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  • 1.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Avhandlingsresumé: "Förhållandet mellan praxis & teori inom etiken"2013In: Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, ISSN 0039-6761, Vol. 89, no 3-4, p. 192-Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Lunds universitet.Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap.
    Förhållandet mellan praxis och teori inom etiken2012Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The main question of this thesis is if a practice is right because it is prescribed by an ethical theory, or if an ethical theory is right because it follows from certain practices? I propose the following definitions to illustrate the main alternatives: (1) if a practice is determined by an ethical theory and the ethical theory is not determined by practice, it is possible to speak of a top-down model of ethical thinking. (2) If a theory, conversely, is determined by a practice and the practice is not determined by theory, it can be described as a bottom-up model. (3) If a practice is used in order to determine an ethical theory, which in turn can be used to assess new practical situations in a constantly evolving process, it can be labelled an interaction model. (4) Finally, it is possible that certain practices are the basis of morality, and do not need to be systemized in any ethical theory. The focus of this study is on alternatives (2), (3) and (4) where practice is given due weight and is characterized by a rejection of a strictly theoretical approach to ethics. I address representatives from some of the most influential alternatives such as: (2) Albert R Jonsen & Stephen Toulmin (casuistry), (3) Jürgen Habermas (discourse ethics), Alasdair MacIntyre (virtue ethics), Jonathan Haidt (experimental ethics) and (4) John Dewey, Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty (pragmatism). I also discuss how some prominent theologians, such as Stanley Hauerwas (Christian virtue ethics) and James Gustafson (theocentric ethics), deal with similar questions. The purpose of this study is therefore to identify various positions represented in the debate, and to examine which consequences they have for how decisions are made and justified within an ethical framework. I argue that the strength of models that include practical concerns in ethical thinking is that they can contribute to our understanding of why ideals, norms and values differ between various social spheres, and how they change over time. Instead of taking the traditional position, where a basic assumption about the nature of moral questions is crucial to identify a reliable approach, it is possible to assess which approaches give reliable results and use these to identify the factors relevant to answer moral questions. I identify two main alternatives: a paradigmatic and a discursive way of treating moral issues. They address various aspects of human life and action, which means that they do not exclude, but rather enrich each other in the context of an overall debate. It seems possible that both types of studies can provide reasons for performing an action or accepting a theory, which can then be revised and give rise to new positions. From such a perspective, neither the image of man and the world, nor our standards, ideals and values are necessarily static, but can be revised and reconsidered within the context of a changing social, cultural and historical context.

  • 3.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Jonahtan Haidt, 2013, The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion2014In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 50-53Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Olof Franck & Malin Löfstedt "Etikdidaktik – Grundbok om etikundervisning i teori och praktik"2015In: Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, ISSN 2000-9879, no 4, p. 106-111Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Lunds universitet.
    Praxis betydelse för etisk teoribildning2008Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Regional tillväxt, kulturplaner och kulturarv (kap 1-5 av 8): Riksarkivet Rapport Dnr HLA 59-2012/257182012Report (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure2019In: Högre Utbildning, ISSN 2000-7558, E-ISSN 2000-7558, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 25-28Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindmark, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Religionskunskap2019In: Utbildningshistoria: en introduktion / [ed] Esbjörn Larsson, Johannes Westberg, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2019, 3, p. 263-276Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Luleå.
    Röcklinsberg, Helena
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.
    School meals: bridging the gap between citizen expectation, procurement skills and legislation2013In: Ethics of consumption: the citizen, the market and the law : EurSafe 2013, Uppsala, Sweden, 11-14 September 2013 / [ed] Helena Röcklinsberg, Per Sandin, Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2013, 1, p. 423-429Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Den nya syntesen och etik i undervisningen2018In: Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, ISSN 2000-9879, no 3, p. 27-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Researchers within the educational field usually acknowledge the idea that teaching is an essentially moral activity. Yet, they seem to have different opinions on how teachers are supposed to complete that task in their everyday pedagogical practice. Jonathan Haidt has conducted a series of international studies, during recent years, revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations that evoke strong emotional reactions. Based on the results he has presented a theory, the New Syntheses, in which he claims to explain the difference between the dominating moral pedagogical models and develop new approaches to teaching ethics. The present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students and religious education teachers for which we have borrowed two of Jonathan Haidts examples. We discuss the New Synthesis in relation to the results of the surveys and the ethical dimension of the teaching profession. We argue that these results indicate a need for teacher students and teachers to consciously reflect on their values and methods for approaching ethics in education.

