Maintaining standards of ethics is a critical task for an educator. Therefore, it is vital to support and maintain a set of homogenous standards for ethical behaviors in educators, as well as revisit it in order to identify emergent dents and evaluate the code’s efficacy. Remarkably, codes of ethics issued by departments of education vary from state to state. In Florida, the “Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct” currently represents the foundation for promoting ethical behaviors and decision-making in the academic setting. However, apart from affecting students and teachers, the code in question also influences the community at large, therefore, contributing to the promotion of ethical behaviors within the Florida community. Though the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct consists only of three ethical premises, it provides extensive opportunities for ensuring students’ well-being, educators’ development, and the overall well-being of the community.
Remarkably, the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct has only three principles for educators to comply with when executing their workplace tasks. Specifically, these principles include the necessity to recognize the dignity of every individual, the focus on students as an educator’s primary concern, and the importance of respecting all parties involved (Zygmunt et al. 131). These include students, colleagues, and community members, which suggests that the effects of the code expand to embrace all those involved.
The importance of adhering to the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct is tremendous for educators. Utilizing the code and grounding their decision-making in its principal ideas, educators become capable of addressing complex ethical dilemmas. Specifically, with the help of the code, educators learn to prioritize the needs of learners, colleagues, and community members, thus, avoiding the solutions that would ultimately lead to harming any of those listed (Wright 264). For instance, as an educator, one must delineate clearly one’s role in a child’s life. A situation in which a teacher asserts clear boundaries in the relationships with a child by accepting the role of a mentor but refusing to play that one of a parent for a student is an example of the code of ethics producing the required effect. Namely, as an educator, one should be able to introduce a child to the relevant knowledge and teach valuable skills related to the subject taught. However, it would be inappropriate for a teacher to develop emotional dependence on a student similar to that one of a parent.
Similarly, the teacher’s compliance with the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct also has vital effects on students. Namely, once the principles of the ethical code are followed, students are placed in a setting where they are encouraged to develop the relevant skills and abilities. As a result, ethical principles are likely to contribute to learners’ successful performance and active development of academic skills. Specifically, compliance with ethical principles will allow educators to foster an environment built on the principles of justice and collaboration. Consequently, students are likely to be more eager to engage in the academic process and participate in related activities.
Specifically, the study by Cavanagh et al. proves the necessity for a teacher to ground the decision-making process in the concepts of fairness and justice so that learners could feel higher levels of trust toward the educator and be more willing to contribute to the discussions, class projects, and the related activities (14). Namely, Cavanagh et al. assert that “To the extent that students trust their instructor – that is, believe that the instructor understands, accepts, and cares about their learning needs – we expect students to report positive learning experiences in that course” (1). Therefore, using ethical principles and, particularly, the code of ethics in the classroom to ensure that learners are engaged is vital for their further performance.
Additionally, the integration of the code of ethics into the academic process benefits the entire community as a whole. Specifically, by promoting specific ethical standards to students and providing an example of an ethical and fair leader, a teacher will encourage students to develop the same qualities. Consequently, learners will affect the community as they grow up, encouraging others to follow the specified principles and building an environment of mutual trust.
At this point, it would be useful to note that, along with being introduced to critical ethical standards and practices, learners must also be prepared for the environment where some participants of communication may not be as fair and honest as they are. Specifically, while promoting the importance of ethics to learners, an educator must also make it explicitly clear that some people choose to break ethical standards. Thus, students will be ready to face the risk of fraud, deceit, and similar unethical behaviors.
However, it will also be vital to ensure that students are capable of making a choice between ethical and unethical behaviors, recognizing the importance of following essential virtues and selecting ethical decisions consciously. Thus, students will be able to contribute to a certain community where mutual trust and respect will become the basis for any interactions and transactions. Moreover, with the specified principles of ethics in mind, community members will establish a society where breaking ethical principles will become unreasonable, therefore, removing the threat of deceit and injustice once and for all (Mitcham, 1741). Although the described outcomes are admittedly unrealistic and Utopian, striving toward them is what will make the community better. In turn, the school environment is where learners will accept and internalize the specified principles successfully.
As the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct is introduced to educators and promoted through the latter to students, the standards of ethics percolate into the community, affecting people’s decision-making and contributing to building a healthy society. Since the code in question has been shaped to address the needs of vulnerable populations, as well as establish basic standards for decision-making easily applicable to any context apart from the academic one, the guidelines have been transforming the community. Therefore, adhering to the code is paramount for teachers and other members of the education system. Specifically, by following the code, educators set an example not only for students but also for the rest of the community. Specifically, the public effects of the code are defined by students internalizing its principles and sharing them with their family members, therefore, contributing to building a healthy community. Therefore, applying the Florida Department of Education Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct to the academic setting has enormous importance for teachers, students, and the community.
Cavanagh, Andrew J., et al. “Trust, Growth Mindset, and Student Commitment to Active Learning in a College Science Course.” CBE—Life Sciences Education, vol. 17, no. 1, 2018, pp. 1-8.
Mitcham, Carl, and Elaine E. Englehardt. “Ethics across the curriculum: Prospects for Broader (and Deeper) Teaching and Learning in Research and Engineering Ethics.” Science and Engineering Ethics, vol. 25, no. 6, 2019, pp. 1735-1762.
Wright, Sarah, Jeanie M. Forray, and Kathy Lund Dean. “From Advocacy to Accountability in Experiential Learning Practices.” Management Learning, vol. 50, no. 3, 2019, pp. 261-281.
Zygmunt, Eva, et al. “Loving out Loud: Community Mentors, Teacher Candidates, and Transformational Learning through a Pedagogy of Care and Connection.” Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 69. no. 2, 2018, pp. 127-139.