Six
Standards and codes

Primum non nocere [first do no harm].1


Moral accountability and professionalism

Increasingly, society is demanding of its professional communities more transparent and accessible evidence of their moral accountability to those they serve. As Haydon states:

Recognizing the large and potentially very damaging influence that the
members of other professions can exercise on the layperson, the general
public can reasonably ask that they respect certain ethical standards. In
the same way, recognizing the potential influence for good or ill that
teachers can exercise towards pupils, such an expectation is equally

reasonable.2

In many respects, the essence of professionalism is defined by the principles of ethics that govern not only the expected conduct of professionals but also the spirit of commitment and responsibility they embody as both individual practitioners and collective associates. Attempts to formalize core moral principles, that should be recognizable to us all, as well as more specialized responsibilities peculiar to certain professions have resulted in the creation of regulatory codes of ethics and professional standards and the self-governing bodies to promote and enforce them. Such official statements of ethical intent, it is hoped, both serve the public interest and provide guidance to the members of the profession. They exist to inspire confidence in the profession itself, and, even though they are not necessarily contractual

-103-

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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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