Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for May, 2012

California’s Ethical Training being Unethical?

without comments

Academia has as a standard to attempt to always accurately cite where information comes from.  This is for both ethical and epistemological reasons.

As I have recently been going through a state training course about ethics, as I just posted about, I found the assertion:

Research by the Institute for Global Ethics indicates that we all believe certain values are worthwhile:

  • Fairness
  • Loyalty
  • Compassion
  • Trustworthiness
  • Responsibility
  • Respect

These values transcend nationalities, cultures and religions.

So I decided to try and find this research.  But because the training didn’t cite its source, I had to start looking.  But, thus far, the research as directly indicated is nowhere to be found.  (Although I am not saying it doesn’t exist, because it could have been offline information, that is in some printed report, but in this case it is even more crucial to know how to get that report.)

I just wrote the following to the Attorney General’s Office, Public Inquiry Unit, which is the group listed under “Contact Us” from the ethical training program:

Your training website states:

“Research by the Institute for Global Ethics indicates that we all believe certain values are worthwhile: Fairness, Loyalty, Compassion, Trustworthiness, Responsibility, and Respect. These values transcend nationalities, cultures and religions”

(I slightly modified the grammar, because the original text was bulletted, and thus could not be copied into this box.)

I tried to find this research, and I could not find it from either the website for the Institute for Global Ethics, nor from a Google Scholar search, nor from a general Google search (Except many websites that quote the research.)

The closest I found to the research the training cited was at www.globalethics.org/files/wp_trust_1222960968.pdf/21/  but this research in no way was rigorous enough to conclude that “These values transcend nationalities, cultures and religions”   Nor did the research directly state that the list of “Fairness, Loyalty, Compassion, Trustworthiness, Responsibility, and Respect.” are the universal values (each seemed to be included, but not in the way the training seemed to represent that they are.)

This is an interesting irony: that the ethical training course at this point seems to have done something slightly unethical.  I hope I am wrong on this, in which case I’d appreciate you to provide me with a copy of the original research, and properly cite and link to it from your training.  Or to find more accurate research and use this instead.

While I doubt that neither the Institute for Global Ethics, nor the California Attorney General’s office meant to be slightly unethical, it illustrates how easy it is for us to be slightly hypocritical, and thus why empathy and compassion are truly important ethical values in many instances.

Written by Jacob Walker

May 5th, 2012 at 8:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

A Slight Lie from the Institute for Global Ethics

with one comment

My friend Russ sent me a link to AB 1234 Ethics Training that he is required to do every year in his position, and I think is good for any public servant/employee including public teachers to go through.  Especially those of us who are getting more political, as there are many fine lines that we must consider both legally and ethically.

While going through the training it made the assertion that:

Research by the Institute for Global Ethics indicates that we all believe certain values are worthwhile:

  • Fairness
  • Loyalty
  • Compassion
  • Trustworthiness
  • Responsibility
  • Respect

These values transcend nationalities, cultures and religions.

This interested me, and I wanted to find out more about this research, because maybe these should be some of the core values of the Effective Education Projects, if the research seemed to be accurate.   So I found the Institute for Global Ethics, but to get any downloads from them, they require a form to be filled out.   On this form, it says ” You may, at any time, opt to no longer receive communications from us.”  but I thought it was ironic that this was slightly a lie, because there was no option on this sign-up form to opt-out, so in the section that says “We welcome your comments:” I wrote the following, and we will see if they in fact opt me out, and if they will add the option to the form:

It is ironic that your site has a slight lie.  Above you say “You may, at any time, opt to no longer receive communications from us.”  Yet there is no option on this initial screen to opt out.  Please opt me out, and please hold up your values by adding the opt-out option on this initial sign-up page.

Written by Jacob Walker

May 5th, 2012 at 7:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized