teacher education, professionalism, ethics, decision making, case studies, active learning
Teachers are moral agents. Acting professionally in loco parentis teachers have a legal and moral duty of care to students (DES, 2017). Moreover, they can be regarded as moral role models (Bergen, 2006; Lumpkin, 2013). Professional codes of practice assist teachers in their moral agency (Alberta Teachers Association, 2004; CDET, 2017; DfE, 2011; Education Council, 2017; Teaching Council, 2012; 2016; World Class Teachers, 2017). In conjunction with official codes of conduct, TE ethics programmes contribute to the development of a moral language and raise awareness of moral agency in teaching (Shapira-Lishchinsky, 2010). In 2014 the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) jointly developed a cross-institutional training programme entitled The Ethical Teacher Programme, designed to facilitate student teachers to reflect upon professionalism and ethics during School Placement. The programme incorporated both a study of the Teaching Council Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (Code) (2012) and explorations of selected ethical case studies in teaching, using collaborative learning (CL) and role play strategies. The ethical dilemma approach employed mirrored literature studies (Colenerud, 1997; Husu & Tiri, 2003; Klassen, 2002). Unique to the approach, however, was the method of application of selected classical and contemporary ethical philosophies to moral dilemmas in teaching.