10th International Symposium
"Moral Competence: Speaking, Listening, and Democracy"

in Konstanz, Aug. 4 - 5, 2016 ... symposium site / KMDD-Workshop-Seminar, Aug. 1 - 5, 2016

Karolina M. Cern | Joanna Dutka | Chris Dzimadzi | Kay Hemmerling | Eka Kaznina | Georg Lind |
Cătălin Mamali | Ewa Nowak | Martina Reinicke | Marta Soniewicka | Małgorzata Steć | Daniel Tello


On the Intrinsic Correlation Between
Public Legitimization of Democratic Law
and Discursive Competencies of Citizens

Karolina M. Cern

In my presentation inter-correlations between conditions of democratic legitimization of modern law and discursive competencies of citizens as also individuals will be discussed. The basic premises, on which the claim to the democratic legitimization of modern law is erected, will be synthetically elaborated. On this basis discursive competencies will be listed in short and their significance articulated with regard to so called weak – and strong public spheres. Crucially, the most fundamental change of basic premises on which democratic legitimization of modern law is contemporary thought of will be clearly indicated.
I direct my investigations towards processes and procedures of legitimization of a legal system on the one hand and towards an understanding of a structure of discursive operations enabling formulation of public reasons and correlated with them competencies of citizens on the other hand. The main theme is here the post-conventional—modern—stage of a development of law, which consist in recognition that such a positive legal system of law is in need of reasonable—not merely rational—legitimization that requires a conformity of legal principles with moral principles which rests on ‘the assumption that moral and civic autonomy are co-original and can be explained with the help of parsimonious discourse principle that merely expresses the meaning of post-conventional requirements of justification’ (Habermas: 1999: 107).
My thesis is following. The discourse principle actually occurs to be parsimonious because it introduces the next but hidden requirement to the structure of reasonable legitimization of a legal system: a law-giver (or a norm-giver) should be first of all discursively competent otherwise her/his incapacity to participate in a practical discourse and to construct public reasons in favour or against certain common action norms turns to be the incapacity to act as an autonomous citizen either as an autonomous person. In this post-conventional model of legitimization of a legal system the mere rationality of a law-giver (or norm-giver) is seconded, because the reasonableness—and implied by this discursive cooperation in doing justice to the conformity of legal principles with moral principles—trumps the meagre rationality.
The problem I point at is that processes of saturating the legal code in the normative content and the advanced reflexive operations presumed by them seem to overburden individuals, as citizens, in discursive competencies. Without common moral-discursive education the broadly recognised requirement to democratic legitimization of modern law is hardly met.


Cern Karolina M., „Questioning equality for self-reflexive societies”, in: Bartosz Wojciechowski, Tomasz Bekrycht, Karolina M. Cern (eds.), The Principle of Equality as a Fundamental Norm in Law and PoliticalPhilosophy, Jurysprudencja 7, Łódź 2015.
Cern Karolina M., The Counterfactual Yardstick. Normativity, Self-Constitutionalisation and the Public Sphere, Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am Main 2014.
Ferguson Neil, “The Universalization of Western Liberal Democracy and the End of Morality”, in: Ewa Nowak, Dawn E. Schrader, Boris Zizek (eds.), Educating Competencies for Democracy, Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am Main 2013.
Habermas Jürgen, Between Facts and Norms. Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, trans. William Rehg, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
Habermas Jürgen, “Constitutional Democracy. A Paradoxical Union of Contradictory Principles?”, Political Theory, Vol. 29, No. 6, December 2001, (pp. 766-781).
Habermas Jürgen, Justification and Application. Remarks on Discourse Ethics, trans. C. P. Cronin, The MIT Press, Cambridge MA 2001.
Habermas Jürgen, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, trans. Christian Lenhardt, Shierry Weber Nicholsen, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1999.
Habermas Jürgen, ‘Moral development and Ego Identity’, in: Communication and the Evolution of Society, transl. Thomas McCarthy, Beacon Press: Boston, 1979.
Habermas Jürgen, “Postscript to Between Facts and Norms”, in: Mathieu Deflen (ed.), Habermas, Modernity and Law, SAGE Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi 1996.
Habermas Jürgen, The Inclusion of the Other. Studies in Political Theory, Ciaran Cronin, Pablo De Greiff (eds.), Polity Press / Blackwell 2002.
Kant Immanuel, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, Werke in sechs Bänden, Könemann 1995.
La Torre Massimo, Constitutionalism and Legal Reasoning, Springer, Dordrecht 2007.
Zizek Boris, Garz Detlef, Nowak Ewa (eds.), Kohlberg Revisited, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei 2015.

