On the Educational Value of Philosophical Ethics for Teacher Education: The Practice of Ethical Inquiry as Liberal Education

Mar. 15, 2013

Source: Curriculum Inquiry, Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 189–209, March 2013

This paper explores the extent to which and ways in which philosophical ethics can make an educational contribution to teachers’ understanding of their practice as a distinct moral domain.
Philosophical ethics is argued to facilitate two necessary features of teachers’ moral understanding of their practice.
First, it promotes awareness of the plurality of normative considerations that must be made when reflecting ethically on one's own practice.
Second, it promotes an ability to make deliberative judgements among these normative considerations.
These contributions are fundamental for making links between teaching practice and an understating of that practice as a moral tradition.

The article characterizes the educational value of these contributions as an on-going learning process of moral inquiry and practice that is best implemented through a form of liberal education.
This characterization serves to distinguish it from approaches that would aim to initiate teachers into particular ethical frameworks, on the one hand, or a subjective or relativistic moral pluralism, on the other.

Updated: Nov. 03, 2015