Thomas Cooper

How ethics is taught at leading institutions in the Pacific region

This paper includes 1) the previously unpublished findings of a current (2015-2016) study (Part II) about the teaching of ethics at leading English-speaking institutions in the Pacific region, 2) a comparison of those findings with a companion study (Part I) conducted at leading institutions in the Atlantic region in 2008, and 3) the aggregate findings of the two studies considered as parts of a single research project. The purpose of the overall research was to determine how ethics is taught at selected leading English-speaking institutions of higher education, the challenges these ethics teachers and their students face, how individual faculty/staff members enhance their teaching effectiveness over time, and many other related questions. Ideally, the findings can help individuals, institutions and possibly the public better understand and improve ethics instruction.

Keywords: ethics, Pacific region, teaching and learning, higher education, public understanding


  1. Bain, K. (2004) What the best college lecturers do, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press

Note on the contributor

Dr Tom Cooper has been a guest scholar at Stanford, Berkeley, the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii. He is Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College. The Association for Responsible Communication, which he founded, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and he has received many awards and scholarships. Cooper taught at Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude, and at Temple University, the University of Hawaii and at University of Maryland. A former assistant to Marshall McLuhan, he is the author, editor or co-author of seven books and more than one hundred academic and professional published articles on media ethics and related topics. Musician, poet, playwright and Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, he is currently also one of the speechwriters and editors for Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of Puma. He was a consultant to the Elders Project which involved global ‘elders’ such as Nelson Mandela, Kofi Anan and Jimmy Carter.