authentic details. This is to provide thick descriptions which help inservice and preservice teachers generate sound ethical choices. Ethics works on a concrete, specific scale, whereas big theories don’t help us that much to make real life decisions. In the development of these research-based cases, we are not aiming to give particular recommendations, but to provide a range of perspectives about the specifically Australian experience of the ethics of our schools’ life that can, in turn, support wise judgement of all teachers and leaders. Currently, no research in Australia has done this, and many of the preparation courses in teacher ethics don’t comprehensively address the particular moral, social, economic, political and environmental circumstances which feed into the familiar dilemmas and tensions our local teachers face.

Teacher and school leader interviews are taking place. If you would like to be involved, please use the Contact page to get in touch.

This project has been approved by The University of Newcastle’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H-2017-0142.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Faculty of Education and Arts Strategic Networks and Pilot Projects Scheme, UON.


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