Part 1
Moral agency and ethical
knowledge

Over the past two decades, the public and academic discussion of the ethical dimensions of schooling has accelerated. Philosophers, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers are all contributing in their own ways to the revival of this area, with its social and intellectual roots in centuries-old debates, which has been seen as a neglected field of study for too long. The urgency of highlighting ethics in education is contemporarily propelled by increasing calls for moral accountability, codes, and professional standards as well as the exploding field of moral education in schools. This book addresses connections among these significant issues from its own perspective of ethical knowledge as a kind of teacher knowledge that is rarely addressed.

Much of the current literature in the field reinforces the importance of regarding teaching as an inherently moral endeavour. By extension, it supports a belief that teachers primarily carry out their professional work without being fully aware of the moral and ethical implications of their actions. While this book accepts the embedded and implicit nature of much of teachers' moral practice, it seeks to make more visible the level of ethical awareness many teachers bring to their formal and informal exchanges and activities in schools.

In their significant investigation of the moral life of schools, Jackson et al. conclude that teachers and school administrators, while for the most part fundamentally good people, remain noticeably unaware and even unconscious of the ethical ramifications of their own actions and overall practice.1 They ask the following valuable questions:

And what about teachers? Do they need to be aware of the possible
moral consequences of what they are doing in order for those

-1-

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The Ethical Teacher
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Part 1 - Moral Agency and Ethical Knowledge 1
  • One - Introduction to Ethics in Teaching 9
  • Two - The Teacher as a Moral Person 23
  • Three - The Teacher as a Moral Educator 47
  • Part 2 - Challenges to Ethical Professionalism 59
  • Four - Dilemmas in Teaching 63
  • Five - Collegial Fear: the Dilemmas Within 84
  • Part 3 - Ethical Directions 101
  • Six - Standards and Codes 103
  • Seven - Learning to Create an Ethical Culture 115
  • Eight - Using Ethical Knowledge to Inform Practice 130
  • Notes 143
  • Bibliography 164
  • Index 175
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