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Heberto Peterson

Full time professor , CETYS Universidad, Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades


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Is it important to teach ethics in graduate school?

We need to improve the way people in important and influence spaces in society make their decision taking process. One way is to continue giving ethics courses, but is these the best way? Should we start looking for another way to do it.


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    Apr 7 2012: Coursework in ethics or moral reasoning is a natural fit for an undergraduate education and a natural subject of discussion in secondary school as well.
    At the graduate level, the ethics specific to a person's field may best be conveyed in the context of methods or practicuum courses rather than as a separate ethics course. For example, a graduate student in mathematics or physics might learn the standards for research as part of courses and mentoring that teach research skills as a subject. A separate course in ethics of research, unless 'course' means a short module, would probably not be necessary or desirable.
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      Apr 7 2012: Tank's Fritzie Reisner for your comment. Your comment about graduate level is, that the ethics subject must be part of every course? or your comment point the importance of applied ethics?
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        Apr 7 2012: My thought was that a full ethics course fits well into undergraduate liberal arts education. In a graduate or professional education, what might be most effective is to encounter ethical considerations in the context of the specific practices of the field. Different fields naturally raise different ethical issues in practice. It will often make sense in teaching the practice to explore the various aspects of that practice that a person needs to know to engage in the practice professionally, rather than to splinter off ethics into a separate course.I used the example of physics as one in which there certainly are ethical standards for doing research alongside technical aspects of doing research, like the operation of equipment and the analysis of data. It may make sense to include the variety of tools and considerations one needs to take into account in the practice of the discipline in an integrated way rather than splintering off the ethics of the field or ethics in general from the other skills and dispositions that are necessary for professional practice.

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