Dr habili. Karolina M. Cern
Chair of Ethics, Department of Philosophy,
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Email: cern@amu.edu.pl


Can fostering moral-democratic competencies
help to diminish gender bias by aiding in violence prevention?

Joanna Dutka

The general premise of a project I'm working on consists of a question: Can fostering moral-democratic competencies help diminish gender bias by aiding in violence prevention? More particular question that follows is: In what ways Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion can be used to diminish domestic and intimate partner violence? and What are the ways KMDD can actions of perpetrators and survivors of violence?
The project consist of exploring theoretical perspectives of at moral education, mainly at prospects of KMDD with the situation of women in mind, a research method referred by  feminist scholars as "asking the women's question" (Bartlet 1990).  I examine results of KMDD, focusing on reported effects the use of the method has on lessening the violent behavior and on the process of decision making juxtaposing it with the effects violence has on individual development and life chances in the light of feminist research.  The perspective presented in the project is grounded in the theory of recognition in form inspired by thought of Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth (2003) as well on the approach to moral competencies presented by Georg Lind. The idea of the project stems from a belief that democratic way of life begins in interpersonal interactions and domestic environment (Phillips 1993).
Domestic violence is a type of violence between people sharing a household and include physical violence and other types of abuse. Intimate partner violence consist of various types of abuse, including physical violence between people sharing intimate and sexual relationship. I concentrate my research on physical violence, sexual abuse is understood here as a type of physical violence. Domestic and intimate partner violence become the focal point of my research as those forms of violence are grounded in patriarchal control over women (Belknap 2005: 4) and in effect it reproduces and enforces sexual inequality and gender bias (Bernardes 2014). While there is considerable overlap between aggressive behavior and violent actions, both terms can be distinguished. Violence always operates within certain social frame (Shmidt, Schröder 2001: 2-3). Therefore violent actions require employing strategies of interpretation and strategies of justification (Kelly, W; lim, Vendes, Lilly 2015). Aggressive behavior, while can be cause by impulses coming from social sphere is not defined by it. Strategies of justification ones behavior or behavior of others contribute to the reproduction of the cycle of violence.
It has been proven that the decrease of aggressive behavior is among results of using KMDD (Nowak, Urbańska 2011). Individuals gain the ability to moderate emotions and resolve problems and disagreements by non-violent communication. This change is accompanied by skills of rationally weighting the argument allowing scrutinizing of justification strategies, hence creating possibilities of change.
Individuals construct themselves and their field of possible actions basing on interaction they had with others and effects of violence are devastating in this aspect (Honneth 1922). Violence survivors face hard and complicated decision regarding themselves and their families, friends or even companion animals. To escape the circle of abuse they need to be provide, among other things, tools to reclaim the sphere of possible actions I believe KMDD can provide such tools.


