Ethics and the Adult Educator

Ralph Brockett and Roger Hiemstra are working on various material related to ethics and the adult educator. In that work we are building a couple of models that may be useful as you think through future ethical decisions. Our latest work, a book entitled, "Toward Ethical Practice," provides a way of thinking about how you enhance your ethical decision making skills. It was released in late 2004 by Krieger Publishing. In it we describe the Ethical Decision Making (EDM) model.

For some models on how to build a personal statement of ethics, see my personal code of ethics statement or see three excellent codes of ethics written by graduate student no. 1, graduate student no. 2, and graduate student no. 3.

Ethics, ethical decision-making, and even developing a personal statement of ethics, all ties to your personal philosophy--see my personal philosophy statement as a way of thinking about your own philosophy and four philosophy statements (philosophy statement no. 1) , (philosophy statement no. 2), (philosophy statement no. 3), and (philosophy statement no. 4) developed by Elmira College students as possible models. Here is a wonderful educational philosophy essay created by a student at Ball State University. For a process useful in developing your own philosophy statement, see Hiemstra, R. (1988). Translating personal values and philosophy into practical action. In R. G. Brockett (Ed.), Ethical issues in adult education. New York: Teachers College Press) A modified version is available here. In addition, here is a power point (Microsoft® PowerPoint®) presentation that provides some slides that may be useful in thinking through how you match with various philosophical models or systems. This slide show, in conjunction with findings from the "Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory," see Zinn, L. M. (1990). Identifying your personal orientation. In M. W. Galbraith (Ed.), Adult learning methods: A guide for effective instruction. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing, will provide you with useful information. Included here is a syllabus for teaching a course on ethics.

Bill of Rights

A twelve-point "Bill of Rights for the Adult Learner" was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Adult Organizations (CAEO) at its meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 1991. The statement urges institutions and agencies to work toward assuring that the stated "rights" are possessed by persons who have adult responsibilities and who seek to learn in any setting.

CAEO consists of 26 national associations and groups sharing a common interest in enhancing the field of adult and continuing education throughout the United States. The document is designed to serve as a philosophical base from which CAEO members may develop adult learner and advocacy policy statements for internal or external use.

Excerpts from"A Bill of Rights for the Adult Learner" follow:

A democratic nation is made possible through the efforts of a knowledgeable populace actively committed to the general welfare and alert to opportunities for personal growth and development. Essential for realizing this commitment is the availability of a wide variety of adult and continuing education opportunities.

The institutions and agencies of a democratic society will strive to assure that the following rights are possessed by all who have adult responsibilities and who seek to learn in any setting:

In the meantime, here are some useful links:

A very interesting site is the University of British Columbia's Centre for Applied Ethics work.

Another one is the Dartmouth College Ethics Institute.

Here is an on-line journal related to bioethics, with much more information than you can ever absorb.

This site has material from the Institute for Global Ethics.

Finally, Philosophy Links provides a guide to a whole host of possible links.

June 14, 2010

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