Ethics Autobiography Part 1

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Ethics Autobiography Part 1

Journal Entries

This course makes use of reflective writing as part of integrating prior experience, academic study and professional acculturation. Questions for reflection will come from the Anderson and Handelsman text and other course materials and activities. Journal entries will be scored on completeness and thoughtful consideration of the questions/issues.

Journal Entry: Ethics Autobiography, Part 1

Put the following on the top of a new page in your journal: name, date, context (meaning graduate school, employment, or wherever you are in your professional journey) and anything else that will help make a connection for you about the time and place for this journal entry.

Next, address the following questions:

  1. What motivations, values, and virtues are most important to you, as a person, in your relationships with other people? You might want to refer to some of your previous journal entries.
  2. What are the origins of these motivations, values, and virtues? Be inclusive. Don’t just write, “I was born with them.” Take some time to really think about where you might have learned your values. For example, from family members? Religious figures? What you learned in school? Teachers or professors? Coaches? Bosses?
  3. How similar are your motivations, values, and virtues to those of other members of the cultures to which you belong? By culture, we mean any group of people who share some values, traditions, or ideals. Your nationality, religion, gender, geographic area, and sexual orientation are all cultures. You can even think more broadly. Mitch, for example, belongs to the cultures of trumpet players, contact lens wearers, and full professors.
  4. What experiences have you had with members of cultures to which you do not belong and their notions of right and wrong? What feelings did you have about those experiences and about the members of those other cultures?
  5. At this stage in your professional journey, what would you consider as examples of right and wrong professional behavior?
  6. Where does your idea of right and wrong professional behavior come from?
  7. How might your motivations, values, and virtues that you wrote about in questions 1–3 influence your decisions about right and wrong professional behavior?
  8. As you’ve answered the preceding questions, what thoughts and feelings are stirred in you? How do your journal entries about motivations and values sound now as you reread them?


What you’ve written is the beginning of a rough draft of your autobi- ography. Your autobiography, like your growth and development as a professional, will never be finished because your experiences, thoughts, and perspectives will change over time. So keep this portion of your journal accessible, as you will have occasion to refer back to it, recon- ceptualize it, and revise it many times.

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