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Focused Learning Day: How to handle a moral dilemma

Eighteen participants from Scotland and Ireland met with Nicola Boyce and Soren Kayser who led a workshop about handling moral dilemmas in practice. The day started with an introduction about SPPA and the topic followed by the discussion about moral dilemmas.

Below is a reflection of the content of the day.

Many challenges occur on a daily basis in social pedagogical practice but not all of them are moral dilemmas. In a moral dilemma there are two mutually exclusive actions and you have a moral obligation to act. Moreover, one obligation does not outweigh the other. When addressing moral dilemmas pertinent questions provide a framework:

1. Is it really a moral dilemma? Opening up a reflective space to check the problem meets the criteria of a moral dilemma.
2. What are the rationales and importance of each option open to practitioners?
3. Check if there's a social pedagogical 'third' option?
4. If you still have to choose between two options, ask yourself 'could I accept the actions and its consequences if I were in his or her shoes?'
5. Check if there are new options opened up along the way? Many apparently intractable moral dilemmas do find a solution.

Participants brought their own moral dilemmas and this was discussed.

SPPA in Scotland meeting

Towards the end of the day, Claire facilitated a discussion to shape the future of SPPA in Scotland. SPPA helped generate much enthusiasm for a higher profile for social pedagogy in Scotland. We will be reporting on their next steps in future editions of the newsletter. 


Have a look at some of the photos taken of the day.

Course description


Soren Kayser
Nicola Boyce

Event Details


09:30 - 17:30

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre
25 Palmerston Place
EH12 5AP