The Ethical Education and Perspectives of Chinese Engineering Students: A Preliminary Investigation and Recommendations

Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):1935-1965 (2020)
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To develop more effective ethics education for cross-cultural and international engineering, a study was conducted to determine what Chinese engineering students have learned and think about ethics. Recent research shows traditional approaches to ethics education are potentially ineffective, but also points towards ways of improving ethical behaviors. China is the world’s most populous country, graduating and employing the highest number of STEM majors, although little empirical research exists about the ethical knowledge and perspectives of Chinese engineering students. When compared to engineering students in the US, Chinese engineering students received less ethics education; the form of the education they did receive stressed virtue ethics or the development of moral character; conceive of ethics in contradistinction to the law, where ethics deals with matters of right and wrong not covered by legality. Based on these findings and research in moral psychology and behavioral ethics, recommendations are made for improving engineering ethics education both in China and abroad.



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Rockwell Clancy
Virginia Tech

Citations of this work

The Development of a Case-Based Course on Global Engineering Ethics in China.Rockwell F. Clancy - 2020 - International Journal of Ethics Education 6 (1):51-73.

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Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases.Charles Edwin Harris, Michael S. Pritchard & Michael Jerome Rabins - 2018 - Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Edited by Michael S. Pritchard, Ray W. James, Elaine E. Englehardt & Michael J. Rabins.
The weirdest people in the world?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.

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