01 SES 11 A, Teacher Wellbeing and Professional Ethics
The theorethical basis for the presented study is the integrative ethical education (IEE) model, created by D. Narváez (2006). The IEE model combines rational moral education, acknowledging the importance of Kant’s universal ethical principles as a top-down approach, with traditional character and intuition education, highlighting Aristotle’s bottom-up stance, where the environment’s role is seen as very significant in developing morals and virtues. In addition, the IEE model is built on the notion of expertise development. Narváez’s definition of ethical sensitivity has common features with the manifestation of Gardner’s intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences, and it is also in accordance with Goleman’s concept of emotional intelligence.
One can notice that ethical sensitivity, which can be treated as a one of the main idea of the IEE model, has gained its importance as a research cathegory, and - as it is rightly pointed out by Elina Kuusisto, Kirsi Tirri, and Inkeri Rissanen (2012) - it has been accompanied by a growing number of tests of ethical sensitivity. These test are context-specific and relates to the chosen domains of research explorations.
In the presented study the Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ESSQ), based on Narváez’s operationalization of ethical sensitivity and developed by Tirri and Nokelainen (2011), was used for the purpose of the study.
The ESSQ Scale is a promising tool based on the following seven dimensions of ethical sensitivity: (1) reading and expressing emotions; (2) taking the perspectives of others; (3) caring by connecting to others; (4) working with interpersonal and group; (5) preventing social bias; (6) generating interpretations, and (7) identifying the consequences of actions and options (Navarez, 2001).
The Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ESSQ) occured important to find the answers for the following two main research questions: (1) What is general level of Polish teachers’ ethical sensitivity?, and (2) Are there any differences in the self-reported ethical sensitivity between (i) prospective teachers and teacher who are already in service; (ii) female and male teacher; (iii) teachers with different time of service; (iv) teachers who work at different levels of education (different types of schools); and (v) teachers who teach different subjects.
The Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ESSQ) has been translated into Polish and adapted for the context of Polish schools.The psychometric qualities of the ESSQ instrument were analyzed. The results showed that the psychometric qualities of the ESSQ were satisfactory. The sample of in-service teachers (N = 2542) was collected with an Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ESSQ) during the winter and spring semesters of 2016 and 2017. The invitation to the study has been sent to every school in Poland in large cities. School principals were asked to send the invitation to their teachers. Each teacher was invited to complete the Internet version of the questionnaire. The study participants were asked to evaluate their attitude towards the each statement of the Scale.
The ESSQ instrument has previously been examined with Finnish students (Tirri and Nokelainen, 2011) and Iranian Kurdish teachers (Gholami and Tirri, 2012). The studies showed that female students estimated their ethical sensitivity skills higher than their male peers did. The results of the presented study showed the same tendency: women have presented the higher ethical sensitivity in comparison with men. Therefore the findings of the study direct our attention to the issue of gender and teacher education. Some programmes for developing ethical sensitivity especially for teachers, who are men in the profession, are really needed. The same goes to the teachers who are in the mid of their careers, and teach science, especially at the secondary schools. They results showed that among these groups of teachers we can observe rather lower levels of ethical sensitivity in the comparision with the other groups. The study has been based mainly on teachers' self-assessments. Therefore, it might not necessarily relate to the nature and the level of teachers’ ethical sensitivity which can be observed by the others, especially students, through their teachers' actions during the classes, in the schools and beyond the schools. Regardless the study limitations, it shows us the potential of researching the domain of teachers' ethical sensitivity. More investigations, especially qualitative ones, are needed to show us the complex of teaching during daily work of teachers.
Gholami K., and Tirri, K. (2012), “Cultural dependence of Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire: the case of Iranian Kurdish teachers,” Education Research International. Kuusisto, E., Tirri, K., and Rissanen, I. (2012). Finnish Teachers’ Ethical Sensitivity, „Education Research International”, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 351879, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/351879 Narváez, D. (2001). Ethical sensitivity, Activity Booklet,http://www.nd.edu/~dnarvaez/ Narváez, D. (2006). “Integrative ethical education,” in Handbook of Moral Development, M. Killen and J. G. Smetana(Eds.), pp. 703–732, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. Narváez, D. and Endicott, L.G. (2009). Ethical Sensitivity, Nurturing Character in the Classroom, Ethex Series Book 1, Alliance for Catholic Education Press. Tirri, K., and Nokelainen, P. (2011). Measuring Multiple Intelligences and Moral Sensitivities in Education. Taipei, Taiwan: Sense Publishers.
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