Publication Details

Baker, M., Corderoy, E., Hammersley, L., Lloyd, K., McLachlan, K., Semple, A. & White, K. (2014). Building capacity through ethical understanding and practice. In K. Moore (Ed.), Work Integrated Learning: Building Capacity - Proceedings of the 2014 ACEN National Conference (pp. 77-82). Melbourne: Australian Collaborative Education Network.


Fostering ethical understanding and practice in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and other forms of experiential learning is integral to preparing students for engagement with society beyond university (Campbell, 2011; Campbell & Zegwaard, 2011a; Campbell & Zegwaard, 2011b). Ethical practice is a fundamental aspect of Macquarie University's Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative, and our research and practice to date have examined how ethical understanding can be translated into ethical practice by students (Baker et al., 2013). This paper details further developments in our endeavour to prepare students for ethical complexities and build their capacity to respond to them. It also discusses how efforts to foster and share consistent ethical understanding and practice, through an Ethical Practice Framework, have resulted in the establishment of a community of ethical practice. This building of capacity involves pushing pedagogical and institutional boundaries and stems from the realisation that developing curriculum can extend beyond a quality learning and teaching experience for PACE students, as well as clear benefits for: staff involved in PACE, the University, community-based partners, and others beyond. Qualitative data illustrates outcomes, while ongoing reflection upon ethical complexities highlights challenges and avenues for future research and development.