Bartlett Katherina T. 1990. "Feminist Legal method", Harvard Law Review. 103 (4): 829-888.
Belknap Joanne, Melton Heather, Are Heterosexual Men Also Victims of Intimate Partner Abuse?, National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women, (March) 2005.
Bernardes  Marcia Nina. 2014. Domestic Violence and Gender Oppression: an Analysis of Brazilian Law in Light of a Theory of Democratic Justice, in: Marek Zirk-Sadowski, Bartosz Wojciechowski, Karolina M. Cern (eds.), Legal and Communication Strategies towards the Recognition of Minority Groups,Ashgate, Farnham; Chapter 9: 113-128.
Dutka Joanna 2014. "Misrecognized Violence against Woman and Perpetrated by Woman. Seeking for Remedies". Ethics in Progress. 5(2): 187-203 .
Fraser Nancy, Gordon Linda, 1994."Genealogy of dependency, Tracing the Key Words of the US Welfare State". Signs. 19(2): 309-336.
Flynn, Clif. P. 2000. Battered women and their animal companions: Symbolic interaction between human and nonhuman animals. Society & Animals8(2), 99-127.
Gilligan, Carol. 1994. (originally 1982). In a Different Voice, Psychological Theory and Women's Development. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Gillign, James. 2003. "Shame, Guilt, and Violence". Social Research. 70(4): 1149-1180.
Habermas, Jürgen. 1979. "Moral Development and Ego Identity". in: Communication and Evolution of society. trans.Thomas McCarthy. Beacon Press. Boston: 69-94.
Haidt, Jonathan. 2001." The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment".  Psychological Review. 108(4): 814-834.
Honneth, Axel.1992. "Integrity and Disrespect: Principles of a Conception of Morality Based on the Theory of Recognition". Political Theory. 20(2): 187-201.
Lim Ban Hong (Phylice), Valdez Christine E., and Lilly Michelle M. 2015. "Making Meaning Out of Interpersonal Victimization: The Narratives of IPV Survivors". Violence Against Women. 21(9): 1065– 1086.
Lind, Georg. 2000. "The Importance of Role-Taking Opportunities for Self-Sustaining Moral Development", Journal of Educational Research, 10: 9-15.
Lind, Georg. 2009. Moral ist lehrbar, Oldenbourg Schulbuchverlag GmbH. München.
Lind, Georg. 2012.„Moral competence and democratic ways of life”. In: W. G.Weber, M. Thoma, A. Ostendorf, & Lynne Chisholm, eds., Democratic competences and social practices in organizations, Wiesbaden: Spinger VS:62 - 85.
Lind, Georg . 2015. "Favorable learning environments for moral competence development. A multiple intervention study with 3.000 students in a higher education context". International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development. 4(4).
Kelly, Liz, Westmarland Nicole, Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes Steps To Change Executive Summary, January 2015., źródła internetowe: http://respect.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Project-Mirabal-executive-summary-EMBARGO-00.01-MONDAY-12-JANUARY-2015.pdf, Data Wejścia: 23.01. 2015.
Nowak, Ewa. 2012. Experimental Ethics, A multidisciplinary Approach. Lit. Berlin.
Nowak,  Ewa. 2013. "Democracy Begins in the Mind. Developing Democratic personality". Ewa Nowak, Down Schrader, Boris Zizek (ed) Educating Competencies for Democracy. (Bd. vol. 16), studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences Dialogos, Frankfurt am Main: 399- 416.
Nowak, Ewa, Urbańska, Adrianna. 2011. "Can Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion Support an Emotional Cognitive Balance in Aggressive Juveniles",  Journal of Strategy and Decision Making: 85-93.
Philips, Anne. 1993. Democracy and Difference. Polity Press. Cambridge.
Prehn, Kristin. 2013. "Moral judgment competence. A reevaluation of the dual Aspect Theory Based on Recent Neuroscientific Research". Ewa Nowak, Down Schrader, Boris Zizek (ed) Educating Competencies for Democracy. (Bd. vol. 16), studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences Dialogos, Frankfurt am Main: 9-22.
Shmidt Bettina E., Schröder Ingo W. 2001. (eds.), Anthropology of Violence and Conflict, European Association of Social Anthropologists, Routledge.
Tangney, June Price, Jeffrey Stuewig, and Debra J. Mashek. 2007. "What’s moral about the self-conscious emotions." in (eds)Tracy Jessical L., Robins. Richard W., Tagney, June Price. The self-conscious emotions: Theory and research. Guldfor Press. New York. 21-37
Adrianna Urbańska-Krusik. 2011. "Etyka dyskursu w resocjalizacji: nowe metody pracy z grupami podwyższonego ryzyka" Teraźniejszość – Człowiek – Edukacja. 3(55): 97-106.

Joanna Dutka
Institute of Philosophy
University of Adam Mickiewicz Poznań, Poland
adress: T. B. Żeleńskiego 36/18, 85-858 Bydgoszcz, Poland


Current and future public sector leaders:
Any parallels in ethical reasoning?

Chris Dzimadzi

(Abstract not yet available)


Chris Dzimadzi
University of Malawi
Political and Adminstrative Studies Department



Inter-religious communication in the school:
How to learn to talk about difficult issues using the KMDD

Kay Hemmerling

Inter-religious communication should not only be treated as a matter of words and stories - or like Polanyi (1966) would say ‚overt knowledge‘ – but should sensitize the tacit knowledge or gut feelings of the communicators. A learning evironment should be offered where people are able to talk about their feelings peacefully.
For example the KMDD-story of Lara seems to be a good one for evoking an inter-religious communication:
„Lara, a 16-year-old (religious) girl from a poor country, who was poor herself and whose parents were jobless, has to decide whether to accept a phar­ma­ceutical company’s offer to be artificially inseminated for five years and to give over her embryos to the company to manufacture a needed medicine.“
In my presentation I want to show some video snap-shots  of a  KMDD taking place in a 10th class of a multi-cultural school in Berlin-Schöneberg. Pupils from various religious backgrounds (muslims, catholics, buddhists…) discussing Lara’s hard decision.
The snap shots picture that the KMDD can provide a learning environment that helps pupils to experience their personal religious feelings and to communicate these feelings to others in a democratic way. - However, the tension within the pupils was almost unbearable to some, they were able to keep up the discussion. - It shows how necessary these lessons are for democracy: To enhance young people with different religious backgrounds to solve conflicts and problems that are difficult to speak about – not only because religions demand clear positions towards such issues - through speaking and listening to others without using violence, deceit and power.

Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. New York: Doubleday & Company.


Dr. Kay Hemmerling
Leipzig, Germany


Influence of cultural and historical context
on the moral competence
in a modern society (in terms of Georgia and Russia)

Eka Kaznina


The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 sharply cast the relationships between the republics of post-Soviet space and Russia back, mutual trust has been lost, economic and cultural interaction was practically stopped. The global changes of the 1990s in the field of political order, social and economic lifestyle in the countries of the former socialist camp brought up to severe demographic situation (depopulation of population), impoverishment of its significant part, criminalization of society and, what is quite important, to negative changes in consciousness and behavior of its population, including deformation of ethical code of personality, for long time fixing the acute social-cultural situation. A. L. Zhuravlev, A. V. Yurevich call that the moral collapse. One hundred years ago, E. Durkheim called such a situation in society “the social anomia” (destruction of the system of moral norms). On the post-Soviet space the given phenomenon changed hypernomia (over-normativity) of socialist regimes. Freedom in Russia of the beginning of the 90s was understood as absence of bans and rules, relying on the concept of “the vulgar liberalism”. Yurevich calls the preconditions of the moral collapse the general weakening of the control over the behavior of citizens, which is peculiar for changing societies, ethical features of the reformers – “democrats” from the Party and Komsomol workers, formation by them the ideology of needlessness of moral for market economy and criminali­zation of society.
According to the data of the Council of Europe of 2013-2014, Russia took the first place in Europe by the number of prisoners per capita, having 467 prisoners against 100 000 people. In 2014, Russia took second place in Europe, following Albania, by the percentage of prisoners, sentenced for murdering (27.1% prisoners); in Albania it was 39.4%. In 2013, Russia also was a country with the highest number of crimes connected to drugs, calculated for 100 000 people. Georgia took the second place. In Russia, according to the declaration of President Putin at the session of the MVD Board by the results of 2015, criminality increased by 9%.
It is worth mentioning that the economic crisis of the 90s in Georgia was considerably more serious than in Russia. Between 1990 and 1994 the production of GDP per capita in Russia decreased from $7762 (here and further the GDP data are presented in international dollars of 1990 in purchasing-power parities) to $5024, while in Georgia it was from $7569 to $2100. By the data of the Ministry of Health, in Georgia officially dozens of thousands of drug addicts are registered (approximately 50 000), by unofficial data up to 300 000 people). During M. Saakashvili the rates of depopulation of the country increased – there were 3.7 million people remaining in the country compared with 4.4 million in 2002 and 4.9 in 1989 (all the data are presented without consideration of Abkhazia and South Ossetia). During the last decade the morbidity of population by mental and behavioral disorders in Georgia rose up by 27.3%, and this is only official data. The Ruling of M. Saakashvili (2009-2013), according to his statement, was the change of mentality of Georgian people, shifting of linguistic register, and washing-out of the common cultural stratum of two countries. At present, Georgian society is also high political activity and high level of religious consciousness. On the territory of contemporary Georgia there are around 600 parish churches (for 3.5 million people), which is considerably more, if calculated per capita, than in Russia.
According to G. Lind’s study moral competence is a subconscious phenomenon. Author of the given research considers two cultures, the social and cultural realities of which have been changing during the last 20 years. Hypothesis of this small research: differences between the moral competences of the generation which was brought up during the period of attempting to form democratic society and between the moral competences of the generation which was formed under the Soviet Union. For consideration there is presented a sample of 30 people of age 17-25, a sample of 30 people of age 30 and older in Georgia, and a sample of 30 students and a sample of the generation of age 30 and older from Russia respectively.

Kaznina Eka
postgraduate student of Human Psychology Department
of A. I. Hertsen State Pedagogical University of Russian Federation;
48 the River Moika Embankment, St. Petersburg, 191189
e-mail: ekaznina@yandex.ru.