  • 11.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lärares yrkesetik och etiskt resonerande2018In: Läraren och yrkesetiken: principer, värden och förhållningssätt i förskolans och skolans vardag / [ed] Sara Irisdotter Aldenmyr, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018, 1, p. 59-81Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    En uppsättning yrkesetiska principer sätter ramar och ger riktlinjer för lärares verksamhet, men ofta är sådana principer i sig själva inte tillräckliga för att ge den vägledning som krävs för att lösa konkreta etiska problem. För det krävs också att läraren besitter färdigheter relevanta för att hantera etiska frågor, i synnerhet en förmåga till etiskt resonerande.

  • 12.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reason and Emotion: How Teachers Respond to Ethical Problems2018In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series / [ed] Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research , 2018, p. 1-14, article id EDU2018-2501Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers frequently face ethical problems in their everyday practice – ranging from pedagogical choices affecting their pupils to pressing conflicts that need to be solved – and they are expected to respond to such problems in a professional manner. Given the centrality of the ethical dimension to the teaching profession, an important question is how teachers tend to approach such problems. While some studies have been carried out regarding how teachers in particular approach ethical problems, there are interesting studies revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations involving ethical aspects that evoke strong emotional reactions. Aiming to fill parts of this gap, the present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students and religious education (RE) teachers for which we have borrowed two examples from such general studies (carried out by Jonathan Haidt among others). These examples were chosen on the basis that one of them clearly represent a social taboo in a Swedish context while the other one does not. Letting the teacher students and RE teachers respond to both examples give us an indication of whether there is any significant difference in their approach to an example evoking a strong emotional reaction as opposed to a more neutral one. It is clear from our survey that there is such a difference: the respondents generally make rationally motivated judgments when confronted with the neutral example, while most of them seem to rely on gut feeling in the more provoking case. If these results can be taken as an indication of how teacher students and teachers tend to respond to real life situations, a provoking or emotionally laden context is likely to enhance the risk of making ethical choices which are not based on rational reasoning. We argue that these results emphasize the importance for teacher students as well as already practicing teachers to study, and cultivate the ability for, moral reasoning.

  • 13.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 — Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016, p. 7197-7201Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Generally, teachers are expected to convey certain basic values to their pupils in addition to the task of mediating knowledge. These values differ between different countries and may be either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In light of this aspect of the teacher profession, we take it to be an important ingredient in the teacher education to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying such basic values. The present paper focuses on pedagogical challenges in relation to this task. In order to investigate the evaluative profiles of the teacher students and develop this aspect of the teacher education, we have worked according to a model with three distinct phases. (1) A survey was designed, using interactive tools and deliberately choosing questions in relation to (a) the task provided by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE) of conveying a set of basic values, and (b) more extensive international studies. (2) Students were invited to answer the survey, where they received direct feedback, providing the basis for problematizing and discussing their evaluations in relation to alternative views. In addition their answers provided information for us to map their evaluative profile. (3) The evaluative profile wasin turn put in relation to the basic values of their future profession and international research. Hence the students were engaged in creating a substantial part of the study material of the course used as apoint of departure for critical analysis and discussion, making the students aware of their own evaluative profile and alternative points of view. We believe that such an increased awareness of one’s own evaluative profile is one prerequisite to develop a professional attitude to conveying both individual and social values in the teacher’s pedagogical practice and meet the requirements from SNAE and the challenges of evaluatively diverse teaching environments. In this paper we present our method and explain how it can be used as a general model for working with values in the teacher education.

  • 14.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 - Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Generally, teachers are expected to convey certain basic values to their pupils in addition to the task of mediating knowledge. These values differ between different countries and may be either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In Sweden the curriculum for the upper secondary school states that “[e]ach and everyone working in the school should… encourage respect for the intrinsic value of each person and the environment we all share […] this is to be achieved by nurturing in the individual a sense of justice, generosity, tolerance and responsibility” (The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE) 2012). In light of this aspect of the teacher profession, we take it to be an important ingredient in the teacher education to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying such basic values. The present paper focuses on challenges in relation to this task.

