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Code of Ethics Analysis

Jeanette Wardlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs

Portfolio Entry for Wisconsin Teacher Standard 9

EDUW 695 – Ethics and Issues in Education

Instructor: Kathleen Stebbins-Hintz

April 24, 2016


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I chose to analyze the Association of American Educators Code of Ethics. This is a

non-union professional educators organization. They are focused on improving student

achievement, without getting involved in politics. This organization puts the educational

needs of students above all else. I believe this is evident in their code of ethics where

their first principle is “Ethical Conduct Toward Students.” This organization’s mission is

to empower and support educators in order to improve our students and nation as a

whole. I find this is manifested through the first principle where the code emphasizes

the importance of educating the student on academics as well as improving their

character.

This code of ethics is very interesting to me. There were parts that resonated with

me. I really appreciated that it was very clearly broken down into four parts: ethical

conduct towards students, practice and performance, colleagues, and parents and

community. I agreed with the section dedicated to students. It starts by stating that

parents are the primary moral educators, but educators need to encourage integrity,

responsibility, respect, and cooperation. This part of the code also focuses on the

importance of educating the whole student to assist them in becoming better citizens of

the community. This code specifically lays out what they determine to be unethical

towards students such as exposing a student to disparagement, revealing confidential

information, and presenting facts with bias and personal prejudice.

I find parts of Principle II to be very interesting. This principle refers to practice

and performance in education. The code talks about the importance of striving to

maintain the dignity of the profession as well as personal integrity. The piece in this part

that I struggle with is where the code emphasizes the need to put their code of ethics

before the policies of the school as well as laws. This to me presents another ethical
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issue, whether to follow the rules or to do what I feel is ethical. I also have a bit of an

issue with a code of ethics emphasizing itself over laws.

The rest of the code talks about ethical behavior towards colleagues and well as

parents and the community. This code emphasizes the importance of confidentiality,

truthfulness, and positive communication. I appreciate what the code outlines in this

section, but have difficulty seeing this actually happen in a school setting.

After reviewing this code of ethics, I believe that it can be helpful to me when I have

important decisions to make. My first year teaching I was faced with a difficult situation.

I had a student who was extremely distracting during class. This student has ADHD and

was not on medication. I also had been made aware by other staff members that there

was suspected abuse at home. My dilemma was to decide if I should contact home to

inform this student’s parents of his behavior. I will utilize two sections of the AAE Code

of Ethics for Educators to assist in making this decision.

The first section that I will look at is Principle I: Ethical Conduct Toward

Students. This section emphasizes the importance of treating students justly and to

protect students from things detrimental towards their learning, health, and safety. I

had already attempted to resolve this issue within the school. I had conferenced with my

co-teacher as well as the student’s principal and counselor. Very little behavior had

changed at this point. My concern about calling this student’s parents is that the

student’s safety would be put in danger.

The second section of the code that I will reference is Principle IV: Ethical

Conduct Toward Parents and Community. This section of the code states that as an

educator, I am expected to communicate all information to parents in order to assist the


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student. For any student that I had not heard allegations of abuse, I would communicate

my concerns with the parents without any hesitation. Because of this reason, I decided

to contact this student’s parents. Based on this code, I do believe that is was the right

thing to do.

I believe that the AAE Code of Ethics for Educators is very helpful for when I have

ethical decisions to make. I appreciate that it is thorough, specific, and covers multiple

areas of teaching.
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Artifact A
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Artifact B