We must foster moral copetence!
How to Teach Morality

Georg Lind

„Sir, this is a sin. We must not dis­cus­s this.” For a minute or two there was an awkward silence. I had asked a class of doctoral students of education to discuss a case of organ transplantation. I had told a story about a 3rd degree skin-burned woman who could only be saved by using skin craft from the corpus of a victim of an accident. The student who rejected any discussion about this case was a 50-year old priest. While he spoke he looked very sternly. Keeping to the rules of such sessions, which I will describe later, I remained quiet because using my authority to enforce a discussion would have meant that I myself dis­trust the participants’ reason and morality which I presuppose in my edu­cation work. „John,” a lady tried to break the silence, „if the beneficiary of the transplant would be your own mother…” „No way,” John interrupted her with stern voice, „my mother would never agree to be saved with a sin.” Many, including me, thought: „This was it.” Wouldn’t you also think so? Awkward silence again.
How can we get into a conversation about issues when difficult moral issues are at stake? The political scientist Benjamin Barber defines, what he calls, a “strong democrat” as someone who is able to really listen to others: “'I will listen' means to the strong democrat not that I will scan my adversary’s position for weaknesses and potential trade-offs, nor even (as a minimalist might think) that I will tolerantly permit him to say whatever he chooses. It means, rather, 'I will put myself in his place, I will try to understand, I will strain to hear what makes us alike. I will listen for a common rhetoric evocative of a common purpose or a common good.'” (Barber 1984, p. 175) A strong democrat, I wish to add, is also someone who is able to speak up and raise issues in a reasonable way, rather than through violence and force. ... more

Dr. Georg Lind
apl. Prof. em. University of Konstanz


Confronting moral mal-development:
Action from principles that opposes immoral practices.

Cătălin Mamali


Theories of moral development (Piaget, Kohlberg, Gilligan, Lind) identify the stages of moral development from lower levels to higher levels of moral judgment and behaviors. Essentially, they are in tune with the Kantian moral imperative and implying a culturally accepted orientation according to which humans are striving toward higher levels of development, including moral development, while they provide explanations of the origins and specific trajectories of moral development. Moral development is part of a wider developmental framework: moving from lower levels (still belonging to moral thinking and behaviors) toward higher levels of moral development.
Violent human behaviors, evil actions, carefully designed hatred crimes at various scales, from micro to macro, are considered as being deviant behaviors and some, unfortunately so many within human history, are categorized as crimes against humanity.  The major theories of moral development are focused on the normal moral development from lower to higher stages, from heteronomy to autonomy, from pre-conventional up to post-conventional level. A question is invited: how could be explored those individually and socially constructed behaviors that move in an opposite direction, toward what might be called a negative moral development, or a moral mal-development?
The study focuses on the exploratory and explanatory resources of paradigmatic moral choices made by “spiritual models” (Bandura), such as Socrates, Confucius, Franklin, Thoreau, Gandhi, King, Patočka and Havel that point out toward immoral development that could lead to “everlasting death” (Thoreau) or “moral suicide” (Havel). A major research question is: What differentiate people who engage in responsible moral actions against various forms of evil (injustice, restriction of individual freedom and of other human rights) from people who do not take such actions and especially from people who support evil principles, institutions and social practices? 
Hypothesis: more aware a person is of universal moral principles and more explicit and open is one’s free acceptance of such principles higher the chances that the person will engage in actions based on these principles and of accepting all the personal consequences of one’s actions. Based on the analysis of biographical events (Franklin, Thoreau, Gandhi, Havel) and the quality of implied motivation the study searches the critical components that help a person to stand up against immoral development of individuals and groups. It seems that persons who engage in actions that have societal moral significance do use rather a moral heuristic than an already established algorithm. Moral heuristic is a form of practical moral judgment rooted in universal moral principles that remains flexible toward the methods, type of specific actions and of their sequence in order to increase the chances to remove in a civil mode a social evil. The findings regarding the major components of moral actions that oppose immoral development and are common to moral models are: non-participation to evil, action from principle, full acceptance of the consequences of one’s moral actions, (re)-discovery of a moral heuristic, and refusal to use others and to be used as a mere tool.


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Cătălin Mamali, Ph.D.
Independent scholar
Mailing address: Dr.Cătăalin Mamali: P. O. Box 1221, Dubuque, Iowa 52004, USA.
Working place: Northeast Iowa Community College, Peosta, Iowa.


