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Teaching and Learning about Ethics on Professional Training Programmes: Insights and Reflections on Practice

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Title: Teaching and Learning about Ethics on Professional Training Programmes: Insights and Reflections on Practice


1
Teaching and Learning about Ethics on
Professional Training Programmes Insights and
Reflections on Practice
  • Beth Hannah Patricia Murray
  • ESWCE Annual Research Conference
  • 18th June 2013

2
Research Objectives
  • Gain insight into ethical awareness and
    understanding of trainee educational
    psychologists in the early stages of their
    professional training
  • Inform the teaching of ethics within the
    professional training programme

3
Research Design
  • Systematic review of teaching and learning
    approaches
  • Documentary analysis
  • Review of literature
  • Dialogue with colleagues
  • Investigation of ethical perspectives of trainee
    educational psychologists

4
Documentary Analysis
Comparison of professional guidance and
underpinning philosophical basis of the two main
codes for practising psychologists in the UK
5
Documentary Analysis
  • Core Curriculum for training programmes in
    Scotland
  • Frameworks for Professional Practice
  • Trainees will develop
  • A professional and ethical value base including
    reference to the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct
    and other relevant guidelines

Source British Psychological Society (BPS)
(2010) Accreditation through partnership
handbook Guidance for educational psychology
programmes in Scotland
6
Programme and Module Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate a professional and ethical value base
    with reference to the BPS Code of Ethics and
    Conduct and other relevant codes of practice
  • Manage a personal learning agenda promoting
    critical reflection and self-awareness that
    enables the transfer of knowledge and skills to
    new settings and problems
  • Engage in and learn from interactive supervision
    processes, including peer mentoring
  • Professional competence relating to personal and
    professional development and awareness of the
    educational, professional and social context
    within which work is undertaken
  • Engage in a dynamic, responsive and ongoing
    process to maintain and develop professional
    practice through the process of professional
    reflection, supervision and CPD
  • Development of awareness, knowledge, skills and
    values that enable effective work with diverse
    client populations and promotion of equal
    opportunities practice
  • Demonstrate ability to operate effectively within
    the legislative, national and local frameworks
    for EP practice
  • Manage a personal learning agenda and self-care

7
Review of Literature
  • Moral development and ethical behaviour
  • Ethical theories
  • Positive ethics
  • Teaching and learning about ethics

8
Review of Literature
  • Positive ethics
  • Roots in scientific field of positive psychology
    (founded by Professor Martin Seligman in the
    1990s)
  • Emphasis on positive values and ideals
  • Multi-faceted perspective of ethics,
    acknowledging and exploring dynamics between
    internal and external factors
  • Accommodate a range of moral philosophical
    positions
  • Handelsman et al (2005) framework- 7 themes
  • values and virtues inspiring psychologists
    toward the ethical ideals of their profession
    sensitivity and integration ethics and
    ongoing self-care ethical reasoning and
    decision making appreciation of the moral
    traditions that underlie ethical principles
    prevention of misconduct and promotion of
    positive behaviours and sensitivity to our
    larger professional contexts

9
Review of Literature
  • Teaching and learning about ethics
  • Illingworth (2004) study
  • 3 commonly used approaches to applied/professional
    ethics teaching in HE
  • Pragmatic approach - uses as its starting point
    the codes of practice of regulatory bodies
  • Embedded approach - students study ethics
    indirectly through consideration of the concept
    of professional identity but with a significant
    ethical dimension
  • Theoretical approach - commences with study of
    moral theory which students then apply to real
    life situations

10
Review of Literature Reflective Questions
  • How do we create a teaching and learning
    environment which helps students....
  • Develop self-awareness of personal moral values
    and importance of those values in relation to
    other values (idea of moral motivation)
  • Develop awareness of virtues they seek to develop
    (idea of moral character)
  • Examine reasons/motives for entering profession
  • Develop moral sensitivity to situations
  • Sensitivity to own needs as part of self-care
    consideration e.g. achieving a good work-life
    balance
  • Develop awareness of value base of chosen
    profession
  • Develop ethical reasoning skills (e.g. ethical
    decision making models)
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of ethical
    principles (e.g. professional codes of ethics)
    and ethical theories
  • Understand contextual factors (organisational and
    wider influences)
  • Understand the ethical values of other
    professionals

