Teachers' Ethical Sensitivity in Critical Incidents at School

Kirsi Tirri

The purpose of the study was to investigate teachers’ ethical sensitivity in critical incidents at school. The data included narrative interviews of 12 teachers from four urban schools in Finland. Critical incidents were defined as issues or situations in teachers’ work that arise involving ethical reflection with moral emotions. Four main categories of critical incidents were identified. These were related to the principal, students and families, teachers and the school community. Teachers reported commitment, caring, co-operation and respect as the most dominant emotional expressions in these situations. These emotional expressions reflected ethical sensitivity skills, especially in reading and expressing emotions.

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