McDonough School of Business
News Story

Teaching the Teachers: The Georgetown Approach to Ethics Education

The Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics (GISME) hosted its second annual “Workshop on Teaching Professional Ethics through Experiential Learning: The Georgetown Approach” June 1-3. As business schools grow and the demand for ethics integrated in the curriculum grows along with them, GISME continues to play a leading role as a center that educates a new generation of business ethics professors.

In many graduate programs, business ethics is not an available course. Traditional business school faculty are well-trained in quantitative methods, but seldom study normative thinking and don’t always see the relevance of teaching ethics. Therefore, Georgetown McDonough designed this workshop to acquaint those who teach business ethics courses with integrated pedagogical techniques so they also can create a highly effective business ethics course. Professors were in attendance from several universities across the globe, including University of Arkansas Little Rock, University of Arizona, Nippissing University, Northern Illinois, Oxford University, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Rockford University, Strathmore University of Kenya, and Stonehill College. 

The workshop covered such topics as the underlying fundamental principles of business ethics, experiential classroom projects and lessons, and lessons in moral psychology that help people understand ethical choices. Georgetown McDonough presenters included Jason Brennan, Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Term Associate Professor; William English, assistant professor of strategy, economics, ethics, and public policy; John Hasnas, professor of business and executive director of GISME; and Peter Jaworski, assistant teaching professor of business ethics.  

“At the McDonough School of Business, we have developed a method of teaching business ethics that includes normative experiential learning, communicates in terms readily understood by business students, and involves actual ethical decision-making on the part of the students,” said Michael Douma, assistant research professor and director of GISME.  “We have found that our approach results in students being more invested in the course and more committed to resolving ethical issues that confront them in a business environment.”

Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics