News: SPP faculty and National Academy of Engineering ethics workshop

Jason Borenstien

Posted November 4, 2019

The Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently hosted a two-day workshop that was designed to introduce STEM faculty to strategies for introducing ethics into the classroom and other educational settings.  The workshop entitled "Working Ethics into the Conversation: Introducing STEM Faculty to Teaching Ethics" took place on October 22 and 23 in Washington DC and was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.  Approximately 30 participants, largely from engineering fields, attended the event.   The speakers primarily focused on responsible conduct of research (RCR) and engineering ethics while discussing different teaching strategies.

Dr. Jason Borenstein, from the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy and Office of Graduate Studies, was a co-organizer of the event, and he also served as a speaker.   His session, co-presented with Dr. Joseph Herkert from North Carolina State University, was entitled “Ethics Pedagogy: Using Case Studies in the Classroom.”  Dr. Borenstein and Dr. Herkert outlined considerations to take into account when selecting a case study, such as the benefits and drawbacks of using a real versus a hypothetical case.  They also asked participants to break into small groups to examine a case study about self-driving cars in order to illustrate how to manage class discussion.Other speakers at the workshop focused on topics such as codes of ethics, ethics autobiography, active learning strategies, ethical theory, and ethics assessment. 

The Online Ethics Center is a repository of ethics materials for STEM fields.  It is housed with the NAE’s Center for Engineering Ethics and Society.

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