Teaching and assessing ethics and social responsibility in undergraduate science : a position paper
Schultz, Madeleine (2014) Teaching and assessing ethics and social responsibility in undergraduate science : a position paper. Journal of Learning Design, 7(2), pp. 136-147.
Institutional graduate capabilities and discipline threshold learning outcomes require science students to demonstrate ethical conduct and social responsibility. However, neither the teaching nor the assessment of these concepts is straightforward. Australian chemistry academics participated in a workshop in 2013 to discuss and develop teaching and assessment in these areas and this paper reports on the outcomes of that workshop. Controversial issues discussed included: How broad is the mandate of the teacher, how should the boundaries between personal values and ethics be drawn, and how can ethics be assessed without moral judgement? In this position paper, I argue for a deep engagement with ethics and social justice, achieved through case studies and assessed against criteria that require discussion and debate. Strategies to effectively assess science students’ understanding of ethics and social responsibility are detailed.
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