Derrida, Lind and the others:
Examining hospitality in terms of cognitive abilities

Ewa Nowak


Otherness is a powerful concepts in ethics, phenomenology, and cognitive sciences. Meeting other humans challenges one's moral cognition. In contrast, emotions such as empathy, compassion, and philanthropy do not provide us by enough (re)cognition of others. Today we face others in their poorest condition: it is war survivors and refugees, outlawed and traumatized persons, children and adults. But what about the hospitality? This concept has been brilliantly deconstructed by Jacques Derrida (2000, 2001), an Algerian-Jewish French whose philosophy became cosmopolitanly welcomed. Hospitality is more than receiving another person at my home and subordinate her under my home law over a provisional period. First, there's something wrong with our understanding of a refugee: the refugees are "not just visitors", La Caze (2004) argues. Second, there's something wrong with our traditional understanding of hospitality as paternalistic policy and occasional generosity only. Both misunderstandings lead me to rethinking hispitality in terms of the cognitive competence: thus I call it hospitability. Three disciplines make use of the term "ability": It is the cognitive-developmental psychology (Lawrence Kohlberg, 1964 – Georg Lind, 2002/2015), "Phenomenology of the capable man" (Paul Ricoeur, 2005), and the cognitive sciences ("enacted mind" by Gallagher & Zahavi, 2012). Everyday observations show that hospitability isn't just an innate gift: many people drive their fellows away or let them vegetate in border zones and transitory camps ("neverland", Barrie, 1911). On the other hand, if hospitality is an ability and one the "global virtues" (Kant, Kleingeld, 2016) necessary for democratic life, it can be exercised and taught. The only question is, how can we improve hospitability?

If cognitive abilities manifest themselves in personal narrative behavior, I have gathered the following data: statistically, only 5-10% of internet press portals in Poland express acceptance for receiving refugees in this country; 40% aggressively/strongly reject and 50% just reject refugees' presence here (focused group: males, age: 20-60, education level: mostly vocational and high school diploma; confession declared: Catholic. This is quite different then Pegida-study shows, published in Spiegel online, 2016).

Prof. Dr. Ewa Nowak
University of Poznan, Poland / Cornell University, Ithaca, USA


Inclusion as moral challenge -
the potential of the Konstanz Method of

Martina Reinicke


Our society is pluralistic and distinguished by digitalization. The worldwide interaction forced globalization and thereby increased pluralism. The world-wide web (internet) modifies the digital as well as the “analogous” social behaviour: masses of people will be self-confident, mass movements arise and different values of cultural clash in our everyday life (Welzer 2016). If people are not conscious of subjacent reasons of their own behaviour and if they are not able to discuss with their opinion-opponents about this in an open dialog then they represent only a group opinion and run after pretended leaders. According to that some people react to a humanitarian tragedy or to an emergency situation with pluralistic ignorance, bystander-effects and sometimes even with spirals of silence. Then a lot of people will be oriented on these strategies as optimal strategies for solving new conflicts. They are morally unfair against others but not from their own perspective. That is a scary development how we can see at the moment.
We also can find all these social and political changes in schools. Thus diversity becomes an important characteristic of everyday school live: more and more students have special needs or an immigration background or both. In this situation we need optimal learning conditions, which finally guarantee best conditions for all students. If we want to include all students, diversity and not equality has to be the norm. If we want to successfully perform inclusion we need moral competent students and teachers who are able “to resolve conflicts on the basis of universal moral principles (justice, cooperation, respect, etc.) by thought and discussion, rather than by force, fraud, and power.” (Lind 2015, p.39) Thus inclusion becomes a moral challenge. The Konstanz Method of Dilemma-Discussion® improves the moral competence. Possibly the KMDD® also enhances ‘My Thinking About Inclusion (MTAI)’ (Stoiber 1994). In this context it has to be examined if multicultural KMDD®-sessions also improve the thinking about inclusion of foreign students.

Martina Reinicke
Ethics Teacher, KMDD-Teacher
Vocational School Center Döbeln-Mittweida, Germany


Fostering Moral Competences in Reproductive Genetics:
Listening and Speaking to the
Prospective Parents in the Genetic Counseling

