Defining And Identifying Ethical Dilemmas In The Romanian Context

Roxana-Maria Ghiațău

In this study, we have established a series of theoretical and empirical objectives. Theoretically, the research intentions were the following: a. defining ethical dilemma in education; b. identifying the distinct elements of an authentic educational ethical dilemma; c. distinguishing between ethical dilemmas and other types of dilemmas. In the empirical part, the major objective was to identify the ethical dilemmas and strategies involved in the Romanian teachers’ process of making ethical decisions. Empirically, our major objectives consisted in investigating teachers’ ethical dilemmas and in the context of ethical decision- making. The participants were 41 subjects, Romanian teachers, and the research methods used were the focus group and the written report. The study undertaken enabled the formulation of three major conclusions: 1. the teachers identified five professional themes where they believe that values are violated or where ethical dilemmas occur: the relationship with parents, leadership, the relationship with students and social justice issues; 2. most of the dilemmas identified by the teachers are not authentic ethical dilemmas, but pseudo-dilemmas, professional dilemmas or challenges for professional courage; 3. as decision strategy, teachers indicate, first and foremost, single-handed orientation and only after that the delegation to other fora.

ethical dilemmas, professional dilemma

ROXANA-MARIA GHIAȚĂU – Associate Professor, PhD, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania. E-mail:

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