Thesis

143 Experienced outcomes of MCD of morally challenging situations. 2) Understanding in general, and more specifically in moral learning, emerges from joint moral inquiry into each other’s experiences and ‘meaning giving processes’ in concrete situations (Inguaggiato, Porz, et al., 2019; Widdershoven & Molewijk, 2010). 3) To create meaningful insights for practice, moral reflections should therefore pay attention to concrete ethical problems, which can lead to new ethical knowledge during an antidogmatic joint moral inquiry (Inguaggiato, Metselaar, et al., 2019). As Paterson (1979, p. 128) states, we assume the moral learning of adults entails the ‘extending and deepening of the understanding of the subject-matter of our moral choices [..] and sharpening awareness of [..] the values and validities [..] which supply the content of our moral judgments.’ A realistic view of responsibilities is an important element, as this helps define the scope and limits of one’s moral agency (Brookfield, 1998; Walker, 2007). The ‘practices of responsibilities’ – an understanding of which responsibility belongs to whom – are essential (Walker, 2007, p. 17). Hence, since the understanding of ethics is always socially situated, moral learning needs a collaborative learning process (Walker, 2007, p. 94) and concerns relational aspects of all involved in the situation (Gilligan, 1982). Based on our pragmatic hermeneutic viewpoint on ethics, ethics support and moral learning for professionals, we wondered in which way MCD can foster elements of moral learning for prison staff. METHODS Study design In this study, we investigate the experienced outcomes for prison staff of single MCD sessions and following a series of sessions, as reported by both participants and MCD facilitators. We additionally reflect on whether our results show a process related to moral learning. We followed 16 teams of prison staff participating in MCD sessions at three Dutch prisons between fall 2017 and spring 2020. Data collection ran until September 2020. We collaborated with the DCIA Educational Institute– responsible for the implementation – to select locations that did not yet offer MCD or similar reflection methods to their staff and were willing to introduce MCD. Together with a local coordinator, we selected teams representing all professional disciplines (see Appendix 1). MCD sessions lasted 120-180 minutes, and 18 trained facilitators were involved. During the series, multiple peer meetings for MCD facilitators were organized to discuss and improve issues they faced. Team managers joined MCD sessions only at the request of the team. Inspired by Responsive Evaluation approaches in research (Abma et al., 2009), 6

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