Professional Ethics

FLC Co-Facilitators

Jacques Benninga, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, KSOEHD, 

Jack Benninga

Andrew Fiala, Department of Philosophy, Arts and Humanities,

Andrew Fiala

The FLC on professional ethics will develop collegial relations and expertise among faculty across the campus who are working on teaching professional ethics or ethical issues that arise in the professions.  The goal is to bring faculty together to think about pedagogical issues in teaching about ethics, ethical dilemmas, codes of ethics, etc., with a special focus on professional ethics.

At Fresno State we educate future professionals in a variety of fields including nursing, business, P-12 education, engineering, and physical therapy, yet attention to the ethical obligations of these future professionals is not consistent. 

A body of literature exists (e.g., Rest & Narvaez (1994), Moral Development in the Professions; Rest et al (1999), Postconventional Moral Thinking; Nucci & Narvaez (2008), Handbook of Moral and Character Education) that explores the content of professional ethics and ways to understand its development.  There are a variety of publications that are used in teaching professional ethics: Brincat and Wike, Morality and the Professional Life (Prentice Hall, 2000), Rowan, Ethics for the Profession (Cengage, 2002), Kidder, How Good People Make Tough Choices (Harper, 2003), Martin, Vaught, and Solomon, Ethics Across the Professions (Oxford, 2009).  There are also a range of texts that focus on discipline specific issues in professional ethics, including case studies and codes of ethics.

Our FLC intends to study this literature and to act on it to produce relevant course modifications in professional fields, ethics courses, and courses in professional ethics across campus.  In essence we propose to develop a series of profession-specific modules that can be infused in relevant professional preparation classes.

Participants will:

  1. Attend monthly meetings for reading/discussion/instruction on professional ethics
  2. Share discipline specific dilemmas and case studies, along with discussions of possible curricular infusion and course content revision
  3. Participants may be invited to provide a public lecture/workshop to the campus community, sponsored by the Ethics Center at Fresno State and the Bonner Center for Character Education.
  4. We also envision one professional trip to an ethical training seminar (at the Markkula Ethics Center at Santa Clara University); or we will invite a facilitator to come to Fresno State to lead a workshop/seminar for our group.

Who May Participate?

Faculty dealing with professional education or ethics in the professions.  Faculty interested in improving the ethics education or learning more about ethics in the professions.