Engaging Ethics: Integrating Clinical Praxis and Moral Theory via Service-Learning and Reflection

Category 2: Program Development Grant

"Our study compared traditional and Service-Learning (SL) versions of an Ethics in Healthcare course required for students pursuing healthcare majors. We wanted to know if using SL pedagogy would increase (a) students_ sense of meaning and purpose and (b) their ability to integrate ethical concepts in both academic and professional situations. While the quantitative data from our exit survey were inconclusive, qualitative data indicated that combining Ethics in Healthcare with praxis was effective. We analyzed students_ final essays for thinking style in addition to our original research questions (a & b, above). Most students_ essays touched on ethics in community and public policy, but those with SL employed higher levels of thinking to do so. They showed engagement at the highest levels of thinking on Bloom_s taxonomy: creative adaptive thinking, synthesis, and evaluation. These same students had actively embraced the concepts by applying them in their SL experience. They are more likely, then, to retain and apply these concepts in their personal and professional experiences."