11
Investigation of ethical perspectives of trainee
educational psychologists
  • Focus group interviews
  • 14 participants (n7 in each focus group)
  • First term of Year 1
  • Questions explored participants understanding of
    ethics and conflicts between personal,
    professional and interprofessional ethics
  • Thematic analysis of transcriptions

12
Investigation of ethical perspectives of trainee
educational psychologists
  • Six main themes identified
  • perspectives on ethics
  • ethics as a dynamic process
  • factors that inform ethical decision making
  • ethical dilemmas
  • ethical intentions and consequences
  • personal values and career choice.

13
Investigation of ethical perspectives of trainee
educational psychologists
  • Aware of personal ethics, including its evolving
    nature, contextual influences and resultant
    individual differences
  • No reference to ethical theories underpinning
    personal ethics, reflecting a gap in baseline
    knowledge
  • Aware of significance of professional ethics.
    Viewed codes as offering guidance to professional
    behaviour and leading to positive consequences
    for both clients and professionals
  • Able to identify ethical dilemmas in professional
    practice such as those arising from conflict with
    personal values
  • No reference to ways of addressing ethical
    dilemmas in professional practice, such as the
    use of ethical decision making (EDM) models,
    reflecting gap in baseline knowledge
  • Acknowledge importance of professional
    development, including role of formal training,
    peer support, supervision, working in groups and
    opportunities for reflection

14
Reflections on Practice
  • Findings from exploratory investigation
    stimulated further thinking about ways of
    supporting trainee educational psychologists
    ethical development through creating
    opportunities for learning and a supportive
    culture influenced by positive psychology

15
Implications for EP Training Programme
  • Incorporate more explicit teaching of ethical
    theory and application using exemplar case
    studies
  • Incorporate more explicit teaching of ethical
    decision making (EDM) models
  • Further opportunities for interdisciplinary
    learning in a safe environment in which
    trainees are supported by tutors and peers to
    reflect on their personal and professional values
    and those of students in other disciplines
  • Greater emphasis on developing self-awareness of
    personal value base
  • Continue to embed an Implicit curriculum where
    tutors model respectful and collegiate behaviour
    demonstrate care and support for trainees whilst
    challenging trainees to continually aspire to
    develop their practice

16
What we have done
  • Use of scenarios based on practice
  • More explicit teaching of ethical theory
  • More explicit teaching of ethical decision making
    models
  • Interdisciplinary learning with social work
    students
  • Stronger emphasis on developing insights into
    personal value base using a range of
    methodologies

17
Future research
  • Longitudinal investigation
  • participants in this study
  • end of their probationary period in September
    2013
  • compare their ethical perspectives with those at
    beginning of their professional training

18
Implications for other programmes
  • Audit and evaluation
  • Curricular content
  • Approaches to teaching and learning
  • Sources
  • Documentation (e.g. programme information
    professional reports/guidance)
  • Academic staff placement supervisors
  • Students
  • Scholarly literature

19
Any Questions
20
References
  • British Psychological Society (BPS) (2009). Code
    of ethics and conduct. Leicester Author.
  • British Psychological Society (BPS) (2010).
    Accreditation through partnership handbook
    Guidance for educational psychology programmes in
    Scotland. Leicester Author.
  • Handelsmann, M.M., Knapp, S., Gottlieb, M.C.
    (2005). Positive ethics. In C.R. Snyder S.J.
    Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology
    (pp. 731-744). New York Oxford University Press.
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
    (2012). Standards of performance, conduct and
    ethics. London Author.
  • Illingworth, S. (2004). Approaches to ethics in
    higher education Learning and teaching in ethics
    across the curriculum. Leeds PRS-LTSN.
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