Marta Soniewicka


The paper addresses the problem of enhancing genetic counseling by fostering moral competences of both genetic counselors and prospective parents. Reproductive genetic testing is the prominent, and most rapidly developed, branch of appliedgenetics in medicine which can be understood as predictive genetic testing to assess reproductive risks (detecting fetal anomalies), (Hodge 2003). By taking reproductive choices, the parents are facing irreversible and difficult life-altering decisions, in particular when an abnormality of fetus is detected. In order to enhance their ability for reproductive choices, genetic counseling has been established. The main goals of genetic counseling are: (1) providing useful information (to help parents understand and personalize technical and probabilistic genetic information); (2) providing medical help (enhancing parental ability to adopt to the consequences of their choice); (3) providing education (exploring the meaning of the information in the light of personal values and beliefs of the parents); (4) providing
psychological assistance (helping to minimize psychological of the parents) (Bowles Biesecker 2003; Murray 2003). Besides, one could name the goal (5) to provide assistance to the prospective parents in coping with the genetic dilemma which may occur if the values on which their decision is made are in conflict (helping the parents to identify the moral dilemma and to understand it according to their intuitions).
Genetic counseling is based on such principles as: non-directiveness (promoting reproductive autonomy); beneficence and nonmaleficence; confidentiality and protecting privacy; veracity and truth-telling (Engelhardt 1996). One may pose the question of whether meeting the aforementioned goals of genetic counseling does not come into conflict with the principle of nondirectiveness. I claim that fostering moral competences with the use of the KMDD can be compatible with the principle of non-directiveness and could address the afore-mentioned goal (5) of the genetic counseling which I proposed. The most important aspect of the KMDD is that it is not aimed at directing the reproductive decisions of the participants involved in the dilemma (Lind 2015, Lind 2009, Nowak 2013). Thus, it is compatible with the responsibility model of decision-making in reproduction which challenges the dangers of both medical paternalism and absolute reproductive freedom. It will be illustrated with an analysis of a moral dilemma concerning genetic selection (Buchanan et.al. 2007; Kamm 2011; Davis 2006; Asch 2003).
The paper is a theoretical study aimed at preparing a background for the further development of ethical and legal standards in genetic counseling. The study is pursued within my research project entitled “Ethical and Legal Standards of Reproductive Genetics”. The results of the project will be disseminated in several papers and in the form of a book. The knowledge obtained by participating in the symposium and the workshop in Konstanz would be useful for my home Department’s research programs and teaching activities.

Dr Marta Soniewicka
Department of Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics
Faculty of Law and Administration
Jagiellonian University
12 Bracka St. 31-005 Krakow, Poland


The power of no-power in morality and democracy.
Using different methods of moral dilemma discussions
to provide one educational and developmental goal

Małgorzata Steć


The proposed paper aims to show that within the classroom practice at school we can provide wide range of moral dilemma discussions which are maybe not yet analyzed, and there is still no scientific evidence for its validity, but it just works and create unexpected experiences in a pedagogical manner. Those experiences are crutial for moral-democratic competence and social vulnerabilty. Some of these methods can be based on G. Lind's KMDD or traditional L. Kohlberg's discussion, while some can be more or less different from that and generally brand new but - as far as they are open for peaceful discussion without any force - it will be still in accordance with fostering moral and democratic competences. It seems that method is important, but diversified social practice (e.g. role taking) is simply a must. This is all the more significant when we work with a class during the whole semester and we need to manage with the need of constant change, which is strongly representative for today's youth. As an example of aforementioned situation I would like to describe some variations on moral dilemma discussions introduced by my students during my authorial field seminar at secondary school. I will give only a few examples of discussion types which have been introduced (at first in more or less unrehearsed way, but then revised and improved) by my students and by the pupils themselves (as active debaters). All of these have been changed several times due to the current classroom experience to finally become really significant for the change of social perspective and moral-democratic competence. It can be partly confirmed by the results of accompanying observations of changes in participant's behaviors and attitudes towards their peers and towards universal values and particular, hypothetical situations of moral problems and doubts.


Małgorzata Steć, PhD
Jagiellonian University
Institute of Psychology
Developmental and Educational Psychology Unit


Foster Conditions for Moral Competence Development
in Teacher Education

Daniel Tello


1. Research Question
Which conditions can foster the Moral Competence in Teacher Education Students?
Hypothesis: Role taking and guided reflection conditions can foster moral competence in Teacher Education Students

2. Definition of core concepts
Moral Competence: is the “ability to close the gap between our moral ideals (moral orientations) and our behavior, more specifically it is the ability to solve problems on the basis of our moral ideals (orientations), but without the use of violence, deceit, and power, just through thinking and discussion”. (Lind, 2015)

Role Taking: Opportunities for role-taking are those in which students have “to test new knowledge in experimental and real life settings” (Lind, 2001, as cited by Schillinger 2006). Role taking entails “active participating, making decisions and carrying out responsibility in opportunities created in the learniong environment” (Schillinger, 2006, p. 40)

Guided Reflection: “adequate advice and help provided by professors, other more experienced students, peers, tutors or alike, to discuss the new role-taking experiences.” (Schillinger, 2006, p.40)

3. Directly related research
- Moral autonomy is related to the opportunities of role-taking combined with guided reflection (Sprinthall & Thies-Sprinthall, 1993, in Schillinger, 2006, p. 40).
- A fovorable learning environment (regarding role taking and guided reflection opportunities) in higher education foster the development of moral judgment competence (Schillinger, 2006)
- Kriauciuniené (2009) found a light reduction of C Score in Future foreign language teachers of C=0.17.
- Grabow (1990) found an increase of C Score in kindergarten teacher education students.
- Meza (in press) found differences between 15,54 and 25,25 C Score points in teacher education students in Chile, regarding differnt universities.

