Clarifying the Ethical Tendency in Educational Practice - A Wittgenstein Inspired Approach


  • Johan Öhman
  • Leif Östman


ABSTRACT This article aims to contribute to the debate about the moral and ethical aspects of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and also provide a practical tool for teachers by suggesting a clarification of ethics and morals through an investigation of how these aspects appear in educational practice. The Wittgenstein inspired approach used means that ethics and morals are regarded as expressions of a particular human tendency - the ethical tendency - that is observable in communication. The findings suggest that the ethical tendency appears in three different kinds of situations: personal moral reactions, norms for correct behaviour and ethical reflections. We discuss the diverse learning conditions of these situations, and take specific notice of the risk of indoctrination.

Author Biographies

Johan Öhman

Senior lecturer in education, dep of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden

Leif Östman

Professor in education, dep of Teacher training, Uppsala University, Sweden