Wednesday, March 5, 2014

16 Trends: #9 being ethical

Yesterday I was working with a group of teachers to develop a new unit of inquiry about beliefs and values.  We had a great discussion about what beliefs and values are and how they look to an 8 or 9 year old.  We decided a belief is something that we accept to be true or real and that values are what forms the basis for our ethical action.  We also discussed whether it is easier to describe what you believe or what you value, and whether it is easier to notice what someone else believes or what they value.

Ethics in fact are a sort of code of conduct - something that you do or don't do because of how you believe you should behave yourself, regardless of what is legal.  For example when I lived in Bangkok it was possible to buy pirated movies and CDs on the street - in fact it wasn't illegal to buy or sell them in Thailand.  However considering this I still discussed this with my children as I believed it was unethical to buy pirated copyrighted material.

In my role at school I'm often talking to students about digital citizenship, about digital rights and responsibilities especially when using media in their products - hopefully this allows students to think about the effects of their actions on others and the consequences of their own actions and come to understand the need for ethical behaviour.  Having these discussions at school will hopefully help students to make good choices when they face the ethical dilemmas of our our global world, for example in science and technology, development, business, finances and the environment.

Photo Credit: The Open University (OU) via Compfight cc

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