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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ID Code: 71250
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: scientific ethics, social responsibility, threshold learning outcomes, HERN
DOI: 10.5204/jld.v7i2.203
ISSN: 1832-8342
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics) (220107)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
  • ALTC/SI11-2118
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2014 01:17
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 04:42

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