Review of Instructional Approaches in Ethics Education [Book Review]

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (3):883-912 (2017)
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Abstract

Increased investment in ethics education has prompted a variety of instructional objectives and frameworks. Yet, no systematic procedure to classify these varying instructional approaches has been attempted. In the present study, a quantitative clustering procedure was conducted to derive a typology of instruction in ethics education. In total, 330 ethics training programs were included in the cluster analysis. The training programs were appraised with respect to four instructional categories including instructional content, processes, delivery methods, and activities. Eight instructional approaches were identified through this clustering procedure, and these instructional approaches showed different levels of effectiveness. Instructional effectiveness was assessed based on one of nine commonly used ethics criteria. With respect to specific training types, Professional Decision Processes Training and Field-Specific Compliance Training appear to be viable approaches to ethics training based on Cohen’s d effect size estimates. By contrast, two commonly used approaches, General Discussion Training and Norm Adherence Training, were found to be considerably less effective. The implications for instruction in ethics training are discussed.

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