Ethics has many definitions, but all of them have a common denominator as they are based on virtues, values, and morals. From this perspective, ethics can be defined as a set of moral principles and moral values (Peters, 2015). Therefore, ethical behavior, in its simplest terms, is knowing and doing what is right. Even so, there is a difficulty in defining what is good because different people, cultures, and religious denominations define it in a myriad of ways. For instance, from my perspective, ethics has been instrumental in decision-making processes. For example, in the past, ethics has played a decisive role in my school life. For example, I know that plagiarism is outlawed from educational institutions, but given the nature of most of the assignments instructors give, plagiarizing seems to be one of the best options, which in itself is unethical behavior. To observe ethics, I ensure that all my papers are properly cited by acknowledging any secondary sources. However, when it comes to instructors, ethical leadership is paramount. Instructors, in the classroom and school context, should profess substantive beliefs pertaining to the meaning and value of education and exercise and observe professional and ethical judgment and standards, while also observing the position to resist and acknowledge opportunities that enact normalization on colleagues, themselves, as well as students.
Professing substantive belief about the value and meaning of education is important for instructors mainly because professional educators have a philosophy of education and engage others, especially the students, who have different ideas. For this reason, ethical leadership among instructors should treat the students equally even though they have diversities regarding where they are from, their intellectual capacities, as well as cultures among others. Therefore, teachers should not discriminate students, because it is not morally supported. Besides, social justice is something that every instructor should observe. Therefore, instructors should not tolerate social injustices, such as bullying. Instructors should make it clear that bad behavior, including bullying, is unacceptable not only in class but anywhere else.
Ethics are vital for instructors primarily for professional judgment, as well as upholding ethical standards because they should be role models in the school (Lumpkin, 2008). In essence, instructors should be caring for the students. Essentially, ethical instructors should observe acceptance, compassion, insight, as well as interest in developing the potential of all students. For this reason, they should help all students so that they can be able to understand concepts taught in class. In addition, they should uphold respect in the class by observing fair-mindedness and trust. In essence, it is only morally right that the instructors honor cognitive development, emotional wellness, and human dignity of all students. As such, the instructors should uphold respect for cultural and spiritual values, freedom, confidentiality, and democracy in the class. Besides, trust is something that instructors should observe. It embodies honesty, openness, and fairness. Instructors should observe trust in every relationship they build, with students, parents, colleagues, guardians, as well as the public. Besides, teachers should be able to observe integrity as moral actions, reliability, and honesty is embedded in it. For this reason, instructors should be able to exercise integrity in their professional responsibilities and commitments, which will allow them to teach students effectively.
An instructor should also be able to acknowledge and resist various opportunities that are geared towards enacting normalization on colleagues, students, as well as herself. In fact, one of the most important parts of articulating an ethical professionalism is by being clear on the role that resistance plays to achieve more defensible objectives in education than those that are encouraged accountability policies. Essentially, ads pointed out by Gunzenhauser (2012), to act ethically, educators should be able to comprehend how and why their work must at some level be resistant. Essentially, the principles of human dignity and humanity are the terms that are used in political, ethical, and moral contexts, such as discussions, to subsequently signify that a person has an innate right to respect. Therefore, instructors should stick to these principles and develop a resistance to feelings of indifference and impotence by refusing to become hardened by multiple and negative events, such as poor salaries. Instructors should develop a bond of solidarity with the needy or suffering. Therefore, teachers should express concern over student hardships, such as familial problems, such as divorce, thereby exercise compassion and empathy towards the student.
As such, it can be concluded that instructors should uphold ethical behavior. Essentially, they should not discriminate because equality is paramount for effective teaching. Educators should also be able to observe care, respect, trust, and uphold integrity, which are essential for establishing a positive relationship not only with the school administration, buts also with colleagues, parents, and students alike. Besides, they should operate within the principles of human dignity and humanity. Therefore, instructors, in the classroom and school context, should profess substantive beliefs pertaining to the meaning and value of education, as well as exercise and observe professional and ethical judgment and standards, while also observing the position to resist and acknowledge opportunities that enact normalization on colleagues, themselves, as well as students.
Gunzenhauser, M., G. (2012). The Active/Ethical Professional: A Framework for Responsible Educators. New York, NY: Continuum.
Lumpkin, A. (2008). Teachers as role models teaching character and moral virtues. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 79(2), 45-50. DOI: http://eapp-www.csuchico.edu/kine/documents/teachersasrolemodels.pdf
Peters, R. S. (2015). Ethics and Education (Routledge Revivals). Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge.
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