    As researchers and teachers in the Swedish teacher education we have had the opportunity to address the value-conveying task of the teacher profession in both research and education. In addressing this task, the typical evaluative profile of the teacher students has turned out to be an interesting challenge. According to previous studies, Swedes in general (Inglehart 2015) including Swedish teacher students (Authors 2016a), tend to embrace individualist values and reject more social values. This kind of individualist evaluative profile is potentially problematic in relation to the task of conveying basic values, since it typically comes with a tendency to view values as a private matter, something that the school should not interfere with (Authors 2016b).

    In order to investigate the evaluative profiles of the teacher students and develop this aspect of the teacher education, we have worked according to a model with three distinct phases.

    (1) A survey was constructed, using interactive tools such as Mentimeter and Lime Survey, deliberately choosing questions in relation to (a) the task provided by SNAE of conveying a set of basic values, and (b) relevant international studies (cf. Inglehart & Baker 2000). 

    (2) Students were invited to answer the survey, where they received direct feedback, providing the basis for problematizing and discussing their evaluations in relation to alternative views. In addition their answers provided information for us to map their evaluative profile. 

    (3) The evaluative profile was in turn put in relation to the basic values of their future profession and international research. 

    Hence the students were engaged in creating a substantial part of the study material of the course, used as a point of departure for critical analysis and discussion, making the students aware of their own evaluative profile and alternative points of view. We believe that such an increased awareness of one’s own evaluative profile is one prerequisite to develop a professional attitude to conveying both individual and social values in the teacher’s pedagogical practice and meet the requirements from SNAE and the challenges of a multicultural teaching environment. Our teaching method has also resulted in research which has been used in order to further develop the content of the course (Authors 2016a; 2016b). In this paper we present our method and explain how it can be used as a general model for working with values in the teacher education.

  • 15.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Which values are reproduced within the swedish educational system?2016In: Usuteaduslik Ajakiri / The Estonian Theological Journal, ISSN 1406-6564, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 49-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using the World Values Survey (WVS) as a background the paper discusses a tension between the general evaluative outlook of Swedish teacher students and the educational values established by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE). According to the results from WVS, which maps evaluative differences between approximately 80 countries in the world, Sweden stands out as a country that rejects traditional values and embraces so called secular self-expression values. However, the values established by SNAE include both traditional values, such as “sharing a common cultural heritage”, and secular self-expression values, such as “individual freedom and integrity”. Against this background we conducted a survey of 179 Swedish teacher students in order to investigate the relation between their evaluative outlook and the values they are supposed to convey to their pupils as established by SNAE. The result of the survey indicates that these students do not differ in any significant respect from the Swedish population in general as regards secular vs traditional evaluations. The fact that the traditional values emphasized by SNAE seem to be scarcely represented among the teacher students, makes questionable whether they will be present in their future teaching. On the assumptions that there are important educational values among the traditional as well as the secular self-expression ones, and that values are reproduced within an educational system, we argue that there is reason to take the imbalance in the evaluative outlook of the students seriously.

  • 16. Röcklinsberg, Helena
    et al.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Persson Osowski, Christine
    Röös, Elin
    Facilitating decision making in public procurement of food through digital tools2016In: Food futures: ethics, science and culture / [ed] I. Anna S. Olsson, Sofia M. Araújo, M. Fátima Vieira, Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers , 2016, 1, p. 199-205Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We will scrutinize value challenges faced by public food procurement managers to ensure multiple values are met within a limited budget and under current regulations. The current highly complex food system makes informed, conscious and morally justified food choices most challenging. As about three million public meals are served daily only in Sweden, procurement managers’ and purchasers’ choice of food has considerable impact on worker conditions, animal welfare and the environment. The combination of commodification of farm animals and the environment and the lowest price policy have contributed to downplay ethical values such as animal welfare or sustaining biodiversity in past procurement legislation (2004/18/EG). However, the recent EU directive extends the possibilities for taking such added values into consideration, highlighting the need to include externalised factors in food procurement decisions (Directive 2014/24/EU). Our hypothesis is that even if procurement guides such as the Swedish criteria for public procurement (NAPP 2015) and the ones from the European Commission (GPP 2014) provide useful factual information about different products and requirements on production it leaves the procurement manager with a difficult task: to balance facts and added values in order to implement an institution’s policy or meet multiple values. We see a need of a new set of digital tools to provide guidance, facilitate ethical decision-making and to relieve the moral stress of procurement managers. In the following we will outline nutritional, animal welfare and environmental related values in food systems, describe ethical aspects of guides for public procurement and some ethical decision-making tools, and finally tentatively suggest a set of digital tools to facilitate handling multiple values to ensure the best possible decisions are made to meet citizens’ interests and work towards food production systems that stay within the planetary boundaries. 

