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‘Ethical Researcher’ by Jim Byrne

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 @ 8:33 pm
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Posted in  Ethics

Today I attended a training event at Manchester University, delivered by Jim Byrne on the subject of Ethics in Research. This was the first of three sessions.It was a very stimulating exprience, also exhausting in some ways, it provoked a lot of responses in me, particularly due to the parallels with ethics in therapy and the fact that i have had some personal negative experiences in this area. Being and ethical practitioner, and researcher, is a challenge that often is over-simplified. Today’s group highlighted a lot of blindspots.  Jim sent an email where he provided some outline of the session, as follows:

Aim of research:  To find out how postgraduate students think and learn about research ethics, and how they could think and learn this topic more effectively.  The corollary (for tutors) is to try to find out how to more effectively teach the topic of ethical research competence.

 What I will do:  All that I will do, on 27th March, is to introduce you to some ideas, in the form of a seminar/workshop, which will cover the following elements:

(a). To review the Group Schema – for ‘What is Research?’ – that we constructed on 27th February, at the CRG event;

(b). To update that schema in the light of your subsequent learning about the importance of the ethical component of research;

(c). Looking at how to do ‘Ethical Risk Assessments’ in counselling research; which will involve introducing you to, and getting you to think about and discuss, a real counselling research project proposal, and its ethical implications;

(d). Small group discussions of a real-life research proposal, and some obstacles to pursuing it;

(e). Two questionnaires on group perception;

(f). A debate on whether or not it would be morally acceptable to proceed with the sample research project, in the light of the obstacles we have identified.  (This debate will follow the structure of the KMDD (Konstanz Method of [Moral] Dilemma-Discussion], devised by Professor Georg Lind, at the University of Konstanz, Germany.  Dr Lind believes that the KMDD debate structure is one of the best methods of teaching greater moral reasoning ability, and so I want to try this approach out to see if it helps you significantly).

The overall aims of the session will be:

(a). To provide you, the participants, with an insight into ethical research which will serve you well when you come to doing your own research project; and:

(b). To provide feedback/debriefing about a key aspect of the event on 27th Feb.

(c). To provide me, Jim Byrne, with an opportunity to collect research data/information for my own research, which is on how postgraduate students think and feel about ethical research, and how they learn and are taught.

(d). To run an event that allows you to develop your ethical research competence.

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