Implication of Critical Thinking for Applied Ethics in Science and Technology


As science and technology are descriptive, it is difficult for the undergraduates in Department of Science and Technology (DST) to learn Applied Ethics, which is of a completely different but philosophical approach in making moral judgment by applying Kant’s moral theory, or theories of Utilitarianism, Contractarianism and Euthanasia, etc. Therefore, exploring reflective, interactive but practical method through fostering critical thinking in teaching Applied Ethics to students from DST is necessary. Since the introduction of critical thinking based upon revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl (Eds), 2001) and ethical reasoning (MacKinnon, 2012) in the first lesson, two classes of Yr. 2 major in Financial Mathematics, DST in BNU-HKBU United International College, have been trained to spend half an hour in each 3-hr session for brainstorming and discussion of various issues through critical thinking (Scriven & Paul, 1987) and ethical reasoning, and then present their ethical judgments in written or oral form. In the last two weeks, each group has to hand in a set of PowerPoints focused on any issues in science and technology selected by themselves through application of various ethical theories in moral decision making and then have their individual oral presentation. At the end of the course, each student is asked to answer a questionnaire modified from the one concerning critical thinking on ESL writing designed by Sham (2016) to evaluate the efficacy and establishment of critical thinking undergone through the six stages in Bloom’s taxonomy and ethical reasoning in Applied Ethics in Science and Technology.

Author Information
Diana P. L. Sham, Hong Kong Chinese Institute of Engineer Ltd, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2017
Stream: Ethics - Ethics in Education

This paper is part of the ACERP2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon