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Toward a Cosmopolitan Minded Post-Secondary Ethics Education Open Access


Other title
Higher Education
Ethics Education
Applied Ethics
Moral Education
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schmaus, David L
Supervisor and department
Shultz, Lynette (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Smith, David G (Secondary Education)
Abdi, Ali A (Educational Studies, UBC)
Stelmach, Bonnie (Educational Policy Studies)
Eppert, Claudia (Secondary Education)
Chinnery, Ann (Teacher Education, SFU)
Department of Educational Policy Studies
Educational Administration and Leadership
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Tools to think about and interact with the emergence of new levels of interconnectivity and complexity in the post-secondary ethics classroom are necessary. The question explored in this study concerns what relevance cosmopolitanism has as an educational response to this need. Contemporary criticisms of classical cosmopolitanism are used to analyze ethics education in a Canadian polytechnic. One goal of cosmopolitan minded education is to help students struggle with the balance between obligations that result from particular circumstances and moral responsibility to the larger global community. A cosmopolitan theoretical framework is applied as both a research and pedagogical tool to be engaged in efforts to fulfill this goal. A qualitative case study method was used to examine how a cosmopolitan minded approach can be used to transform the learning contexts of ethics education in a Canadian polytechnic institute. Analysis of institutional, program, and course level documentation provided context and was enriched by data gathered through student focus groups as well as interviews with faculty and administration. General recommendations include the application of a pluriversal, dialogical process of learning that sees students engage in agonistic dialogue regarding the ethical question of what it means to live a good life and the moral question of what responsibilities this entails. The study reveals the regulatory nature of much applied ethics education and offers an alternative process as imagined through a cosmopolitan vantage point.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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