The authors of the article in question concern themselves with reviewing and discussing some of the existing research on the topic of ethics in special education. The ethical overview is extremely important to find the appropriate and correct ways of teaching children who differ from the established norm, and the creation of appropriate literature is also much needed. It is noted that the consideration of ethics in teaching for this particular field is rarely brought up, and a need for more comprehensive approaches is needed (Decker et al., 2021). The review uses 18 different journals over the period of 30 years were examined to find articles concerning the ethics of special education. The research effectively finds that most of the articles present do not utilize or contain empirical data, instead of concerning other types of research. An average of two articles per year was noted, which is a comparatively low number (Decker et al., 2021). All of the articles reviewed were affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of education for special children around the world. Only 14% of all articles reviewed seemed to reference the code of ethics the organization employs, or any other considerations it puts forward officially (Decker et al., 2021). Furthermore, the authors of the overview find that more than a third of the papers note the lack of research to be a considerable problem in the field, while also not providing any significant empirical findings on the matter.
I think that the article raises an extremely important point to consider in the field of special education, one that not many people think to consider. While the teaching practices and methods are constantly improving to ensure the best and most comfortable standards of teaching, the ethical aspects of the process are in turn neglected, leaving a hole in our understanding of the subject. I think that the authors of the article are absolutely correct in their assertion of the need for more empirical research. More hard data on the matter is needed, one that shows how well the current codes of ethics and regulations work in real-life frameworks, as well as suggests possible areas of improvement for the future. This process is most effectively jumpstarted by highlighting this notable discrepancy in data, precisely what the article review is trying to accomplish. Published relatively recently, it is still difficult to see the full possible results of its contribution to the field, but the data provided can be potentially utilized for the purposes of directing new research, as well as shifting the overall direction of special education research into a more ethics-lead direction. I think that the authors have managed to accumulate data from a large time period, allowing them to more effectively witness the general trends of ethical discussion in the special education discourse, as well as to see the potential blind spots left by the previous authors. One of the major drawbacks of this research in my opinion is the limited sample size of the review. All of the journals the articles were taken from were explicitly affiliated with Council for Exceptional Children, meaning that any journal that discussed educational ethics but was not connected with CEC did not have a place in the review. While the scope of the review has to be constrained by the limitations of researchers, the framework of this study sadly leaves out a large potential pool of knowledge that must be accounted for in the future.
Decker, D. M., Wolfe, J. L., & Belcher, C. K. (2021). A 30-Year Systematic Review of Professional Ethics and Teacher Preparation. The Journal of Special Education, 002246692198930. Web.