About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1705-1711
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain


M. Estrela, J. Marques

Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação (PORTUGAL)
Among the new challenges that higher education institutions faces, due to the world-wide transformation, we find the ethical challenge Scott, 2004; Marga, 2004). Therefore, the transformations observed in the last decades hold ethical consequences that subverted not only the character of their traditional missions but also their functioning. These transformations are also a source of paradoxical requests and some dilemmas.
Therefore, for example, the neutrality of scientific research faces the pressure exercised through funding sources and through the political use of the research results.
Regarding education, the higher education massification, inherent to its democratization, to the searching for new publics and the granting of new opportunities bring into conflict the traditional elitist nature of higher education and the wish for social justice.
The integration of the university in a globalised and information society requires a greater participation of universities in the world’s problems, as highlighted in several international documents, also a reflection on the ethical use of new technologies and on the relations between the real and the virtual world, and it is highlighted by/in several international documents. In order to do so, it’s required an ethical education of teachers, teacher educators (Willemse and others, 2005) and students that goes beyond the general education as a consequence of academic learning or some deontology approaches to the students’ future profession Esteban & Buxarrais, 2004).
When teachers talk about their functions and its ethical dimensions, what role they attribute to themselves in their students’ ethical development and in their contributions in order to a better society?
An exploratory study, based on semi-structured interviews were carried out with 14 portuguese higher education teachers (from university and polytechnics) from different scientific subjects aiming to characterize their ethical-deontological thinking in several dimensions.
In this communication, the authors focus on the ethical education (initial and continuous) needs recognized by the interviewed teachers or inferred from their positions in relation to the ethical dimensions of teaching, their role in the students’ ethical development and some experienced dilemmas.
Although not all the teachers recognize their need of ethical education, most of them defend this education, which in their opinion should use several different strategies, mostly reflexive and dialogical.
The data leads us to infer that the ethical dimension of most of teachers’ professionalism is limited to school and scientific and professional education ministered in it. It seems to us that their professionalism (conceived as an ideal of service) is far from the concerns of the universities’ new ethical roles documented in several international documents (from UNESCO, European Union, Declaración de la Conferencia Regional de Educación Superior en América Latina y el Caribe…).
Therefore, it seems imperative to us the development of a type of education that can be non-formal, which promotes debate and reflection among teachers to clarify the professionalism ethical dimensions of teaching in relation to a globalized and technologically advanced society.

author = {Estrela, M. and Marques, J.},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1705-1711}}
AU - M. Estrela AU - J. Marques
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 1705
EP - 1711
ER -
M. Estrela, J. Marques (2009) TEACHERS ETHICAL EDUCATION: A CHALLENGE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 1705-1711.