A New Model for Teaching Ethical Behavior

In the April 24th Chronicle Review, Robert J. Sternberg has an essay in which he describes a model for teaching ethical behavior. One might wonder about the newness. However, there is no doubt about the value of the algorithm he offers.

Sternberg’s eight step model of behaving ethically:

1. Recognize that there is an event to react to.
2. Define the event as having an ethical dimension.
3. Decide that the ethical dimension is significant.
4. Take responsibility for generating an ethical solution to the problem.
5. Figure out what abstract ethical rule(s) might apply to the problem.
6. Decide how abstract ethical rules actually apply to the problem, in order to suggest a concrete solution.
7. Formulate an ethical solution, at the same time possibly preparing to counteract contextual forces that might lead you to act unethically.
8. Act.


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