Being ethically minded: Practising the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in an ethical manner


  • Ruth L. Healey University of Chester
  • Tina Bass Coventry University
  • Jay Caulfield Marquette University
  • Adam Hoffman University of Dubuque
  • Michelle K. McGinn Brock University
  • Janice Miller-Young Mount Royal University
  • Martin Haigh Oxford Brookes University



ethical approaches, ethically minded, ethical research, ethical scholarship of teaching and learning


The authors propose a working definition of ethical Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), advance an ethical framework for SoTL inquiry, and present a case study that illustrates the complexity of ethical issues in SoTL. The Ethical SoTL Matrix is a flexible framework designed to support SoTL practitioners, particularly in the formative stages of their inquiries. Three dominant ethical traditions form the basis of the matrix: teleological or pragmatic, external, and deontological. The key message of the paper is that SoTL practitioners should reflect on different perspectives in their efforts to do what is right in any given situation. The matrix introduces three dominant ethical traditions, but SoTL practitioners may ultimately move beyond these traditions to explore a range of ethical considerations appropriate to their projects and disciplines.


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Author Biographies

Ruth L. Healey, University of Chester

Ruth L. Healey is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Chester, UK.

Tina Bass, Coventry University

Tina Bass is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Management at Coventry Business School, UK.

Jay Caulfield, Marquette University

Jay Caulfield is an Associate Professor of Leadership and Ethics and Associate Dean for Marquette University’s College of Professional Studies.

Adam Hoffman, University of Dubuque

Adam Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Dubuque (UD), USA.

Michelle K. McGinn, Brock University

Michelle K. McGinn is a Professor of Education at Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

Janice Miller-Young, Mount Royal University

Janice Miller-Young is an Associate Professor in engineering at Mount Royal University (MRU), Canada, and is the current chair of MRU’s human research ethics board.

Martin Haigh, Oxford Brookes University

Martin Haigh is a Professor of Geography at Oxford Brookes University and a National Teaching Fellow, UK.


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How to Cite

Healey, Ruth L., Tina Bass, Jay Caulfield, Adam Hoffman, Michelle K. McGinn, Janice Miller-Young, and Martin Haigh. 2013. “Being Ethically Minded: Practising the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in an Ethical Manner”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 1 (2):23-33.



Articles: International Perspectives on the Practice of SoTL