Saturday, March 22, 2008

ethic in education


Teaching is not simply a set of technical skills for imparting knowledge to waiting students. It involves caring for children and being responsible for their future development. In other words, teachers need to think not just about the ‘ways’ by which they teach but the ‘ends’ they are teaching for. This places a heavy burden on their shoulders as educators and facilitators of their students.

Mostly however, the idea of moral responsibilities for teachers is often not raised in most educational programs. Nor it is discussed when one enters the teaching field. They tend to focus on professional field – developing students’ knowledge and understanding of subject matter, equipping students with high-level skills to succeed in examinations, designing curricula and challenging students to meet the high standards in learning.

Focusing attention solely on these technical aspects of teaching may ignores the moral principal of what truly is being a teacher. For example, a teacher may be a highly-skilled or a specialist in certain area of teaching but lacked in values and morality. One value is not as good as any other value in schools. People in society expect schools to be guided by moral principles such as justice, fairness of treatment, liberty, honesty, equity and respect. As educators, one must make instant decisions over many issues in the classroom. These decisions will have implications on the students. The questions here are; how do teachers cope with the amounting pressure of seeing their students do well in the examination? How do teachers deal with the high expectations of the administrators? What impact can teachers bring to students who are not doing well in their studies? Do teachers feel satisfied if they think by a ‘little cheating’ will bring success to their students? What effect and consequences will they have in satisfying the administrators by hiding in disguise? What is the real dilemma faced by teachers themselves?

Each of these questions is first and foremost an ethical question. Since most teachers answer not in words but rather in educational practices that involves teaching methods and school designs. There is no guidebook or listing that can automatically sort these problems, nor can there be role models that to be followed. It is only through study, reflection and enquiry into the moral nature and consequences that educators can come to understand the impact of their decisions.

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