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Interventions in the Professions

Project Overview

The Interventions in Trainee and Student Teachers, Lawyers and Doctors project is developing and evaluating interventions that prioritise the integration of virtue-based practice into teaching, law and medical professions. The interventions will enable medical, law and teaching professionals to understand what it means to be a virtuous professional in their area of expertise.

At least 500 law, medical and teaching students will experience a module integrated into their courses that will provide a better understanding and appreciation of virtue in the professions.

Those experiencing the course will have a greater understanding of what it means to be a virtuous professional which in turn will lead to them developing a better understanding of what it means to ‘serve’ others in the course of their professional lives.

Read Binish Khatoon's Virtue Insight blog 'Virtue Training' introducing the project.

Methodology

The project started with a literature review to examine relevant information sources. Experts in the three fields were drawn together into a consultation group to develop and design the materials and to offer comprehensive review of recent research in their specialist fields. The teaching interventions will be discussed and will be tested through undergraduate courses and subjected to evaluation.

Literature Review & Findings

It has become evident that there has been a change in educational emphasis from character to technical competency. Recent years have been packed with unfortunate and highly exposed manifestations of the misadventures, and harm caused by those in these professions.

Presently, there is no course that encourages the professionals to think about the role of phronesis in their areas of expertise.

An increasingly popular medium for delivering and assisting teaching material today is the internet; the interventions for this project will therefore be delivered as an online course.

Feedback from the experts shows that this ‘hidden curriculum’ needs to be considered and its content drawn out explicitly by helping professionals to discuss it openly with colleagues and give clearer feedback to students. Virtue ethics needs to be incorporated into ethics education and training and over time, to assess the impact in terms of each professional’s individual moral compass.

Project Milestones

The project will successfully implement a set of practical resources that are replicable in courses across Britain that have been extensively trialled and revised. Universities will be encouraged to include the intervention within their teaching syllabus. The NHS trust, and relevant regulators for medical and legal professions, will be provided with access to an online course which can be delivered to the staff working within their trusts.

The success of these interventions will be measured through evidence of students and professionals becoming both more virtue literate, as well as virtuous practitioners.

Partners

  • Health Education West Midlands
  • University of East Anglia
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Dental School, Birmingham
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Leicester
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Law
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Kent
  • University of St Mark and St John
  • Manchester Metropolitan University