Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Physical Education Teachers' Knowledge on the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct in Tanzania

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Physical Education Teachers' Knowledge on the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct in Tanzania

Article excerpt

Abstract

Every profession considers the development and application of a Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct (PCEC) as a means of maintaining acceptable professional standards. As for the teaching profession, teachers are supposed to exhibit a high level of professionalism, responsibility, integrity, competence, character, respect and honesty. Such moral virtues are imperative for Physical Education (PE) teachers since their work involves close interactions with students in and outside the classroom and school contexts. The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge of PE teachers on PCEC in Tanzania. The study explored whether PE teachers were knowledgeable on PCEC and whether their knowledge differed according to their demographic and institutional characteristics. The study was significant in that knowledge on PCEC could help teachers to understand the nature of their work, the values they transmit and the implication of those values for those with whom they are engaged. The study could also help PE teachers to improve and sustain the standards and reputation of the teaching profession by upholding the best practices and conduct. The study utilized descriptive survey design and was conducted in secondary schools and teachers' colleges that had PE and sport programs. Purposive sampling was adopted to select PE teachers and data were collected through questionnaire. Results revealed that PE teachers had high knowledge on PCEC (M =4.41, SD = .317). However, knowledge on PCEC differed significantly across educational levels (p = .001), institutional ownership (p =. 011) and institutional level (p = .019). There were no significant differences across age categories (p = .056), gender (p = .926), marital status (p = .153), teaching experience (p =.258) and location (p = .252). It was concluded that PE teachers possess adequate knowledge on PCEC; and the level of education and religiosity are determinant factors for the knowledge on PCEC. It was recommended that there is a need to strengthen professional development courses for teachers and emphasize the teaching of moral and professional ethics in the teacher education programs. Teachers should also be encouraged to obtain copies of professional code of ethics and conduct, and they should be emphasized to implement the professional code of ethics and conduct. Moreover, studies should be conducted to understand the level of compliance with PCEC among teachers in other specialized subjects.

Keywords: knowledge, PE teachers, professional code of ethics, code of conduct, perception, demographic characteristics, institutional characteristics.

INTRODUCTION

Every profession considers the development and application of a code of ethics as a means of maintaining acceptable professional standards among its members (Hinds, 2005). According to Banks (2003), a code of ethics guides the practitioners who are members, protects service users and safeguards the reputation of the profession. Supporting Banks' assertions, Anangisye and Barrett (2005) maintain that approaches to advance ethical stands must be adhered on an understanding of the positive professional models to which educators aspire. As for teachers, their professional behaviours inside and outside the classroom have far reaching impacts on their behaviour and their overall performance and thus the learning outcomes (Bennell & Akyeampong, 2007). Due to the importance of education and the responsibilities of teachers in the education and development of students, teachers are accountable to students and their parents/guardians and care takers, colleagues, the profession, their employer and the community. Consequently, teachers need to be aware of their responsibilities and vulnerabilities in their interactions and relationships with each educational stakeholder.

In recognition of the multiple responsibilities of teachers, numerous investigators and educators have stressed for the need to abide to Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct (PCEC) (Anangisye, 2010; Hinds, 2005; Ishumi, 2011). …

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