F3-T3-2 - "Mature" to Doubt: Using Ethical Theories for Role Modeling in Computing Education

3. Research Full Paper
Virginia Grande1 , Kristina von Hausswolff1
1 Uppsala University

This full research paper uses ethical theories to discuss role models in computing education. Role models are beneficial for students but there is little work on how role modeling works and how teachers can reflect on their role modeling for their students. To address this we connect different theories to role modeling and their use to analyze role modeling as a teacher in engineering. We present theories with ethical implications from Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Biesta, then the themes related to these theories found in our interview study on computing teachers' experiences of role modeling.

Our aim is to show how these theories could help deepen teachers’ understanding of role modeling in the concrete classroom situations from an ethical perspective. According to these theories, students first see the teacher as a whole as a potential role model. Gradually and through guidance, students “mature”to doubt: to being able to question which aspects and achievements of their teachers are desirable to emulate and which to avoid imitating. We discuss the teacher’s responsibility to make ethical judgements that include the scaffolding of this process.