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NCJ Number: 170181 Find in a Library
Title: Psychology's Contribution to Effective Models of Ethics Education in Criminal Justice (From Teaching Criminal Justice Ethics: Strategic Issues, P 131-152, 1996, John Kleinig and Margaret Leland Smith, eds.)
Author(s): E R Welfel
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Conference Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Psychology's contribution to ethics education is its insight into the developmental aspects of morality, especially its conceptions of the stages of moral reasoning that are so influential in professional ethical decisionmaking as well as its explication of the four components of moral behavior.
Abstract: The four components in James Rest's model of morality are "interpreting the situation as a moral one," "moral reasoning," "deciding to carry out the moral alternative," and "implementing the moral decision." Further, psychologists' work in designing and testing various structures for moral education has direct bearing on the structure of curricula in the professions. These findings suggest that effective ethics education should present students with opportunities to analyze complex hypothetical dilemmas that encourage them to focus on the rationale for their interpretations of the dilemmas, making more explicit the criteria they use to judge moral issues. Opportunities for role- taking and empathy-building are central to the success of this instructional methodology. In addition, the researchers recommend that the emotional atmosphere of the classroom be conducive to the free and open expression of ideas. Next, students should be given some kind of model for the process of ethical decisionmaking to help them keep their analysis of the issues clear and to reduce the stress inherent in any ethical issue. Finally, students should come away from ethics education with realistic expectations about ethical practice and with awareness that if they violate ethical standards, they are not monsters, but they are responsible for remedying the difficulties they have caused and should act to prevent their recurrence. 25 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Criminal justice education; Curriculum; Professional conduct and ethics; Psychology; Teaching/training techniques
Note: Paper presented at a workshop on criminal justice ethics education held June 6-8, 1996, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.
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