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 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 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 Documentary Analysis Comparison of professional guidance and underpinning philosophical basis of the two main codes for practising psychologists in the UK 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 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 selfawareness 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 Review of Literature • Moral development and ethical behaviour • Ethical theories • Positive ethics • Teaching and learning about ethics 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’ 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 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 Investigation of ethical perspectives of trainee educational psychologists • • • • Focus group interviews 14 participants (n=7 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 Any Questions 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: PRSLTSN.