Importance Of Ethics In Education

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Table of contents

  1. Understanding Ethics: Beyond Common Sense
  2. The Role of Ethics in Leadership and Organizational Culture
  3. Ethical Leadership: Modeling Behavior and Building Trust
  4. The Special Responsibility of Teachers in Ethical Education
  5. Case Study: Ethical Dilemmas in Classroom Management
  6. The Impact of Unethical Behavior on Students and School Culture

Understanding Ethics: Beyond Common Sense

Ethics is the guiding framework on how one should conduct themselves in their personal and professional lives. Without ethics put in place, there be would unbalance relationships among family and staff members. Ethics is derived from the Greek word 'ethos' meaning 'character. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (2001) pointed out that many people tend to equate ethics with their feelings, although this does not represent ethics. According to Quinn ('Ethics for the Information Age', 5th ed., p. 57). “Ethics is the rational, systematic study of conduct that can cause benefit or harm to other people. Because ethics is based on reason, people are required to explain why they hold the opinions they do. This gives us the opportunity to compare ethical evaluations. When two people reach different conclusions, we can weigh the facts and the reasoning process behind their conclusions to determine the stronger line of thinking”.

Ethics is a standardizing practice it can be ubiquitous because individuals may be enticed to view ethics as simple commonsense. In reality, ethics is not so simple however, it is crucial to the development of a positive ethical culture in an organization. Following a code of ethics is very important it sways individuals to create an environment based on those ethics. When it comes to making choices choosing to handle them ethically is important. Throughout life, we are continually faced with choices that affect the quality of our lives. Most importantly, the choices we make whether good or bad will have consequences, both for ourselves and others. One’s ethical attributes define who one is and their role in society. Ethics is the norm we all must follow. Regardless of how chaotic life maybe we must infuse moral judgments when faced with any ethical dilemma. Where written law is used to govern official businesses and happenings, ethics act as a self-governing system to keep human self-interest and the good of society at equilibrium because the eyes of the law are not always available (Duska, 2012).

The Role of Ethics in Leadership and Organizational Culture

To realize the full range of benefits of ethics in their leadership, leaders need to demonstrate socially observable behaviors that make them stand out as ethical figures against an otherwise ethically neutral ground (Treviño, Brown & Hartman, 2003). Ethics is at the forefront of any organization without strong ethics leaders will fail. The only way to hone in on ethical leadership skills is leaders’ ethics must be relevant and consistent throughout the workforce. Leaders lead by example therefore it is their responsibility to lead individually as well as within the workplace.

Ethical Leadership: Modeling Behavior and Building Trust

Leaders are the pillars of the community they are looked upon as role models among their followers. It’s so important for leaders to exemplify appropriate actions and boundaries set within the workplace. When leaders project ethical values followers learn from their actions the more a leader “walks the walk”, the more their level of trust and respect generates from their followers. Leaders who make ethics relevant under their leadership will have staff members who are prepared to do the same. Being a leader is considered a form of entitlement that comes along with many responsibilities and demands that must be modeled. Leaders must exercise the need to be ethical, both in their personal life and workplace.

Leaders are role models whether they choose to be or not, they set the tone for the ethical stance of their individual followers, of the organization. Relevant ethical leadership must follow a comprehensible ethical blueprint that will help sustain ethical values. Lastly, leaders are constantly examining their own ethical presumptions and their role as ethical leaders. Like all other tasks cultivating ethical leadership is unfolding and leaders must continue to increase their competence by ensuring they stay abreast of the ongoing needs of others.

The Special Responsibility of Teachers in Ethical Education

Since teaching requires working with children-youth who haven’t yet gained the capacity to self-protection and defense, it is a special and significant task to be performed by virtuous occupational people who are specially selected and trained. (Dağ & Arslantaş, 2015, p. 35). Nation-wide the policy of schools is to hold teachers to a higher standard of ethical behavior. Students have the right to come to school and feel safe among their peers as well as their teachers. When teachers take it upon themselves to harm a student, they are breaking all the code of ethics. Under students are protected under U.S. law and it’s a teacher’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure learning environment, free from harm.

It is a teacher’s duty to instruct students and impose safety measures within a classroom environment. Students’ are faced every day with abuse and neglect at home each day, educators must intercede as opposed to harming them. When parents send their child to school, they entrust teachers and other school officials to care for their child’s safety and well-being as well as their learning.

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Teachers have an array of liabilities from federal, state, and local laws when it comes to students that come from a variety of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Teachers must abide by these standards the topic of this case study is ethically relevant because teachers must at all times protect and ensure the safety of their students. Based on the code of ethics for teachers are accountable not to act negligently. Teachers have a duty to take action and provide ‘reasonable care to protect all students from risks of harm by anyone that may cause harm even teachers. Teachers must behave ethically, as well as refresh and improve the ethical decision-making skills of in-service teachers.

