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EVB’s PDMM. An Ethical Decision-Making Model By Elke van Breemen EDTE 519 sec. 2 Ron Sandland , VIU. My Ethical Beliefs as a Teacher.
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EVB’s PDMM An Ethical Decision-Making Model By Elke van Breemen EDTE 519 sec. 2 Ron Sandland, VIU
My Ethical Beliefs as a Teacher I am an advocate for the ethical treatment of fellow humans, animals, and our environment. But what I believe to be ethical depends on my personal interpretation of accepted standards. As a teacher, I adhere to the professional standards set out by the BCTF’s Code of Ethics. These standards set some protocol for how to deal with certain situations that may arise with students, colleagues, or parents. While there is protocol, it is up to me to decide how I am going to apply it to a given situation. Rather than acting impulsively or instinctively, it is helpful to set out a framework that can be used to guide myself through a course of action in response to any situation. This framework, known as a Professional Decision Making Model, is based on my ethical beliefs and values. I analyzed my ethical belief system by comparing it to the different “approaches to ethics” developed by Velasquez et al. The three approaches that I can relate to the most include the Virtue Approach, the Fairness/Justice Approach, and the Rights Approach. These are described in the following three slides.
Virtue Approach “What is ethical is what develops moral virtues in ourselves and our communities.” This approach to ethics states that individual attitudes, dispositions and character traits enable us to act ethically. As role models, teachers should be honest, trustworthy, and responsible. If we hold these virtues, we will be inclined to make decisions that are ethical, or good. Our decisions and actions will thus serve as examples of ethical behaviourforour students.
Fairness/Justice Approach: “Treat people the same unless there are morally relevant differences between them.” This is the approach that our judicial system takes, and is based on treating people fairly and justly, in a consistent manner. This approach is applicable to teachers, who are in a position of power and sometimes act as a judgein the classroom. In my opinion, consistency is crucial when dealing with children. As a child, one of my most despised expressions told to me by some teachers was “Life isn’t fair!” As a teacher, I believe that treating people fairly and justly is the ethical thing to do.
Rights Approach “An action or policy is morally right only if those persons affected by the decision are not used merely as instruments for advancing some goal, but are fully informed and treated only as they have freely and knowingly consented to be treated.” This approach refers to our responsibility as teachers to teach and model human rights. It connects with the BCTC Standards, in which teachers are given the trust to care for minors and not take advantage of their position of power within the school system. As a teacher, it is my duty to respect and protect children’s rights.
Principles of Ethics Personal, Professional and Global It is unavoidable to have your own set of personal values, or personal ethics, which are influence by society, family, and experience. For me as a teacher, the principles of personal ethics that stand out are respect, trustworthiness, honesty and benevolence. As a professional, the principles of professional ethics apply: impartiality, confidentiality, due diligence, and openness. One principle of global ethics that I strongly believe in is environmental stewardship. As a teacher, I feel that it is my duty to educate students about the interconnectedness of society and nature on a global scale. All of these principles contribute to my overall ethics, which I use to guide my decisions and actions.
Reconciliations Some of the reconciliations I have to make as a teacher lie in the slight discrepancies between my personal ethics and those of the profession. While my ethics align with the teaching standards, I am sure I will come into moral dilemmas within the institution of the public school system. For student teachers, this can be especially challenging because we often have to follow the ethics that are already in place in someone else’s classroom. I can reconcile with this by using my decision-making model as a means of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, keeping in mind that the well-being of the student is always at the forefront of mydecision-making process.
Professional Decision Making Model 1. Think Before You Stink! Give yourself time to think things over rather than impulsively responding. 2. Gather Information & Evidence Make sure you have all sides of the story and credible sources. 3. Consider Potential Paths of Action and how they might affect people involved in the situation. 4. Seek Advice from fellow professionals, following confidentiality rules. 5. Reconsider Paths of Action based on advice, information given to you by fellow professionals. 6. Make a Decision that fits into your ethical belief system: that you can rationalize and justify 7. Take Action in a sensitive, respectful, and responsible manner. • Speak to people involved in a timely, orderly fashion (eg. speak to principal before parents & students) 8. Monitor and Reflect on the effects your decision has on other people, both in the short-term and long-term.