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Professional Ethics in Teaching: towards the development of a code of practice

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This article provides a theoretical discussion of the process of developing a professional code of ethics for teachers. Two underlying assumptions pervade the article. Firstly, that increased awareness of the ethical dimensions and responsibilities of teaching is essential for both enhanced professionalism and, more significantly, improved practice. Secondly, that while a code of ethics may not advance the ultimate route to such awareness, it should be able to contribute broadly and positively to a deeper examination of ethics in teaching as long as its limitations are recognised and acknowledged. Six key issues and questions that highlight the complexities that those involved in the development of a code of professional ethics should address are discussed. While this article intends to provoke thoughts relevant to any organisation grappling with its own ethical code, its primary context is the Ontario College of Teachers (Ontario, Canada), whose work in this area is newly emerging.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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