Case Study: Ethical Dilemmas in Classroom Management

This case study involves a third-grade veteran teacher and Hispanic male enrolled in a class of twenty-two students. Students were in the middle of changing classes from Reading to Math. Once students changed to their math class, they were extremely disruptive and chatty. The veteran teacher instructed them to calm down and stop talking and take out their math books and do an assignment on the Promethean board. On the day of the incident, the teacher was preoccupied with grouping the students into groups. During the grouping the students starting horse-playing throwing pencils one of the pencils flew across the room and struck the teacher in the face. The teacher was furious and yelled out in class “who threw this pencil at me” all the students look at each other and pointed at the Hispanic male. The teacher immediately grabbed the Hispanic male student and striking him across the head.

The Hispanic male student began to cry and tried to protect himself from his teacher, but the teacher outpowered him. The class was in complete chaos with students crying and others running around the classroom. The veteran teacher tried desperately to gather the students and gain control but to no avail. Ethics are an essential part of the lives of all teachers. Teachers must be in constant control at all times especially when it comes to classroom control and student safety. As role models, teachers must set an example of appropriate behavior at all times. Corporal punishment from teachers impacts the lack of academic success among students.

The issue in this paper refers to the protection and safety of students during instructional time. how our mood affects or influences student performance. Teaching can be an overwhelming and challenging process especially when it comes to striking a student this can negatively impact the school culture, parents, and students. Teachers must monitor self-control and patience because their actions can leave an everlasting impact on every child they encounter. The ethical principles from the referenced organization do it challenge. The ethical principles that are challenged in this case study are the violation of the effort to ensure protection for all students from harmful conditions that lead to the physical health and/or safety of students. The teacher failed to protect her students teachers must maintain a professional relationship with all students and protect their students' safety. When teachers enter the teaching profession, they are obligated and must adhere to a set of principles that defines professional conduct. Teachers are committed to the highest levels of professional and ethical principles when teachers violate students in any manner this impacts their academic performance.

Students harbor negative feelings toward school and their teachers. Violating a student’s rights can perpetuate absenteeism and eventually lead to students dropping out of school. Teachers’ are trained in their profession and are competently equipped with different alternatives to discipline students. When students are targets of any kind of abuse, they build malice and a sense of hatred toward teachers. The negative impact can leave students with anti-social personalities which can cause them to trust any teacher. The primary goal of discipline is to make sure students are ethically and morally accountable for their unacceptable behavior. When teachers violate their role it can cause students to feel hopeless, this hopelessness can manifest into them hating school because they are unsure what they will face if they go to school. Teachers must create conducive learning environments that spark growth and learning.

Alternative methods must be in place to handle discipline concerns. Rules and behavior expectations must be in place and must be emphasized and given enough awareness to enable students to understand them. The codes of ethics for teachers require them to be upstanding citizens in school as well as in society. Teachers should show an equal level of decorum to all students they must be morally sensitive, and aware of how their actions can affect their students. Teachers make conscious decisions every day that impact the lives of students. A teacher’s core values and beliefs are the ethical blueprints that shape their reality. Teachers are ultimately accountable for their moral and ethical decisions. They held to the highest esteem to be role models for all stakeholders. Wrong decisions by teachers will shape the school culture toward a “bad school.” Without a doubt, a teacher’s influence can leave a positive or negative picture on how students perceive them.

Fair or not, these images include the overall appearance of the school campus and grounds, student academic achievement, behavior and conduct of students, athletic and academic competitive events and results, and overall learning environment for the students. Ethical conduct in schools are is crucial to successful teaching. Teachers must commit sufficient time to create and fortify their beliefs with their students. It is critical for teachers to promote ethical conduct. Teachers must learn to think about troubling situations from several ethical perspectives and always be in self-control. Teachers are continuously confronted with ethical dilemmas in the classroom and have to find effective ways to take action in difficult situations. Teachers must always remember their actions impact their own identities as professionals. Utilizing a code of ethics can assist teachers to make informed decisions based on the code’s principles.

The Impact of Unethical Behavior on Students and School Culture

Unethical conduct can destroy trust and respect among other teachers, students, and parents. extreme circumstances result in teachers losing their teaching positions and professional licensure. Resolving common ethical dilemmas requires forethought and insight. Teachers should always analyze their ethical dilemmas in order to make the “right decision” when faced with uncertain situations. When students are brought to school to learn from their teachers and the teacher is not delivering educational instruction it can be quite challenging ethically. Teachers have an essential role in student safety they must create safe in-class spaces and provide continuous supervision and clearly communicate what is expected during class time. The importance of creating and sustaining physical safety for students should be paramount. The bottom line is that students need to know and hear that their teachers care deeply about them, and are available to help, support, and guide them each day.

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Importance Of Ethics In Education. (2021, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from
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