Ethics provocation videos and roundtables

Trust is at the heart of teaching in Scotland. The trust placed in the teaching profession is symbolised by the responsibility the profession has for its own standards, the responsibility it has to determine its own ethical code and the responsibility it has to self-govern. 

Trust is a fundamental basis upon which the profession can have important conversations. To trust, in this context, is to know that opinions differ, to understand that they can change and to appreciate that they may stay the same.

We purposely invited education professionals and experts with diverse, and sometimes potentially controversial views, to stimulate discussion about ethics in the teaching profession. We don’t necessarily agree with all of the views presented, but we believe that it is by actively seeking to understand different perspectives and engaging in open reasoned, discussion and debate that we become critically informed.

These provocations were discussed at roundtable meetings with colleagues from across Scottish education, and grouped under the themes below.

Provocations and Roundtable Recordings

Looking Forward

The final roundtable in our Ethics and the Teaching Profession series, to discuss the provocations below, took place on 15 May 2023.

Learning for Unsustainability? – Dr Beth Christie

Use of Performance Indicator Data within the college sector – Alan Sherry

What does it really mean for teachers to act ethically within a system that they may consider to demand unethical behaviour, or a society that itself treats people unethically? – James McEnaney

Ethical leadership

At our second roundtable, held on 14 June 2022, attendees discussed the below provocations, on a theme of ethical leadership.

Courageous School Leadership and the Changing Role and Responsibility of the Teacher – Alan Horberry

An Empowered Secondary Curriculum – Lyndsay McRoberts and Annette Alexander

Igniting a Passion for Learning – Catherine Kucia

A sense of fairness, intuition and common sense is not enough – Prof. Emeritus Rowena Arshad

What is the purpose of education?

At our first roundtable, held on 15 March 2022, attendees discussed the below provocations on the theme of ‘what is the purpose of education?’.

The Ethics of Knowledge in Curriculum Design – Dr Joe Smith

Teaching is not a moral professional – Prof Gert Biesta

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