Teacher education involves encountering ethical dilemmas connected to teaching.
Student teachers’ ethical dilemmas sometimes occur when ideals clash with experiences.
The current study focuses on the challenges experienced by student teachers during work placement education.
The aim of the study was to investigate ethical dilemmas student teachers experienced during work placement education, using the sensitising concept of the notion of care.
The data consist of semi-structured interviews from 22 student teachers and were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory framework. The findings show that the ethical dilemmas reported by the student teachers regarded two influential agents in work placement education: pupils and teachers.
Concerning pupils, the dilemmas involved encountering pupils living in poor circumstances as well as experiencing aggression from and among pupils.
When it comes to teachers, dilemmatic experiences stemmed from teachers who were disillusioned and derogatory talk in the teacher lounge.