Physical Education Teacher Candidates and Professional Codes of Ethics

Article excerpt

Introduction

Ethics lies on the basis of all relationships established by humans. There are such values as love, respect, gratitude, and trust in a relationship between two persons. (Kucuradi, 1996). Ethical behavior considers the rights and interests, as well as the existence of others (Haynes, 2002). The goal of an ethical relationship is being able to show that ethical action is a basic characteristic of human existence; that is being able to teach to love people (Pieper, 1999). Studies on ethics deal with the standards used in the rightfulness or wrongfulness of human behavior. They seek answers to such questions as to which behaviors are good, desirable, and acceptable (Gozutok, 1999).

Professional ethics resulted from an increase in ethical problems in certain professions or from the awareness of these increasing problems. Ethics of medicine, law, sports, press, and education are some examples of professional ethics (Tepe, 2000). Professional ethics are a set of general rules that look at the work performed by the members of the profession from an ethical point of view and that are complied with by the majority of these members (Sockett, 1990; Kultgen, 1988). Ethical codes laid down by professional organizations and supported by sanctions will guide the person who applies them and help him/her to decide in potential dilemmas (Fain, 1992). Even though professional codes of ethics are regulated separately for every profession, such codes as honesty, legality, reliability, professional loyalty, and respect apply to all professions (Wiley 2000).

When education was taken up as a multidimensional system, ethical conduct came to be one of these dimensions (Barcena & Gil, 1993). Ethics of education interests all of society. Behaviors related to students are central to the ethics of education. It is the duty of all educators to provide the student with humane living conditions within the environment of education. The relationship between the teacher and the student must be based on love and respect (Bilgen, 1994).

Ethical relationships are expected to be experienced within the environment of education. For this reason, ethics codes that are determined for education must have compliance by educators. Universal values such as honesty, fairness, loyalty, and respect are taken as basis when determining ethics codes. The basic purpose of ethics codes is to make application most beneficial, to provide public benefit, to protect the profession, to discipline the members, and to guide the teachers in solving ethical dilemmas they may encounter during daily applications (Campbell, 2000).

Physical education teachers are faced with making ethical decisions while they are fulfilling their duties in schools and sports facilities (Harrison and Blakemore, 1992). Physical education teachers must act in compliance with professional ethics while they are performing their duties in order to protect service ideals, regulate competition within the profession, and raise the quality of the service provided. The first known codes of ethics in literature for physical education teachers were proposed in 1950 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) professional ethic board, and published in the Journal of Physical Education and Recreation in 1950 (Resick, Seidel, & Mason, 1975). A major part of these professional codes of ethics regulate the relationship between the teacher and the student. Other ethics codes are concerned with the relationship of teachers and their colleagues, their responsibilities towards the society, participation in professional organizations, and professional development.

It was observed that the definitions made related to ethical dilemmas were more successful, their theoretical and practical knowledge concerning ethical dilemmas increased, and their solutions and recommendations for ethical problems became more successful at the end of their education (Bergem, 1993). …