  • 17.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Mastering methods for moral reasoning as a form of ethical competence: A methods-based approach to ethics education2017In: WHAT MAY BE LEARNT IN ETHICS? CONFERENCE 11-13 DECEMBER 2017 ABSTRACTS, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2017, p. 16-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on an aspect of ethics rarely treated by scholars or in textbooks, namely the methods for reasoning by which one can arrive at justified moral decision. While these methods are rarely spelled out, they seem to be taken for granted in ethical debates and by scholars working within the field. We argue that the ability to master these methods is a clear candidate for ethical competence – a form of such competence which is both theoretically and practically useful in ethics education at various levels, particularly in comparison to standard theory-based accounts to ethics education. While others have criticized theory-based approaches to ethics education, the methods-based approach that we explore has not been suggested as an alternative. Hence, our research topic is methods for moral reasoning as a basis for ethical competence and ethics education. We have used two complementary methodological tools for arriving at our conclusion that mastering such methods is a form of ethical competence, useful in schools. We combine (1) personal substantial experiences from teaching ethics, in particular to teacher students, with (2) philosophical analysis of ethical debates and theories. By (1) we get important indications about the usefulness of a methods-based approach to ethics education. (2) helps us reveal what ethical debates and theories assume about requirements on moral reasoning. What emerges is a set of basic seemingly uncontroversial methods for moral reasoning, which can be roughly structured under the headings “information”, “vividness” and “coherence”. Hence analytical moral philosophy provides our main theoretical framework.

  • 18.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2016In: Education Abstracts: Eighteenth Annual International Conference on Education 16-19 May 2016, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2016, p. 127-128Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values, which may differ between different societies. Depending on which country we look at, this latter task is either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In Sweden, for instance, the curriculum for the upper secondary school states that "[e]ach and everyone working in the school should… encourage respect for the intrinsic value of each person and the environment we all share. […] In accordance with the ethics borne by Christian tradition and Western humanism, this is to be achieved by nurturing in the individual a sense of justice, generosity, tolerance and responsibility" (see http://www.skolverket.se/publikationer?id=2975; accessed 2015-10-14). In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such basic values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background, and for illustrative purposes, we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide (http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs.jsp; accessed 2015-10-14). It has become common practice to present the results from WVS along two value dimensions: traditional versus secular-rational values, and survival versus self-expression values (see e.g. R. Inglehart, 2006, "Mapping Global Values", in Y. Esmer & T. Pettersson (eds.) Measuring and Mapping Cultures: 25 Years of Comparative Values Surveys, Leiden: Brill.). In general, secular-rational and self-expression values are representative of an individualist evaluative outlook, whereas traditional and survival values are representative of a more collectivist evaluative outlook. Hence, it is possible to use the results from WVS to roughly categorize countries as more or less individualist (generally speaking). The results from WVS reveal that Sweden – which constitutes our example of an individualist society – stands out as remarkably individualist in this respect (see http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/ images/Cultural_map_WVS6_2015.jpg; accessed 2015-10-14). One important aspect of this individualist outlook is that values are commonly regarded as largely a private matter – something that should not be interfered with in the public sphere, e.g. in schools – a view often accompanied by a tendency to downplay the importance of ethical questions in general (see World Values Survey, Wave 6: 2010-2014; http://www.worldvalues survey.org/WVSOnline.jsp; accessed 2015- 10-14). Against this background we have investigated the evaluative outlook of 179 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individual and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative outlook – where one tends to diminish the importance of ethical questions and regard values as largely a private matter – and the ethical and educational task of mediating a set of basic values, and reveal some of the challenges that this tension poses for teachers and the educational system in general in more or less individualist societies.

