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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Cultivating a Moral Imagination for Future Teacher Educators: The Dilemma of Teacher Assessment

Duffy, Kate (2023) Cultivating a Moral Imagination for Future Teacher Educators: The Dilemma of Teacher Assessment. In: Philosophy of Education of Australasia, 6th - 9th December 2023, Auckland, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The COVID-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on the ethical issues of assessment practice across all phases of education but most importantly, in relation to the high-stakes assessment (HSA) at secondary and tertiary stages of schooling. This presentation documents the views of final year BA (Hons) Education Studies students as they critically analyse their position on this topical ethical dilemma in education. As part of their final year undergraduate curriculum, students take a module called ‘Ethics in Education’. Its aim is to encourage students to discuss moral dilemmas that occur within education. During this module, university tutors and students engage in dialogue and reflection around a range of ethical dilemmas faced by teachers and policy makers with the aim to understand the motivations and consequences of the actions resulting from these dilemmas. The aim of the module is to illuminate the complexity of ethical decision making in education. The classroom dialogues seek to enhance student’s critical and creative thinking around the issues while fostering an increased sensitivity to the needs and expectations of others affected in the situations. The dialogues help to prepare the students for their written assessment which requires them to produce a critical analysis of two dilemmas in education, one of which was the planned teacher assessment to replace national examinations in the UK in 2021. The aim of this presentation is two-fold. Firstly, it will present the themes which emerged from 66 student papers and their responses to the temporary change in the assessment practice during COVID-19. Their responses are highly informative around their views on trust and fairness in assessment practice and allude to a moral imagination for new ways of thinking about the value, importance, and methods of high stakes assessment. Secondly, more generally, the presentation will reflect upon the extent to which a module such as this, can prepare future educators to both understand decision making in education and their role within it.

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Depositing User: Kate Duffy


Item ID: 17176

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Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2024 14:03
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 14:15