Ethics Education: Recommendations for an Evolving Discipline

By Hill, Adam L. | Counseling and Values, April 2004 | Go to article overview

Ethics Education: Recommendations for an Evolving Discipline


Hill, Adam L., Counseling and Values


This article describes results of a national questionnaire completed by counselor education program professors regarding their teaching of ethics. The questionnaire asked professors about 5 aspects of ethics education: materials used, instructional methods used, content taught, methods of evaluation used, and professors' goals for the ethics education of their students. Questionnaire results and demographic data about professors and programs are used to describe perceptions and practices of counselor educators who teach ethics.

**********

This study investigated perceptions and practices of counselor educators who teach an ethics course or infuse ethics instruction into other courses and other educational activities. The motivation for this study was curiosity about how students may best learn to make high-quality ethical decisions in their practice in the face of often ambiguous or incomplete information. In their examination of moral development across professions, Rest and Narvaez (1994) pointed out that in the United States, approximately 10,000 applied ethics courses were taught annually in colleges and universities. They suggested that if courses in ethics are worth curricular space and student time, then at least three assumptions must be true: (a) Some ways of deciding what is right are more justifiable than others, (b) there must be some agreement among "experts" on what the more justifiable ethical positions are, and (c) the way students will live their lives as professionals is constructively influenced by ethics courses.

Like other professional disciplines, counselor education would benefit from guidance on what the teaching of ethics ought to entail. However, before counselor education can effectively explore the best teaching methods, it would benefit from baseline information about current teaching practices. Ethics is a profoundly complex domain. It is so for the simple reason that ethics attempts to describe the innate complexity of constantly changing and constantly negotiated human relationships. This complexity has an impact on students, teachers, and practitioners.

There is broad agreement among counselor educators that students should be cognizant of ethically charged issues and should have the capacity to work through these issues (Welfel, 1992). Many studies relating to professional ethics have emerged since the 1980s. Among these, some have focused on instructional practices within a particular ethics course that presume to help counselor education students to become competent counselors (Abeles, 1980; Colby & Long, 1994; Coll, 1993; Eberlein, 1987; Fine & Ulrich, 1988; Lamb, 1991; Zahner & McDavis, 1980). Yet in the absence of a broad framework to organize teaching ethics, it is difficult to appreciate the importance of these studies. Accounts of teaching strategies are invaluable for developing a scholarly focus on teaching ethics, but professional ethics is not limited to one course. As with issues of diversity, ethical issues permeate the entire counselor education curriculum. There has been very little scholarly focus on describing how counselor education programs as a whole address professional ethics.

The purpose of this study was to gather baseline information on pedagogical practices of counselor educators who teach ethics (Hill, 1999). This study aggregated data on perceptions and characteristics of counselor educators who teach ethics; characteristics of participants' programs; materials, methodologies, and curricula used; evaluation practices that counselor educators might use to assess their own impact on students; and goals these faculty members have for their instruction in ethics. Five research questions guided this descriptive study. With respect to ethics education in counselor education master's and doctoral programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), these research questions were (a) what materials are used, (b) what instructional methodologies are used, (c) what content is taught, (d) what methods of evaluation of instruction are used, and (e) what goals do counselor educators consider vital to teaching ethics to achieve the ethical competence of their students? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ethics Education: Recommendations for an Evolving Discipline
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.