  • 19.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2017In: Athens Journal of Education, ISSN 2407-9898, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 137-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values. In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide. The results from WVS reveal that Swedes in general stand out as remarkably individualist with respect to their reported value judgements. Hence, Sweden constitutes our example of an individualist society, i.e., a society whose members to a large extent share an individualist evaluative profile. One important feature of such an individualist evaluative profile is a tendency to regard questions of value as largely a private matter and to downplay the importance of ethics in general. Against this background we investigated the evaluative outlook of 134 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individualist and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative profile and the educational task of mediating a set of basic values. This tension, it is argued, poses special challenges for teachers and the teacher education in societies on the individualist side of the scale.

  • 20.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values. In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide. The results from WVS reveal that Swedes in general stand out as remarkably individualist with respect to their reported value judgements. Hence, Sweden constitutes our example of an individualist society, i.e., a society whose members to a large extent share an individualist evaluative profile. One important feature of such an individualist evaluative profile is a tendency to regard questions of value as largely a private matter and to downplay the importance of ethics in general. Against this background we investigated the evaluative outlook of 134 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individualist and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative profile and the educational task of mediating a set of basic values. This tension, it is argued, poses special challenges for teachers and the teacher education in societies on the individualist side of the scale.

  • 21.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reason and Emotion: How Teachers Respond to Ethical Problems2018In: Abstract Book: 20th Annual International Conference on Education: 21-24 May 2018, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2018, Vol. 20, p. 133-134Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers frequently face ethical problems in their everyday practice, ranging from pedagogical choices affecting their pupils to pressing conflicts that need to be solved – e.g. conflicts between pupils, conflicts between colleagues, and conflicts between teachers and parents. In order to handle such problems, teachers need to be able to respond in a professional and thoughtful manner to the various ethical aspects involved.

    Given the centrality of the ethical dimension to the teaching profession, it is an important question how teachers tend to approach ethical problems within their profession. To the extent that teachers fail to approach such problems in a professional and thoughtful manner, this is an issue that should be brought to attention and considered by teachers and within the teacher education.

    Few studies have been carried out regarding how teachers tend to approach ethical problems in their profession. However, there are interesting international studies revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations involving ethical aspects that evoke strong emotional reactions. Jonathan Haidt has constructed several more or less provoking examples involving social taboos, and investigated how people tend to react when confronted with them (Haidt, Koller & Dias, 1993).

    The present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students for which we have borrowed two of Haidts examples. These examples were chosen on the basis that one of them clearly represents a social taboo in a Swedish context while the other does not. Hence, letting the teacher students respond to both these examples allows us to get an indication of whether there is any significant difference in their response to an example evoking a strong emotional reaction as opposed to a more neutral example.

    We present our investigation and discuss the results, which show that the respondents in the more neutral case generally seem to make motivated judgments and in the more provoking case generally seem to rely on gut feelings. If these results can be taken as an indication of how teacher students and teachers tend to respond to real life situations, we argue, they generally have good chances of approaching ethical problems in a professional way. However, a provoking or emotionally laden context enhances the risk of making ethical choices which are not based on professional reasoning.

    We argue that these results indicate a need for teachers and teacher students to consciously reflect on their values and methods for approaching ethical problems.

  • 22.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University.
    Teaching Ethics to Non-Philosophy Students2017In: Abstract Book: 19th Annual International Conference on Education 15-18 May 2017, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2017, p. 185-186Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is not only philosophy students who read ethics in universities and colleges. Nor are they the only ones who have reason to do so. Dealing with ethical issues is a central aspect of many professions, and hence e.g. teacher students, engineering students, police students, medicine students, social worker students and research students are commonly taught ethics within their educational programs, just to mention some.

    In this paper we address the question of how ethics is most appropriately taught to such “non-philosophy” student groups – on a general level, that is; of course there may be important differences between these various professions and areas of study, calling for partly different approaches to teaching ethics.

    The standard way to introduce ethics to non-philosophy students is doubtlessly to present and briefly explain a number of ethical theories (or kinds of theory), such as utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, virtue ethics and moral pluralism. And indeed, most introductory books to ethics adopt this approach, be it general introductions or introductions specialized towards a specific profession or subject matter.

    We refer to this approach as the “smorgasbord approach” to teaching ethics, due to the false impression that it is likely to make on non-philosophy students approaching ethics as an academic discipline for the first time. This approach invites the conception that adopting an ethical position is mainly a matter of simply choosing from this smorgasbord of different theories.

