This book features articles by more than twenty experienced teachers of ethics who are committed to the idea that ethics can and should be taught virtually anywhere in the education curriculum. They explore a variety of ways in which this might best be done.
Traditionally confined largely to programs in philosophy and religion, the teaching of ethics has in recent decades spread across the curriculum education. The contributors to this book discuss the rationale for supporting such efforts, the variety of challenges these efforts face, and the sorts of benefits faculty and students who participate in ethics across the curriculum endeavors can expect.
An overriding theme of this book is that the teaching of ethics should not be restricted to one or two courses in philosophy or religion programs, but rather be addressed wherever relevant anywhere in the curriculum. For example, accredited engineering programs are expected to ensure that their students are introduced to the ethical dimensions of engineering. This can involve consideration of ethical issues within particular areas of engineering (e.g., civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical) as distinctive segments of certain courses (e.g., those that focus on design problems), or as a full semester course in ethics in engineering. Similar approaches can be taken in nursing, medicine, law, social work, psychology, accountancy, management, and so on. That is, some emphasis on ethics can be expected to be found in broad range of academic disciplines.
However, many ethical issues require careful attention from the perspectives of several disciplines at once, and in ways that require their joining hands. Recognizing that adequately addressing many ethical issues may require the inclusion of perspectives from a variety of disciplines makes apparent the need for effective communication and reflection across disciplines, not simply within them. This, in turn, suggests that faculty and their students can benefit from special programs that are designed to include participants from a variety of disciplines. Such programs will be a central feature of this book. Although some differences might arise in how such issues might best be discussed across different parts of the curriculum, these discussions might be joined in ways that help students, faculty, administrators, and the wider public better appreciate their shared ethical ground.