Institute for Ethics and Society

Ethics Education

Research into moral education and the cultivation of virtue has expanded significantly in the past decade, and has included new and productive collaborations between philosophical and empirical approaches to ethics education. Research findings have been applied within the context of particular professions and workplaces, for example, in the development of research into medical and nursing ethics education, business ethics education and legal ethics education, among others.

IES research in the area of ethics education falls under two categories: (1) research on the broad philosophical topic of moral education and the cultivation of virtue; and (2) projects on ethics education in specific vocational fields such as nursing ethics education.

Current projects

Convener

Prof. Sandra Lynch

Prof. Sandra Lynch, Director of the IES, is a moral philosopher who has published on the philosophy of friendship and its relationship to selfhood, emotion and happiness. She has expertise in applied and professional ethics and in ethics and values education, and has numerous years’ experience teaching ethics – as well as fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to support colleagues teaching ethics – in the various professional Schools of UNDA.

Prof. Lynch’s research in ethics education has been deeply influenced by the innovative work of Dr. Mary Gentile, Director of the "Giving Voice to Values" Curriculum – a curriculum which was initially designed by Dr. Gentile at Harvard University for use in Business Schools and is now based at Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Gentile has been a visiting scholar at University of Notre Dame Australia, and Sandy visited Babson College in 2015.

Prof. Lynch is currently working on two research projects related to GVV. The first is a collaboration with UNDA School of Nursing staff to adapt the GVV curriculum to a healthcare and nursing context (see here). The second project involves a collaboration with Dr. Gentile in which Sandy is seeking to develop the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the GVV methodology.

To read some of Sandy’s work on building the ethical capacities of healthcare practitioners, see her book chapter, “Professional Healthcare Education: Ethical competence and emotional intelligence as aspects of care” (in Catholics and Catholicism in Australia, edited by Abe Ata. Kew East, Vic.: David Lovell Publishing, 2011).

Prof. Lynch has also presented numerous keynote lectures and conference presentations related to ethics education for various professional societies, for example, at the annual Commercial Law Association of Australia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Seminar. For further on IES’s Ethics Education activities in the broader community, please see our Activities page under the Ethics Education tab.

Lastly, Sandy has also been closely involved in teaching philosophy and ethics to school children and in training school teachers in this area for many years. Combining these interests with her philosophical expertise, she is currently co-editing a book on the concept of play and its contribution to well-being in early education and beyond. For a sample of her work is this area of research, see her book chapter, “Philosophy, Play and Ethics in Education” (in Philosophical Perspectives on Play, edited by Malcolm MacLean, Wendy Russell, and Emily Ryall. Routledge: forthcoming 2015).

For more on Sandy’s expertise and publications, please visit her Staff profile.

People

Dr. Matthew Beard (IES Research Associate, UNDA)

Dr. Annette Pierdziwol (IES Research Associate, UNDA)

Grants

  • 2013: A grant of $5,000 shared with Professor Jane Phillips and Dr. Paula Mohacsi from the Mary Philippa Brazill Foundation for the project: “Final year post-graduate medical students’ experiences and perceptions of their preparedness to respond to hastened death requests: a qualitative study”
  • 2012 Grant: $4,800 from the Mary Philippa Brazill Foundation for the project: "Giving Voice to Values: Training Workshops and Curriculum Development" (see Press Release: "Grant to revolutionise Notre Dame's approach to teaching ethics")

Contact

E: sandra.lynch@nd.edu.au