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ERIC Number: ED544509
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1324-9320
Universality and Cultural Diversity in Professional Ethical Development: From Kohlberg to Dynamic Systems Theory
Kim, Minkang
Australian Association for Research in Education (NJ1), Paper presented at the Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference (AARE-APERA 2012) World Education Research Association (WERA) Focal Meeting (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Dec 2-6, 2012)
Upholding ethical standards is part of what it means to be a professional and therefore part of professional education, but to what extent is the development of ethical reasoning universal across cultures, or is it highly dependent on culture? If universal, how can we explain the unique patterns of moral reasoning and behaviour in Asia, which reflect Confucian values? This issue is particularly pertinent to professional education as it becomes increasingly globalised, with students from different cultural backgrounds travelling overseas for their professional education, sometimes staying to practice in their adopted countries, and as nations such as the US and Australia become increasingly multicultural. Moral psychology has generally adhered to universalism, calling on support from Kantian ethics. Strong universalism has historically been associated with resistance to relativism. Over the past half-century, cognitive rationalist approaches (e.g. Kohlbergian and neo-Kohlbergian), focusing on the development of reasoning skills, have tended to predominate in courses of professional ethics. However, over the past decade, these approaches have met considerable criticism. This paper explores these ideas as they impact on practice and research in professional education, and with reference to a comparative study of ethical identity in American and Asian dentists. (Contains 2 figures.)
Australian Association for Research in Education. AARE Secretariat, One Geils Court, Deakin ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6285-8388; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Identifiers - Location: California; South Korea (Seoul)