Collaborative learning, role play and case study: Pedagogical pathways to professionalism and ethics in school placement

Thumbnail Image
Heinz, Manuela
Fleming, Mary
Logue, Pauline
McNamara, Joseph
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Teachers are moral agents. Acting professionally in loco parentis teachers have a legal and moral duty of care to students (DES, 2017). Moreover, they can be regarded as moral ‘role models’ (Bergen, 2006; Lumpkin, 2013). Professional codes of practice assist teachers in their moral agency (Alberta Teachers’ Association, 2004; CDET, 2017; DfE, 2011; Education Council, 2017; Teaching Council, 2012; 2016; World Class Teachers, 2017). In conjunction with official codes of conduct, TE ethics programmes contribute to the development of “a moral language” and raise awareness of moral agency in teaching (Shapira-Lishchinsky, 2010). In 2014 the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) jointly developed a cross-institutional training programme entitled ‘The Ethical Teacher Programme’, designed to facilitate student teachers to reflect upon professionalism and ethics during School Placement. The programme incorporated both a study of the Teaching Council Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (Code) (2012) and explorations of selected ethical ‘case studies’ in teaching, using collaborative learning (CL) and role play strategies. The ‘ethical dilemma’ approach employed mirrored literature studies (Colenerud, 1997; Husu & Tiri, 2003; Klassen, 2002). Unique to the approach, however, was the method of application of selected classical and contemporary ethical philosophies to moral dilemmas in teaching. The programme was designed to include a one-hour introductory lecture on professionalism and ethics (from the perspectives of moral literacy and ethical theory) followed by a two-hour applied workshop. The workshop employed student-centred, active teaching and learning methods, specifically, collaborative learning, role play and case study analysis. Six ethical philosophical principles (or ‘lenses’) were integrated into programme delivery - teleology, deontology, virtue ethics, justice ethics, care ethics and relationality ethics. These lenses were applied to real-world teaching case studies. One cohort to which this training programme is offered annually is the student teachers on the Professional Master of Education (PME) programme in NUIG. The PME cohort (2015-2016) is the focus of the present study. The study sought a critical reflection on, and evaluation of, this training programme, from a student perspective. This study is phase one of a larger on-going study.
Moral agency , Duty of care , National University of Ireland, Galway , NUIG , Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology , GMIT , The Ethical Teacher Programme , Ethics
Heinz, M., Fleming, M., Logue, P. and McNamara, J. (2019) 'Collaborative learning, role play and case study: Pedagogical pathways to professionalism and ethics in school placement', Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, 5-6 December, pp. 129-134. doi: 10.33178/LC.2019.26
Link to publisher’s version