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Whilst there is significant research examining the pedagogical development of pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills after their internship experience, there has been little examination of their experience of ethical tension and little investigation into ways to further enhance pre-service teachers’ ethical reasoning. This paper documents some of the ways that pre-service teachers reason about ethically charged situations. It aims to extend conceptions of the moral imagination and its place in the teaching of ethics to pre-service teachers by discussing findings from a teaching project pilot study designed to investigate the ways in which pre-service teachers experience and respond to ethical tensions. Whilst recognising common difficulties in responding to ethically charged situations, our analysis utilises pre-service teacher dialogue in the form of an assessment strategy based on a ‘community of inquiry’ model and examines the ways in which pre-service teachers utilise the moral imagination to reason through ethical issues. This paper indicates some ways professional development could provide opportunities more aligned with pre-service teachers’ learning needs in the development of their ethical reasoning, and argues that the moral imagination is a fundamental feature of ethical practice and decision-making.

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access