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8 develop ethical intelligence




Developing ethical intelligence contributes to a positive culture but is far from easy in a time of ethical ambivalence, mp3 file sharing and rampant software piracy.

Students need to understand why it is not in their own long-term best interests to steal the work of others. Ultimately they cheat themselves. We need to cultivate what Patricia Werhane (1999) calls ‘moral imagination’, that is, a sense of perspective and understanding of potential long-term consequences.

Achievement is an important source of deep personal pride, confidence and positive self-concept. Baffled students can doubt their own ability and certainly can’t take pride in work they do not know how to do. The pedagogic implications include ensuring students understand tasks and how to be successful (above). Midolo and Scott argue that when school communities value student created work perspectives change as students understand they are owners of intellectual property and have exercisable rights.

Discuss the issue of plagiarism so expectations are clear. They should understand the strong probability that they will be detected and need to know that you know about ‘homework-help’ sites, etc. Expectations and consequences should be clear and public, eg published in the student handbook or planner. Parents and the wider community need to know that the issue is taken seriously.




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All original photographs © J G Taylor, 2005

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