Ethics are Often Cited
Ethics are often cited as moral principles that govern behavior or an activity. In a broad sense, ethics are used as a societal tool to identify the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Each profession has its own code of ethics to abide by to assure that anyone affiliated with that profession is treated with respect and dignity. In the education realm, ethics are vital in assuring a child’s safety and protecting the rights of all students by monitoring teacher’s conduct and behavior. Ethics are a critical element to the way teachers will live their professional and personal life because of the responsibility they hold and how carefully they need to stay within the boundaries of their ethical codes. As teachers, we strive to create a healthy dynamic between our duties and responsibilities to our students, while still holding strong boundaries to avoid conflicts of interest or other ethical dilemmas. There are two main guidelines for the code of ethics that teachers must follow.
Primarily, all codes must fall under the broad-spectrum guidelines set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children- also referred to as NAEYC- and state specific guide lines. In the state of Florida, these guidelines are called the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida. “The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct offers guidelines for responsible behavior and sets forth a common basis for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas encountered in early childhood care and education (National Association for the Education of Young Children). NAEYC focuses on the ethical responsibilities to children, to families, colleagues, and to the community and society. These are achieved through their core values of: appreciating childhood as a valuable stage of life, taking a child’s development into account of how they learn, support and appreciate the bonds between the child and their family, recognize that children are best understood in the context of family, culture, community and society, respect of diversity, respect dignity, and recognize that children and adults are able to achieve their full potential in context of relationships founded on trust and respect.
Likewise, the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida recognizes that Florida educators are guided under specific ethical principles. As stated by the state guidelines, these principles are reflected through their core values of being aware of the importance of maintaining respect and confidence, to value the worth and dignity of every person, and the primary professional concern should always reflect the importance of a student as well as their development of potential (Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida). The specific ethical codes that must be followed by educations list the obligation teachers have to the student, the public and the profession of education. Both NAEYC and the state ethical guidelines work together to give educators a clear idea of what moral obligations are required of them.
However, there are some notable differences between the two codes. As mentioned before, NAEYC gives a general guideline for instructors to follow, whereas the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida fall under NAEYC’s guidelines but are more detailed and specific to the region. The state specific ethical code provides a solid foundation for actual state legislation if an educator is caught disobeying these codes. In conclusion, ethics are vitally important to assure the dynamic between educators and their students is respectful and healthy for the child’s development and success. The two main guidelines are provided by NAEYC and state specific ethical codes. Both codes operate in conjunction with each other to provide national and state legislation to hold educators accountable and assure all children’s safety.