Developing and testing a teaching intermediate concept measure: a preliminary reliability and validity study

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University of Alabama Libraries

The Neo-Kohlbergian approach to moral reasoning development maintains that intermediate concepts lie between bedrock moral schemas and professional codes of ethics and deal with issues of confidentiality, competence, informed consent, allocation of resources and professional autonomy (Rest and Narvaez, 1994). Intermediate concepts provide concrete guides for behavior; they contrast general moral schemas that are concerned with issues of fairness, justice and equality. Following the system for developing the dental and adolescent ICM (Bebeau and Thoma, 1999; Thoma, Derryberry and Crowson, 2013), this paper outlines the development and testing of a prototype Intermediate Concept Measure for teachers (TICM). Results indicate that the TICM has respectable psychometric properties. TICM summary scores were significantly related to Defining Issues Test (DIT-2) scores, which supports the assertion that the new measure assesses a construct in the moral domain. Further exploration of the relationship between the TICM and the DIT-2 revealed significantly difference performance on the TICM for the 3 schema groups (personal interest, maintaining norms and postconventional). All three groups are better at identifying good action choices and justifications than bad action choices and justifications. Additionally, students emphasizing the personal interest schema where at a disadvantage when identifying bad action choices and justifications; they also had difficulty identifying justifications compared to action choices. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that the TICM is a measure of moral reasoning within the teaching profession.

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Educational psychology