6.2 Lecturers as ethical role models

Described image
Figure 12 A lecturer in a classroom

Actions speak louder than words. Ethical behaviour can foster ethical learning among students more effectively than merely teaching ethics in isolation. “How you teach” is equally important to “what you teach”, especially when teaching anti-corruption, integrity and ethics.

Lecturers, by the very nature of their job, set an example for their students and should ideally serve as role models of ethical behaviour within and beyond the classroom and the requirements of their employment contracts. Lecturers who teach ethics should be especially committed to serving as ethical role models, as this is critical for the credibility and effectiveness of their courses.

In other words, to create a favourable environment for teaching on ethics and values, you must demonstrate integrity in your daily practice at the university and limit opportunities for corrupt or unethical behaviour towards students, fellow lecturers, and the administrative staff (Hallak and Poisson, 2007).

Activity 6.2 Role models

Timing: 2 minutes


Starting and finishing classes on time.


Not being available for meetings with students after agreeing to be there.


Dealing with interruptions and distractions in class in an appropriate manner.


Facilitating class discussion in a way that demonstrates respect for different opinions.


Misplacing students’ assignments.


Not taking advantage of your professional relationship with students for private gain.


Grading in a timely fashion and providing comprehensive feedback to help students learn and improve their skills.


Giving undue advantage to some students simply because of who they are.


Answering emails and other messages from students promptly and respectfully.


Performing assessments of assignments and tests in a fair way.


Demonstrating empathy and understanding to students in difficult circumstances.


Delivering a class without proper preparation.

The correct answers are a, c, d, f, g, i, j and k.


A mapping of possible misbehaviours at higher education level can be found on the online ETICO [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] resource platform.

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6.1 Setting ground rules for ethical behaviour

6.3 Developing ethical learning environments