4. Design
Comparative, nonexperimental, transversal study.
Sample: approximately 200 teacher education students. Representing history and geography teacher education students and primary school teacher education students. For both degrees, 2 questionnaires are applied in first and last semester: MCT and ORIGEN/u. The MCT measures the Moral Competence. The ORIGEN/u can assess the environmental conditions to foster the Moral Competence (Schillinger & Lind, 2002).  The ORIGEN/u is translated from Portuguese into Spanish. The MCT is used in its Spanish version. The design replicates part of the study developed by Schillinger (2006), who compared the learning environment for moral development in Brazil and two German-speaking countries.

5. Procedure
- Translate ORIGEN/u into Spanish
- Make a pilot test of the ORIGEN/u to review the translation.
- Apply MCT+ORIGEN to Teacher education students from first and last semester in History and Geography and Primary Teacher Education students.
- The questionnaires are applied in anonymous form
- Calculate the C Score
- Evaluate the development of the Moral Competence comparing the C Scores of Teacher Education Students from both degrees, comparing last and first year.
- Evaluate the influence of the different learning conditions measured with the ORIGEN/u into the development of the Moral Competence.
- Identify which of the measured variables have a higher influence in the development of C Score (lineal regression model)

6. (Expected) Findings
Primary Teacher Education students in this university have practice opportunities every year during their degree. On the other hand, History and Geography students only face the school experience the last year. According to this difference in the learning conditions, is expected the Primary Teacher Education students increase their Moral Competence more than the History and Geography Students. An increase in Moral Competence is expected in both degrees.

7. Discussion and Conclusion
Previous studies of Moral Competence using the MCT have shown differences in the Moral Competence of Primary Teacher Education students in Chile. Meza (in press) have found average C-Scores between 15,54 and 25,25 regarding different universities. When controlled by the results of the score in the general qualification for university entrance (namely PSU in Chile – Test for University Selection), the some of the universities with explicit opportunities to develop ethics have shown higher levels of moral competence. Nevertheless, as they do represent only one measure at the end of the degree (last year) the study can not assign the difference to the training process or to a selection process of the students. This fact motivated the  implementation of the current study. This is a work in progress study, and is expected to have the final results at the end of July.

Table 1. Valores de Índice C del MCT para instituciones de pedagogía, según intencionalidad del currículum en formación ética









Índice C








Actividad curricular

Sin actividad

Con actividad

Sin actividad

Con actividad

Sin actividad

Con actividad

Con actividad

Articulación curricular

Sin articulación

Sin articulación

Sin articulación

Sin articulación

Sin articulación

Sin articulación

Con articulación

Fuente: Proyecto Fondecyt previo del grupo de investigadores


Kriauciuniené, Roma (2009). Future foreign language teachers' moral attitudes and their development at university. The summary of doctoral dissertation. Social Science, Education, Teacher education. Klaipéda University, Lithuania.

Meza, M. (in press)  Competencia moral-democrática en futuros profesores de Pedagogía en Educación Básica en Chile. ¿Importa la Formación Inicial Docente? Revista perfiles educativos.

Grabow, Mainard (1990). Die Entwicklung moralischer Urteilsfähigkeit in der Erzieherausbildung. (The development of moral judgment competence in kindergarten teacher education.) Frankfurt, Germany: Lang Publ.

Schillinger, Marcia (2006). Learning environments and moral development: How university education fosters moral judgment competence in Brazil and two German-speaking countries. Aachen: Shaker-Verlag

Lind, G. (2015) Glossary. Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion. Available in http://www.uni-konstanz.de/ag-moral/moral/glossary_engl.htm

Sprinthall, N. A., Reiman, A. J. & Thies-Sprinthall, L. (1993) Role taking and reflection: promoting the conceptual and moral development of teachers. Learning and Individual Differences, 5(4), 283-299.

Schillinger-Agati, M. M. & Lind, G. (2002) Learning environment at university level: ORIGEN/u. Newly updated and validated versions. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the AME (Association for Moral Education, Chicago, USA)


Dr. Daniel Tello S.
University of Concepcion, Chile

Last revision: May 30, 2016

Copyright (c) by the authors, 2016.