Ethics in educational research: introducing a methodological tool for effective ethical analysis

Stutchbury, Kris and Fox, Alison (2009). Ethics in educational research: introducing a methodological tool for effective ethical analysis. Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(4) pp. 489–504.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057640903354396

Abstract

Ethics is a complicated field and much has been written about its application to educational research. In this paper we introduce a way of planning for and dealing with situations that arise in the course of research that promotes detailed ethical analysis. We present a framework based on the work of Seedhouse and Flinders and describe a methodology for its use, alongside two examples in which the framework was used to achieve a comprehensive ethical analysis. The framework encourages us to view each situation from different philosophical perspectives and in doing so addresses issues about how to behave ethically, alongside methodological considerations, thus ensuring the integrity of the research. Use of the framework involves what Pring (2004) refers to as 'practical thinking' and addresses many of the concerns that other people raise about the limitations of linear codes and principles in a complex field.

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