Unit 6: Fostering ethical learning environments

The E4J University Modules on Anti-Corruption, Integrity and Ethics provide materials and pedagogical tools to help you teach classes on a variety of ethics topics.

However, effective integrity education requires going beyond the mere teaching of ethical theories and anti-corruption topics; it requires a supportive ethical learning environment. Experiencing an ethical environment while at university enhances the moral sensitivity and ethical behaviour of students and helps them appreciate the importance of ethics in their personal and professional life and in society more broadly.

In addition, when the values and messages emphasized in classes addressing ethics and anti-corruption issues are consistent with those that prevail outside of the classroom, they are more likely to be considered valid by the students.

Thus, an ethical environment is not only important as an educational method on its own right but is also crucial for the effectiveness of ethics classes and courses, including those based on the E4J Modules.

Watch this video which provides an overview of the importance of ethics education as a foundation for ethical conduct.

Download this video clip.Video player: ethics_modules-video_e4j_1.mp4
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Transcript

NIKOLAS KIRBY
People are complex, and societies are complex. Sometimes people consciously make unethical decisions, and sometimes people do do evil things. But a lot of time, people are doing what they feel is the best thing in a particular circumstance.
RICHARD LUCAS
I want to believe that, overwhelmingly, people are good.
NCEKU NYATHI
Seems people, when they get into leadership positions, also seem to forget themselves.
JAY ALBANESE
Ethics is the most fundamental problem on the planet.
NCEKU NYATHI
People suddenly say, oh, now, put on your ethical hat.
JAY ALBANESE
How do people make decisions that exploit others?
AMNA MAHMOOD
We just want to gather everything for us, even at the cost of others.
JAY ALBANESE
Until we have people making decisions that are not in their own self-interest, we will continue to have conflict, political upheaval, irregular migration, economies suffering. All of the big issues that anybody cares about are, ultimately, ethical issues.
NIKOLAS KIRBY
People who feel generally unable to change a lot of their ethical environment are caught being unethical just to survive in that environment.
DONHATAI HARRIS
They feel like they can't do anything about it.
ABIOLA OLUKEMI OGUNYEMI
It's not so easy to always know what's the best thing to do in every situation.
NCEKU NYATHI
People always try to get better and better.
DONHATAI HARRIS
So how do we empower individuals to actually either come together individually you know, be able to voice their concern?
JAY ALBANESE
How do we get those individuals to reach a higher standard of conduct, so regardless of the pressures you face, that you will make ethical decisions when it most counts?
RICHARD LUCAS
Almost all the time, people know pretty much straight away what's right and what's wrong. The problem is acting on it.
JAY ALBANESE
You shouldn't have to have a camera looking over your shoulder at every decision you make for you to make ethical decisions.
DIMITRI VLASSIS
If we are to deal with challenges that are the core that is integrity and ethics, we really need to focus on what can be done by generations to come because, let's face it, and let's be honest with ourselves we, my generation, has done a lousy job. If we have any way of atoning, it is by focusing and preparing the next generations of doing a better job than we have done.
AMNA MAHMOOD
Education is a long-term process. You are working on a generation. And then you can have required results.
DIMITRI VLASSIS
It is in that spirit that we have developed the E4J initiative. And we are trying to develop materials that are appropriate for each level of education, and therefore, for each age group.
End transcript
 
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6.1 Setting ground rules for ethical behaviour