Professional Ethics: Definition Essay

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Being a part of the field of education, I am tasked with making decisions based on my ethical beliefs daily. I have always thought about my ethical framework and how it is comprised. Until I received this assignment, I had never considered taking the time to compose my thoughts in writing as a way of defining the diverse components that culminate to build my ethical character, whether personally or professionally. Often, life runs together, causing us to mix personal and professional ideas regularly. There very well is a difference in some instances. I am assured that some decisions that I make in my personal life are drawn from different values than when I make decisions in my professional life, as often the decisions affect me differently for varying reasons. As Calder (2012) states, there is a difference between knowing the right thing to say in comparison to being confident in one’s self to do the right thing.

Considering the ideas that steer my thinking in all situations, my ethical foundation is composed of various influences. Some thoughts that come to mind include family, friends, religion, co-workers, personal beliefs, culture, workplace agendas, and health, to name a few. There are times when I must consider if I am being true to myself or dividing and conquering to please others through my decision-making. “We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth that we hold within that we cannot know the integrity that comes from being what you are” (Palmer, 2004, p. 4).

In deciding on the framework that currently closely aligns with my personal and professional values, I would have to note the Blanchard-Peale Framework. The framework addresses three thoughts: legality, fairness, and personal feelings. As Palmer (2004) shares, when we move beyond focusing on codes of conduct, then we can have a better understanding of integrity. I must not only feel right about the decision but also be aware of the ramifications that may follow. If it will affect me negatively, in the long run, then it is probably not the best decision for me to make.

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According to Sah (2015), ethics is a discussion throughout society focused on addressing the overall well-being of humans. As much as I hate to admit it, society’s ideas play a part in my decision-making as well. Though I work hard within myself to make the best decision, I often think about whether the decision is socially acceptable.

I rationalize daily in both my personal and professional lives. “The difference between rational decisions and rationalization is when reasoning takes place” (Josephson, 2010, 2:19). I work to avoid situations that are unethical, but it is inevitable, as we all must deal with the world every day. “Organizational culture does not always support the right thing” (Josephson, 2010, (0:24). It is up to individuals to find the happy medium in doing what they know, and feel is right while battling the identified wrong. “Rationalization allows us to convince ourselves to do what we know we shouldn’t do” (Josephson, 2010, 3:27).

I, like so many others, go back and forth in my thought process before making decisions. Filling my current role at work, I have been placed into many more situations where I must make decisions, that in some instances can be detrimental. My goal is to ensure that I am strongly aligning my decisions with the ethical practices that balance the perspectives of my principled basis, while also considering others involved in the processes.

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Professional Ethics: Definition Essay. (2023, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Professional Ethics: Definition Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2023,
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