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Sci Eng Ethics. 2006 Apr;12(2):381-9.

Teaching ethics: more than an honor code.

Author information

  • Grand Valley State University, School of Engineering, 301 West Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504, USA. fleischs@gvsu.edu

Abstract

An honor code is certainly a good place to start teaching engineering students about ethics, but teaching students to live honorably requires far more effort than memorizing a code of ethics statement or applying it just to academic performance. In the School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University, we have followed the model provided by the United States Military Academy at West Point. For our students this involves an introduction to the Honor Code as part of a larger Honor Concept at the very beginning of their studies and then making it an integral part of their preparation as engineers. The challenge is significant because the culture at large does not support living with an Honor Concept. This paper will begin with a discussion of the cultural context in which we must teach, because that context has changed significantly in the years since many faculty members were students themselves. The rest of the paper will detail the approach that we have taken to teach ethics as an engineer's way of life.

PMID:
16609725
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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