events >

Professional Wisdom and Responsible Decision Making in Education

Date(s) Thursday 8-Friday 9 November 2007
Venue University of Newport
Organised by ESCalate
In partnership with Logo: University of Wales, Newport: School of Education (Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd: Ysgol Addysg)

Professional Wisdom and Ethical decision making in Education

8th & 9th November, 2007

Please note that places are limited to 16 people and *accommodation costs will be reimbursed (*please see note on registration form). Early booking is recommended.

Newport Venue: School of Education, Caerleon Campus, University of Wales, Newport

Introduction: "What is the right thing to do here?" is a question that all of us with a leadership role in Education have worried about at some time. This ethical decision making event is designed as a series of workshop sessions led by two practical philosophers who teach in Education departments. It offers practical advice and a model for thinking about decision-making that everyone can use in their workplace. The event will need and expect attendees to share personal stories about difficult decisions in a confidential and professional way.

What is ethical decision-making? Ethical decision-making through Dilemma Training (DT) enables people to think clearly about their own moral decisions. A six-step thinking tool, it is successfully used in education, business and the public sector. This one-day course will enable educators to identify and solve moral dilemmas and to open a space in their institution within which to discuss moral issues, including the organisational structures that can cause dilemmas. The method can be used with literature, newspaper articles, thought experiments, or carefully selected ‘real life’ dilemmas. For this course, a professional dilemma will be used to illustrate how the ‘six-steps’ thinking tool works. When using real dilemmas educators can also gain valuable insights into the ‘core dilemmas’ of their institution. They can therefore use the Dilemma Training method as a first step to developing an insightful code of ethics. DT is an innovative first step to shaping a more ethical university.

Target Audience: Anyone with a leadership role in an Education department, including heads of department, programme leaders and others.

Aims of the course are to: Provide a workshop on practical ways to make better moral decisions· Consider the changes in the moral climate and the core values that underpin those changes· Create awareness of the moral dimension of decisions and the connected challenges and responsibilities of leadership roles in professional settings· Gain a better understanding of what is involved in shaping an ethical institution

Intended Learning Outcomes: Reflected on the difference between a moral dilemma and other kinds of decisions· Understood the structure of a reasoned judgment when deciding what a morally right decision is· Applied a six-step thinking tool to a case-study that could easily be applied to own career context


Amsterdam-born, Prof Dr Karin Murris is Visiting Professor of Practical Philosophy and Ethics at the School of Education, University of Wales, Newport. She is also director of the consultancy and publishing company Dialogue Works ( Karin is currently introducing Dilemma Training - a method of ethical decision making - in primary schools, secondary schools, detached youth work and higher education after working with the method in business and public service contexts. She has been involved in a large integrity project involving all civil servants of Amsterdam City Council and she is qualified as a trainer by the European Institute of Business Ethics, University of Nijenrode, Netherlands. Since 2005, commissioned by the Higher Education Academy’s ESCalate, Karin has been conducting Dilemma Training with directors of education departments and CETLs (Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) at English Universities in collaboration with Dr Joanna Haynes. Karin’s pioneering work has been featured in the national and international media, including The Telegraaf, The Guardian, Times Educational Supplement, The Independent, The Times, Times Higher Educational Supplement and The Financial Times, as well as Channel Four television’s Class Action, Lichtpunt (Belgian television) and BBC Radio Four.

Am I Right? or Am I Right? - an Introduction to Ethical Decision Making written by Dialogue Works Head of Communications, Simon Geschwindt. For more information contact

Dr Joanna Haynes combines her work as a Lecturer in Education Studies at the Faculty of Education, University of Plymouth with freelance educational training and consultancy. An educator with over thirty years experience, Joanna has been collaborating with Karin Murris in teaching practical philosophy and ethics, in producing teaching resources and in researching and writing books and articles. Joanna and Karin have worked together in primary and secondary schools, community settings and university departments and in teaching and learning networks.

Completed registration forms should be returned to by Monday 5th November 2007.

If you have any queries about the event please contact Liz.