The research project “Profession Didactics in Innovative Teacher Education – Developing Ethical Competencies and Prospects for Sustainability in Theory and Praxis” is focused on the development of professional ethics in social educator and teacher education in Denmark. It ventures to focus on new didactic perspectives that can create a link between education, internship, and practice. The research interest is how teachers and school leaders – educationally qualified professionally to handle ethical dimensions of work and how didactic new learning methods for ethical reflection can be developed. With a profession didactic perspective, the research raises questions about how academic organization and academic interaction can support students and professionals’ opportunities to investigate, develop and evaluate their work now and in the future – seen in the light of educational reforms and political governance. The research empirically examines how organizations and educational institutions develop students' ethical awareness. Furthermore, it focus on methods to create interaction between the individual, interpersonal, and societal levels – with education and training programmes at the center.
The focus on teachers' and leaders' development of ethical awareness – including education in human values and professional virtues – is compatible with the University of Southern Denmark's focus on the UN's World Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Social Sustainability and Quality Education (United Nations 2021).
From an educational science perspective, there is a connection between the professional integrity of professionals and the values and educational processes that thus create future generations, addressed in the fourth SDG “Quality Education”. The values in the SDG are deeply grounded in ethics, social justice and equity. Thus the research project investigates how sustainability is anchored in ethics. Furthermore, the research explores how Quality Education is first and foremost an educational process which creates the development of ethical awareness in welfare professionals, teachers and leaders. Professional ethics is the very foundation for creating quality education, inclusion, prospects for sustainability, strong institutions, justice, partnership, and peace – globally and locally – in Denmark and worldwide.
The research examines the ethical implications of the SDGs when realized in practical teacher education and contributes to a more profound understanding of professional awareness for sustainability.