St. Clair and Poole Co-published in Teaching Ethics

November 9, 2021

St. Clair and Poole Head ShotsDr. Norman St. Clair, professor and director of the Dreeben School of Education (DSE) Graduate Studies Program, and Dr. Deborah Poole, alumna of the DSE Graduate Studies Program, co-published “Exploring and Developing a Comprehensive Teaching Model for Graduate Ethics,” in Teaching Ethics, a publication of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. The journal is dedicated to ethical issues across the curriculum with particular attention to pedagogical methodology and practice in both academic inquiry and professional practice.

“Based on our research of existing approaches to teaching ethics in graduate education, a comprehensive model was needed to bridge theory to practice,” said St. Clair. “My hope is that our research and new teaching model offers insight and contribution to the great body of knowledge on existing models for teaching ethics at the graduate level across disciplines.”

Using an instrumental case study, the purpose was to explore and develop a conceptual framework for a comprehensive teaching model targeting graduate-level educators, administrators, and educational boards across disciplines using a design-based research process. The article shares research addressing an increase of unethical practices in professional settings identified in the literature.

“Our research demonstrated a shift in U.S. culture from principle-based ethics to one seemingly supporting moral relativism,” explained Poole. “Many models in the literature did not prepare students to adjudicate ethical decisions in their professional world that fell outside clearly established rules, and often supported a myopic view of only their field.

“Using principles of design-based research, the model provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary foundation based on moral universalism to enable professionals to apply and defend ethical principles in their organizational field, among other professions, as well as other cultures. I believe this fills a gap that was needed in graduate education in all disciplines.”

St. Clair is a professor and director of Graduate Studies at the Dreeben School of Education where he teaches courses in Systems of Belief, Ethics for the Professions, Research Methods and Tools, Philosophical Foundations of Education, and other technology related courses. His research interests include ethics, culture, teaching models, cultural competencies, entrepreneurship, comparative education systems, blended learning and research methods. He has taught in higher education for over 25 years around the globe, including 14 years at the doctoral level. St. Clair was the founding director of the China Incarnate Word campus, where he lived and worked in the Guangzhou District.

Poole is a 2021 graduate of the Graduate Studies Program at the Dreeben School of Education. She earned a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Evaluation. She held the title of regional director at Time Warner Cable. As a lifelong learner, she continues to find new ways to grow and learn through this new chapter of her life.