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ERIC Number: ED513465
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 329
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3047-3
Ethics Instruction in Library and Information Science: The Role of "Ethics across the Curriculum"
Smith, Bernie Todd
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Rochester
Ethics is an important element of most graduate professional training programs. In the field of Library and Information Science (LIS) the inclusion of ethics in the curriculum is supported by a position paper by library educators and is monitored in the accreditation of graduate programs. Despite the many LIS programs which claim to integrate ethics, few authors have examined how they are accomplishing this integration, and fewer still have explored the nature of the integration. The purpose of this research is to expand the descriptive literature on the current teaching of ethics in graduate LIS programs by investigating ethics integration across the curriculum. The research describes the views and experiences of administrators and teachers on institution-wide tactics for integration of ethics across the curriculum. The research also details the strategies that teachers used to integrate ethics into existing core courses in LIS curricula. The conceptual framework, which grounds this study of the integration of ethics, is based on the taxonomy of the teaching of professional ethics. The research is based on a qualitative methodology that uses sequential data gathering, including document review, interviews and a focus group. The data analysis uses the constant comparative coding method for analyzing the documents, interviews, and the focus group. The findings of the research serve to answer the study's two research questions. Investigation of the first research question, "How did teachers and administrators describe institution-wide ethics efforts?", resulted in three key findings: the subjects recognized the importance of the teaching of ethics; the participants identified two types of challenges involved in promoting ethics, those across LIS schools and those effecting students; and the schools have devised processes to initiate, implement and evaluate the integration of ethics. Research required to answer the second research question that concerns the ways that teachers integrate ethics into their courses resulted in seven key findings: the importance of integrating ethics into core courses; that almost half of the core courses analyzed had ethics-specific learning objectives; that teachers used many teaching strategies for integrating ethical content into core courses; that teachers recognized the concept of community as central to the integration of ethics; that codes of ethics were the most consistently used learning resource; that teachers experienced challenges in the integration of ethics; and that the participants identified a missed opportunity, conceiving of training in ethical analysis as the teaching of skills. The conclusion to the study provides a view of the implications of both the studies' findings and the taxonomy. It also includes the major limitations of the study and the further research which the study implies. The study concludes with recommendations for the practice of teaching ethics and the Appendices include specific course descriptions and interview and focus group instruments. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A