Philosophy for Teachers – developing new teachers’ applied ethical decision-making

Ethics and Education 11 (1):42-54 (2016)
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Teaching, irrespective of its geographical location, is fundamentally a relational practice in which unique ethically complex situations arise to which teachers need to respond at different levels of ethical decision-making. These range from ‘big’ abstract questions about whether or not what they teach is inherently good, through to seemingly trivial questions about everyday issues, for example whether or not it is right to silence children in classrooms. Hence, alongside a wide range of pedagogical skills, new teachers also need to develop personal qualities, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to navigate successfully these professional ethical demands. ‘Philosophy for Teachers’, or ‘P4T’, is one promising approach to teachers’ pre-service professional preparation which has been piloted in England, adapted from the more familiar idea of ‘P4C’. Drawing on the model of learning through dialogue within a community of fellow enquirers, an ethical retreat was s...



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