College Organization and Professional Development : Integrating Moral Reasoning and Reflective Practice book cover
1st Edition

College Organization and Professional Development
Integrating Moral Reasoning and Reflective Practice

ISBN 9780415992121
Published March 23, 2009 by Routledge
288 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A thought-provoking textbook written for students enrolled in graduate Higher Education and Student Affairs Masters and PhD programs, College Organization and Professional Development focuses on the framing of critical issues in organization practice, the gaps between moral beliefs and actions, and improving equity within organizations. This breakthrough text seeks to revolutionize how we understand ethical practice and provides a new theory that informs practice within organizations. Unlike the majority of Organization textbooks currently available which lack social contextual understanding of moral issues and social justice, this text encourages the use of action research to inform and support change in professional practice.

Students will find the pedagogical exercises useful for reflecting on their own goals, examining their own practices, and testing new intervention methods within their organizations and communities of practice. Reflective assignments are suggested for readers to help them engage in a process of reflective analysis of professional practice.

This textbook is organized into three parts:

Part I: Focuses on the foundations for moral reasoning in practice, introduces the framework used in the book and encourages introspection and reflection as an integral part of professional practice.

Part II: Focuses on frames of professional development, both as frames of reasoning and as developmental pathways, focusing methods of learning moral reasoning and changing organizations that support just practice.

Part III: Focuses on challenges of building communities of practice that support social-critical changes and environmental consciousness.

Practicing professionals and those academics at different stages in their careers who wish to reflect on the gaps between their moral values and their actions in work situations will also find this text informative and useful. The chapters include fundamental and insightful guidance for reflection on the topics raised and discussed.

Table of Contents

List of Text Boxes, Figures, and Tables




Part I: Moral Reasoning in the Professions

Chapter 1: Professional Responsibility

Chapter 2: Social Justice

Chapter 3: Professional Development

Chapter 4: Actionable Knowledge

Part II: Reflective Practice and Organizational Change

Chapter 5: Expert Knowledge and Skills

Chapter 6: Strategy and Artistry

Chapter 7: Professional Effectiveness

Chapter 8: Critical Social Challenges

Chapter 9: Transformational Practice

Part III: Conclusions

Chapter 10: Conclusions




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Edward P. St. John is Algo D. Henderson Collegiate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. He is interested in education, justice, and public policy. Currently Professor St. John is focusing on moral education in the professions. Having completed Action, reflection, and social justice: Integrating moral reasoning into professional development (Hampton Press, in press), he is now writing Moral reasoning in action: Integrating social justice into professional practice (in preparation). He serves as series editor for Readings on Equal Education and has received awards for his leadership from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and for scholarship from the National Association of Student Financial Aid.


"Although the book is geared toward aspiring professionals, it can also be useful to seasoned professionals who find themselves at a crossroads in their careers and are seeking new ways of thinking or addressing social issues. St. John leaves the reader with a sense of urgency for integrating moral reasoning in professional practice."--Education Review, November 2009

"The interdisciplinary approach to complex social problems offered by St. John is sorely needed in graduate education classrooms….The text’s inclination toward big questions lacking easy answers makes it a solid bet for drawing out substantive dialogue."--Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 47(1), 120-122

"In this text, St John demonstrates his ability to review, reflect and link theories and research on moral reasoning, professional development and social justice...for those who are interested in research or exploring moral reasoning and reflective practice within communities of practice, this is an important book that can serve as a guide for framing further research and/or exploring pedagogy. "—Journal of Moral Education