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ERIC Number: EJ917539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
Ethical Dilemmas: A Model to Understand Teacher Practice
Ehrich, Lisa Catherine; Kimber, Megan; Millwater, Jan; Cranston, Neil
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v17 n2 p173-185 Apr 2011
Over recent decades, the field of ethics has been the focus of increasing attention in teaching. This is not surprising given that teaching is a moral activity that is heavily values-laden. Because of this, teachers face ethical dilemmas in the course of their daily work. This paper presents an ethical decision-making model that helps to explain the decision-making processes that individuals or groups are likely to experience when confronted by an ethical dilemma. In order to make sense of the model, we put forward three short ethical dilemma scenarios facing teachers and apply the model to interpret them. Here we identify the critical incident, the forces at play that help to illuminate the incident, the choices confronting the individual and the implications of these choices for the individual, organisation and community. Based on our analysis and the wider literature we identify several strategies that may help to minimise the impact of ethical dilemmas. These include the importance of sharing dilemmas with trusted others; having institutional structures in schools that lessen the emergence of harmful actions occurring; the necessity for individual teachers to articulate their own personal and professional ethics; acknowledging that dilemmas have multiple forces at play; the need to educate colleagues about specific issues; and the necessity of appropriate preparation and support for teachers. Of these strategies, providing support for teachers via professional development is explored more fully. (Contains 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A