The Influence of Physical Education Teachers' Demographic Variables on Compliance with the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct in Tanzania

By Stephen, Mabagala | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, December 2014 | Go to article overview

The Influence of Physical Education Teachers' Demographic Variables on Compliance with the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct in Tanzania


Stephen, Mabagala, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Physical education (PE) teachers encounter situation of making ethical decisions while they inculcate into the learners the required values, skills and knowledge both in theory and practical lessons (Hind & Palmer, 2007). PE lessons are usually done in theory and practice in and outside the classroom context. At times PE teachers act as coach and this aspect may compel them to travel outside the school environment especially during interschool competitions. Because of the nature of PE and sport, teachers and students develop relationships which may be multidimensional and continuous. As such, PE teachers need to be guided by the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct (PCEC). This is because of the power teachers have over their students. Some teachers may exploit students if they are not guided by ethical standards. Studies have indicated that the teaching profession and of PE in particular is prone to abuse. For example, Ozbeck (2007) and Bennel (2004) show increase in ethics abuses such as sexual harassment and abuse in interschool sports competitions. In Tanzania, anecdotal allegations concerning incidences of sexual harassment and abuse during and after school sport, unsportsmanship behaviour during intramural and interschool competitions that involve PE teachers are rampant though documents are scarce.

A study by Anangisye and Barrett (2005) on professional identity and misconduct looked at the perspectives of Tanzanian teachers and found out that teacher misconduct and unprofessionalism, together with corruption amongst educational administrators, threaten to undermine initiatives to improve educational quality in many low-income countries, including most of sub-Saharan Africa. They argue that approaches to advance ethical standards must be established on an understanding of the positive professional models to which educators aspire (Anangisye & Barret, 2005).

Professional ethics is the entire set of general regulations considering the jobs performed by the members of the profession in an ethical way and complied with by most of the members (Tichenor & Tichenor, 2005). The main aims of the code of ethics for teachers are to transform the behaviour of the members in the teaching profession to the most useful state, preserve public interest, protect the profession, discipline the members, guide and be a source of help for teachers in their daily professional duties (Campbell, 2000). The main objectives are to enhance commitment, dedication and efficiency of service among members of the profession (Van Nuland & Khandelwal, 2006). The professional code of ethics also provides self-disciplinary guidelines for the members of the profession by creating norms of professional conduct. Furthermore, the PCEC aims at obtaining the community's confidence by emphasizing the social responsibilities of the profession towards the community (Van Nuland & Khandelwal, 2006).

PE teachers make moral judgments and express their values as they perform their academic core duties and extracurricular activities. Therefore, they are supposed to be committed to their professional standards as they propagate ideas, knowledge and skills to learners, and as they interact with learners in and outside the class context. However, commitment to the PCEC may vary depending on PE teachers' age, education level, gender, marital status and teaching experience. Studies focusing on (PE) teachers' ethics and conduct in Tanzania focusing on the influence of demographic characteristics are still scarce. This is the gap this study intended to fill.

Objectives

The main objective of the study was to determine PE teachers' level of compliance with the PCEC as influenced by their demographic characteristics. Specifically, the study thought to determine the influence of PE teachers' age, education level, gender, marital status, and teaching experience on compliance with the PCEC

Hypotheses

Ho1: There would be no significant difference in PE teachers' compliance with the PCEC across their age categories. …

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