    We find this approach problematic for several reasons:

    To start with, it tends to misrepresent the field of ethics as well as ethical reasoning. These students generally lack the prerequisites required to critically examine and evaluate these theories, to understand the different motivations behind them, and to put them in context. Indeed, it is even difficult, given the usually quite limited time frame for such courses, to give the students an appropriate understanding of what these theories really are theories about. To get a thorough enough understanding of the field for it to be meaningful to focus on ethical theories in introducing non-philosophy students to ethics would require a much more comprehensive ethics education than what there is usually room for within the kinds of educational program mentioned above.

    Furthermore, the smorgasbord approach is likely to be infeasible. How is such an approach supposed to aid the students in practical decision-making – which, first and foremost, is the rational for having them take ethics courses in the first place? Which of these theories should they apply, and why? The different theories give different verdicts in most tricky cases, and these students lack the background knowledge required to critically choose between them. Nor is it obvious that it is desirable to choose one such theory and then apply it in one’s practical reasoning.

    In light of these problematic features of a smorgasbord approach to teaching ethics we suggest a methodology-based approach as a more fruitful alternative. Instead of presenting a list of theories this approach focuses on conveying basic methods for ethical reasoning. We argue that there is almost unanimous agreement among moral philosophers (at least within a broadly analytical tradition) as regards certain basic methods for ethical reasoning, even if these methods are rarely explicitly formulated. These methods can be summarized roughly under three main headings: information, vividness and coherence.

    The main purpose of this paper is to explain and defend the methodological approach to teaching ethics to non-philosophy students. In doing so we also consider and reply to some possible expected objections to this approach.

    Lastly we consider whether the approach should be complemented in some way. One useful complement, we think – if the time and space in the educational program in question allows it – is to bring up the question of character traits – what kind of person one should be.

  • 23.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University.
    Teaching Ethics to Non-Philosophy Students: A Methods-Based Approach2017In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2017, p. 1-17, article id EDU2017-2338Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dealing with ethical issues is a central aspect of many professions. Consequently, ethics is taught to diverse student groups in universities and colleges, alongside philosophy students. In this paper, we address the question of how ethics is best taught to such “non-philosophy” student groups. The standard way of introducing ethics to non-philosophy students is to present them with a set of moral theories. We refer to this approach as the “smorgasbord approach”, due to the impression it is likely to make on non-philosophy students approaching ethics as an academic discipline for the first time. This approach invites the assumption that adopting an ethical position is mainly a matter of choosing from this smorgasbord of different theories. We argue that this approach is problematic for several reasons, both theoretical and practical, and we suggest a methodsbased approach – focusing on methods for moral reasoning – as a more fruitful alternative. The main purpose of this paper is to explain and defend this methods-based approach to teaching ethics to non-philosophy students. In so doing, we also consider and meet some expected objections to this approach.

  • 24.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Traditional vs secular: Which values are reproduced in Swedish teacher education?2015In: XIII Nordic Conference on Religious Education: Shifting borders in Religious Education / [ed] Olga Schihalejev, Tartu: University of Tartu, 2015, p. 17-17Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using the World Values Survey (WVS) as a background the paper discusses a tension between generally shared values among Swedish teacher students and the educational values established by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE). WVS (2014) maps evaluative differences between countries based on the extent to which their populations embrace non-secular traditional values, e.g. nation and religion, and secular self-expression values, e.g. individual choice and responsibility. Sweden stands out as a country that rejects traditional values and embraces selfexpression values (Inglehart 2006). The educational values established by SNAE (2011) include both traditional values, such as “sharing a common cultural heritage”, and self-expression values, such as “individual freedom and integrity”. However, according to WVS the former values are gravely underrepresented in the Swedish population, generally. Against this background, we investigated the evaluative outlook of 153 teacher students. The result indicates that these students do not differ in any significant respect from the population in general as regards secular vs traditional evaluations. An important upshot of this result is that the traditional values emphasized by SNAE are scarcely represented among the teacher students, which makes it questionable whether they will be present in their future teaching. It is a widely accepted idea that teachers tend to reproduce a set of values in their pedagogical practice, consciously and unconsciously, dependent on their own background, resulting in shared ways of thinking, valuing and acting (Bourdieu 1970). Given that there are important educational values among the traditional as well as the self-expression values the imbalance of the evaluative outlook of the students is especially troubling from the sociocultural perspective emphasized in the official documents, where learning is considered to be an essentially social process and not just an individual affair.

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