Finding the value in teaching ethics to creative writers

Dicks, Duncan ORCID: 0000-0001-8098-8140 (2023) Finding the value in teaching ethics to creative writers. Writing in Practice: the journal of creative writing research, 9. pp. 20-31.

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This paper considers the beneficial effects of teaching basic ethical frameworks to creative writing students. It begins by looking at the work of Atkinson (Atkinson, 2008), who found positive effects from using narrative techniques to help teach ethics to medical students. Atkinson found that narrative factors such as setting, plot, character, and conflict, were bound up with making ethical case studies more real to students and thus to help with real ethical decision making. Having established this relationship from the point of view of the ethicist, four ethical frameworks (Narrative Ethics, Consequentialism, Duty Ethics, and Virtue Ethics) are discussed, along with their use in the classroom to help student writers develop character, plot, and conflict in their writing. The results of using a real-life case study as a discussion point, to help students engage and empathise with characters’ point of view, are reviewed. The author’s own experiences of writing a crime fiction novel (as part of a PhD) are used to provide examples of practical uses of these frameworks. These elements are combined to provide a selection of “writing tips” to students, to take away from ethics-based writing lectures. Keywords: ethics, narrative, consequentialism, duty, virtue, Kant, pedagogy, crime fiction

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethics; narrative; consequentialism; duty; virtue; Kant; pedagogy; crime fiction
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Duncan Dicks
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 10:47
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 13:32

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