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Rest asserted that ethical actions are not the outcome of a single, unitary decision process, but result from a combination of cognitive structures and psychological processes.
Teachers are faced with making ethical decisions everyday.
In this scenario the teacher is solely responsible for making the ethical decision of whether to go against schools policy and continue sponsorship with Mc Jacks which in turn discriminates against Molly.
A useful perspective is to identify the stakeholders – internal and external parties – and how they could be affected by your action.
The outcome of ethical reasoning is the ability to make an ethical judgment of the ideal solution to an ethical dilemma.
For example, imagine considering blowing the whistle on your superior who stole money from the organization.
The internal pressure is likely to create significant conflict between what you know the right thing to do is and actually doing it.We need moral courage to inform higher-ups about our superior’s unethical action – at least we should try to right the wrong.The four components of Rest’s model are processes that must take place for moral behavior to occur.The first step in moral behavior requires that the individual interpret the situation as moral. In other words, whenever your actions affect others moral issues exist.Absent the ability to recognize that one’s actions affect the welfare of others, it would be virtually impossible to make the most ethical decision when faced with a moral dilemma.Rest’s Model of Ethical Behavior How do we make ethical decisions?James Rest, a well-known cognitive-developmental researcher, developed a model of ethical behavior that is based on the presumption that there are four steps in moral development that lead to ethical action., a term first coined by Leon Festinger in 1956.The inconsistency between our thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes and our behavior creates the need to resolve contradictory or conflicting beliefs, values, and perceptions.For example, an individual who knows the superior’s action was wrong (moral focus) may not have the requisite moral reasoning skills (judgment) to do what is necessary. Ethical decision making is the heart of being an ethical person.It doesn’t come intuitively for most people, which is why a model such as Rest’s is so important.