Teaching ethics experientially

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Long title: 
using student diaries to foster and assess moral development
Author(s): 
Donald Nicolson
Author(s)' contact information: 
Donald.nicolson@strath.ac.uk
Conference title: 
Teacbing Ethics UK Workshop March 2014
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
UK
Year: 
2014

For some time now, ethical and professional educators have drawn on philosophy, psychology and educational theory to argue that one of, if not the most, effective means of teaching legal ethics is through immersion in and reflection on, ethical dilemmas arising out of real-life legal experiences in preferably live-client law clinics, but failing that simulations or role plays. Unfortunately, empirical evidence supporting this theoretical position has thus far been elusive. This workshop will provide evidence of the alleged "clinic effect" drawn from the narratives of student that demonstrate longitudinally their progress towards identifying and resolving ethical issues and their development of professional values. The journal evidence comes from the University of Strathclyde where students who volunteer in its Law Clinic can opt to take a class which focuses on the learning of professional and ethical values and judgment through guided self reflection in which students identify and reflect in writing on the moral, ethical and professional issues they have faced during their clinical experiences. Those attending the workshop will be given journal examples to read in order to gauge for themselves the value of ethical development through reflection on experience and theoretical teaching.

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