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Integrating Practical Wisdom in the Professions

Project Update

The Jubilee Centre has published Character in the Professions: How Virtue Informs Practice. The aim of the research presented in this report was to use data from previous Jubilee Centre research into virtues in the professions to explore: how professionals utilise different types of reasoning to justify their actions; whether professionals at different career stages relied upon specific types of moral reasoning; and, the extent to which professionals gave prominence to distinct dimensions of character. Key findings show that study included the revelations that 69% of professionals indicated that they would deviate from instruction or regulations when a potentially more ethical action was available, that 72% of professionals would not attempt to gain an unethical benefit if instructed to do so, and that established professionals reported greater virtue-based reasoning compared to pre-service professionals.



Project Overview

The Integrating Practical Wisdom in the Professions project will re-examine the wealth of data collected by previous Jubilee Centre research into the role of character and virtue in pre- and in-service professional practise and seek to make new recommendations which build upon those set out in previous reports, as well as collect new data. Bringing together the existing data into one large dataset will allow researchers to explore similarities and differences in character across professions by gender, stage of career, and other demographic factors. This re-analysis aims to inform both the pre- and in-service ethical training of professionals, both training that is particular to professions and more generic training relevant to all good professional practice.

Read our Virtue Insight blog, which introduces the project.

The project seeks to answer the following overarching research questions:

  • Are there similarities and differences in self-reported and perceived ideal character strengths between professions?
  • How do professionals’ subjective evaluations of their own character strengths, and those of the ideal professional, coincide with responses to ethical dilemmas and perceptions of their workplace conditions?
  •  What materials and practises are currently utilised with regards to in-service professional training in ethics and character?

Once a thorough secondary analysis of Jubilee Centre data on professional ethics has been undertaken, the findings will be used to inform professional practise. The project will seek to establish links with professional bodies to discuss the implications for professional practise. Along with collation of professional documents (e.g. mission statements, codes of practise, induction/ training procedures), the projects hope that engaging with professionals and professional bodies will uncover factors that may underpin virtuous practise within and across professions. The project seeks to develop intervention programmes to enhance virtuous practice in UK-based professions. These programmes may not be limited to CPD training for in-service professional practise, and could also target pre-service training and education systems.

If you have any further questions about this project, please contact Dr. Stephen Earl.

Download this summary by clicking the blue image at the top.