Refining the Ethical Eye and Ethical Voice (EthiCo II)

Research project
Active research
Project period
2019 - 2023
Project owner
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies


Short description

Refining the Ethical Eye and Ethical Voice- The Possibilities and Challenges of a Fiction-based Approach to Ethics Education (EthiCo II)

While development of ethical competence is one of the most clearly expressed goals of the Swedish curriculum, research has described teaching as reactive and unplanned and lacking in appropriate tools.

This project therefore aims to plan and investigate under what conditions a fiction-based approach to Ethics Education can develop 14-year-old pupils’ ethical competence. Together with teachers, this research also seeks to identify what difficulties exist teaching ethics in this way.

The research questions

The research questions concern:

  • pupils’ development of ethical competence
  • differences between classes related to used teaching approach and its implementation
  • what can benefit or limit the development of ethical competence?
  • teachers’ insights during fiction based ethical teaching


Six classes in different schools participate in the project: three with a fiction-based approach to Ethics Education (LitEtUnd), and three with their regular Ethics Education (OrdEtUnd).

The selected participating schools are paired for similar SES and ratio of pupils from a non-swedish speaking background. During the development phase, five teacher seminars will be conducted where LitEtUnd is refined. At the beginning and end of the implementation (one academic year), the pupils' ethical competence (six classes) will be tested. Nine lessons with a fictional text followed by teaching, small group discussions and a whole class conversation will be audio recorded.

The material will be analyzed based on an understanding of ethical competence as multidimensional. Teachers will be interviewed and insights over time about the possibilities and challenges will be documented. The teachers will also participate in analysis and reporting. Variations between classes and teachers in the implementation will be studied. An international advisory board contribute to the project.

Project members

Christina Osbeck, University of Gothenburg
Olof Franck, University of Gothenburg
David Lifmark, University of Gothenburg
Annika Lilja, University of Gothenburg
Anna Lyngfelt, University of Gothenburg
Karin Sporre, Umeå University