An interesting topic - Ethics

This post relates to a requirement for my Applied Practice in Context paper through The Mindlab

The requirement is:
Read the article on Applied Professional Ethics by Collste(2012).Blog post 3 – ‘Applied ProfessionalEthics’Make a blog post where you outline the key points you took from the article and note where or how they are relevant to your teaching context.

I wanted to have a better understanding of Applied Ethics before I read the article.  A google search reveals a definition for Ethics as: 

Further searching reveals a Wikipedia definition of applied ethics as:

With this in mind the key points I took from the article and how they related to my teaching practice are:
  • Applied ethics involves many different disciplines and came about due to changes in society and new moral dilemmas that weren't previously an issue.
    • It's interesting to think about what I didn't have any idea about as a child, but which is now part of everyday life for the children I teach.  Things like choosing to post something on social media or not have only been around in the last 5-10 years.  I fear that we have a generation that have their lives recorded and accessible through digital means that are going to have many regrets about what was posted about them and by them when they're older.  
    • It makes teaching citizenship and discussing the pros and cons of posting so important not only for children but also for adults that haven't grown up with the technology and often aren't aware of the implications of what they're posting online.
  • The article talks about the differences that might exist between an employers norms and morals and an employees norms and morals
    • I think this is important to my practice, we as teachers have our own set of morals and these may or may not conflict with our schools vision, values and mottos.  What do we do if they are in conflict, my first thought would be that we need to move on to another school, however this isn't always possible.  
    • We do have a set of criteria and a code of ethics for teachers created by the teachers council, I wonder if we as teachers have all really looked at what this means for us and have we all been given the opportunity to really discuss what they mean for us in our schools.  It's an interesting area of debate especially as it seems we're required more and more to prove we're meeting the registered teachers criteria.  
  • Professional ethics can also be called virtue ethics - for example what we consider to be a 'good doctor' or a 'good lawyer'
    • I wonder if a 'good teacher' would come under this umbrella.  There is such a variation in who we teach, where we teach and the resources we teach with I wonder how this effects what our communities perceive as a good teacher.   I don't think we do enough marketing as a teaching profession about what makes a good teacher.
    • I wonder if a good teacher in one area would be consider mediocre or even sub-standard in another area.  
    • Even more important marketing though needs to happen around what is learning, I find it interesting that I come across so many parents who think learning involves getting red ticks in books a sticker.  I wonder if we're not doing enough to promote learning as a life long process rather than something that stops when you get a red tick or a sticker.
I do think ethics has a part to play in our profession as teachers, however discussions about ethics are often the last thing on the list especially when day to day teaching happens.  I wonder if having those discussions though would actually lead to improved practice as we gain a better understanding as well as a shared understanding of what is and isn't okay in our schools, rather than always talking about the day to day procedural acts of teaching.