Ethical competence as displayed in utterances of pupils
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2016

The pupils’ perspectives in this project, i.e. the conceptions of ethical competence that can be identified in pupils’ utterances, are shown both by analyses of national tests (2013) and interviews concerning their experienced needs of ethical competence. The national tests consist here of two different material; one part is quantitative data of the test results from findings of 3145 pupils and the other part is the pupils’ open-ended writings, responses, of the three different tasks about ethics in the test. While the perspectives of the pupils in the interviews will be excluded in this presentation, the paper starts with a brief overview of how ethical competence, in the form of results of the ethics tasks of the National RE Test, looks like in relation to a general RE skill, i.e. the total achievements of the RE test. Do the results patterns from of the tasks in ethics differ from the general ones or from the other RE content areas? However, the main focus of the presentation will be a tentative analysis of 50 12-year-old pupils’ responses to a task about bullying or victimization [kränkning]. In the task the pupils are asked to present a situation about victimization, give motives for why it can be understood as victimization and describe what can be done to improve the situation. The analyses focus on what kinds of ethical competences that can be understood as shown in their responses independent of what the assessment instructions of the tests prescribe. Are there other kinds of competences shown besides the ones required by the curriculum, i.e. mainly analytical, verbal and normative ones. The ethical competences exposed through these hermeneutical, inductive, close readings of the material will be discussed in relation to Knud Ejler Løgstrup’s philosophy sometimes called the ethics of closeness. How can the pupils’ understanding of victimization and of what should be done in such situations be understood in relation to the life philosophy of Løgstrup where we live our life in necessary trust and interdependence, with our lives in each other’s hands and therefore has an unspoken demand on us to take care of the life that the trust has put in our hands.


Christina Osbeck

Göteborgs universitet

Johan Tykesson

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Matematiska vetenskaper, matematisk statistik

NERA Helsinki 2016-03-09 - 2016-03-11, Symposium: What may be learnt in ethics? Varieties of conceptions of ethical competence to be taught in compulsory school