ERIC Number: ED408058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Ethics in Early Childhood Field Experiences.
Coombe, Kennece; Newman, Linda
Journal for Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, v1 p1-9 1997
The place of ethics in the professions is often unquestioned. What is not so clear is the awareness of students of early childhood education about ethical issues and their contribution to ethical practice. This study investigated student experiences and perceptions of ethical dilemmas in their practicums. A survey of 171 early childhood students at two Australian universities was used to establish: (1) the level of student awareness of the existence of the Australian Early Childhood Association's "Code of Ethics"; (2) what they believe constitutes ethics; and (3) their perceptions of ethical dilemmas encountered in their practicums and their ability to respond. Results indicated that there seemed to be the general expectation that codes of ethics are imposed from beyond the day-to-day lives of practitioners and that there is little sense of ownership of what is contained within such codes and limited consideration of the students' own moral and ethical stances. All but two students were aware of the Code of Ethics, while more than two-thirds of the students reported that they had witnessed three or more situations of ethical dilemma while completing practicums. The dilemmas that were described, however, indicated some confusion in understanding the difference between ethical dilemmas and the observation of poor practice. Dilemmas could be placed into three categories: interactions and practices, abuse, and supervision of practicum students. Data also showed that students' perceptions of their ability to handle ethical dilemmas were correlated with their year in the program. (Contains 11 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (New South Wales)
Note: For the complete proceedings, see PS 025 459.