July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Ethics has been recognized as critical to engineering, although disagreement exists concerning the form engineering ethics education should take. In part, this results from disagreements about the goals of engineering ethics education, which inhibit the development of and progress in a cohesive research agenda and educational practices. To address these issues, this paper argues that the ultimate goal of engineering ethics education should be more long-term ethical behaviors. To do so, however, engineering ethics must engage with the field of empirical moral psychology. This paper begins by considering reasons for adopting ethical behaviors as the ultimate goal of ethics education, and why this would be problematic: Behaviors are what the public cares about, as well as professional organizations, and accurately assessing the effects of education on ethical behaviors is difficult if not impossible. Instead, curricula have tended to adopt ethical understanding and reasoning as the goals of ethics education, although it is unclear that these result in more ethical behaviors. The paper goes on to consider responses to these problems: Empirical moral psychology has resources for assessing the effects of education on ethical behaviors. A growing body of cross-cultural research has identified features of ethics that are and are not shared across cultural groups, as well as factors that contribute to ethical behaviors. Rather than assessing behaviors directly, proxies for behaviors can be identified and assessed. The nature of engineering itself can be used to formulate guidelines of ethical behaviors, which would transcend national and cultural groups.
Clancy, R. F., & Gammon, A. (2021, July), The Ultimate Goal of Ethics Education Should Be More Ethical Behaviors Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37901
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015