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Varieties of Conceptions of Ethical Competence Displayed in Pupils’ Responses to National Tests in Ethics

Författare och institution:
Christina Osbeck (Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession); Olof Franck (Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession); Annika Lilja (Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession); Karin Sporre (-)
Publicerad i:
ECER Dublin 2016-08-23 - 2016-08-26, Symposium: Varieties of Conceptions of Ethical Competence Displayed in Pupils’ Responses to National Tests in Ethics,
Konferensbidrag - refereegranskat abstract
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The aim of the symposium is to present findings from the EthiCo project: “What may be learnt in ethics? Varieties of conceptions of ethical competence to be taught in compulsory school”. The focus of this symposium is varieties of conceptions of ethical competence displayed in pupils’ responses to national tests in ethics. In Sweden, ethics is a part of the subject religious education (RE). The discussion about compulsory schools teaching ethics has regained urgency in Sweden since national tests are given in ethics. Every fourth pupil in grade nine is evaluated every year as having/not having an acceptable knowledge of ethics. It may be questioned whether it is reasonable to be forced to undertake a test assessing your skills in ethics and risk being evaluated as not passing. Additionally, the testing stresses the question of what constitutes relevant knowledge in this field, a question which to a large extent has been absent in research. The purpose of the EthiCo project is to identify and elucidate varieties of conceptions of ethical competence and critically analyse and discuss them, in relation to each other and to ethical theory, as potential educational content in compulsory school. Attention is paid to perspectives from different curricular levels, such as the experiential level (pupils’ perspectives; tests and interviews), the instructional level (interviewed teachers), and the institutional level (samples of supranational policies and national curricula) (e.g. Goodlad & Su, 1992; Bråten, 2009). The four ethical theorists, chosen to shed light upon the conceptions gained through the empirical analyses, are Martha Nussbaum, Knud Ejler Løgstrup, Seyla Benhabib and Peter Singer, representing various ethical traditions. In this symposium, pupils’ responses to four out of seven tasks in the 2013 National Test have been analysed in the light of the ideas of one of the theorists above. Three of the analysed tasks are designed for 12-year-old pupils and one for 15-year-old pupils. The four tasks concern victimization, the use of ethical concepts, the solving of an ethical dilemma and the death penalty. Concerning the pupils’ responses to ethics tasks, the overarching research questions are 1) What conceptions of ethical competence do the answers express? 2) Do they express other conceptions of ethical competence than the ones in the assessment instructions and curriculum? In a previously conducted analysis of 15-year-old pupils’ responses to another task in the test, about forgiveness, an ethical competence tentatively labelled “ethical insight” or “existential understanding” was identified, in addition to the ones mentioned in the Swedish curriculum (Osbeck, in press). In the curriculum, normative, analytical and verbal (conceptual as well as argumentative) competences can be identified (Sporre, in press). Crucial questions concern both qualities in responses of the pupils for which they are not given credit, since the competence seems to be absent from the assessment instructions, and qualities that are not acknowledged since the stated competences are not sufficiently specific. In the latter cases, previous analyses point towards the normative competences as a difficult area because it is unclear whether there are requirements of content-specific kinds in the curriculum while, for example, teachers give altruistic values priority over egocentric values (Osbeck, Franck, Lilja & Lindskog, 2015). In the symposium, the analyses of the four papers differ slightly in relation to each other, but since these kinds of analyses are rare, the approach is deliberately explorative. The fruitfulness of the different kinds of analyses will be discussed in the symposium. In terms of visualised conceptions of ethical competences, an important discussion can be pursued in relation to analyses of curricula in other countries. Particular attention will be paid to perspectives from Iceland, Namibia and South Africa.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Utbildningsvetenskap ->
Utbildningsvetenskap ->
Didaktik ->
Subject didactics
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2016-09-14 22:20

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