Teacher’s ethics code

February 17th, 2005 at 7:26 am by David Farrar

I always thought hell would freeze over before I agreed with Ivan Snook on any education issue. However I can only commend an excellent article by him in the NZ Herald.

The bottom line is that a draft code of ethics for teachers was excellent having specific “wills” and “will nots” such as teachers will protect students from harassment and teachers will not bonk their students.

The NZEI and PPTA could not handle there being an explicit list of things teachers may not do as this might actually lead to you know a teacher being held accountable against it. So they got the following clauses dropped:

Teachers will not expose students to embarrassment or disparagement.

* Teachers will not punish a student unnecessarily, harshly or unfairly.
* Teachers will not use information gained to disparage any family.
* Teachers will not invade a student’s privacy without good cause
* Teachers will not deceive parents regarding the abilities or progress of their children.
* Teachers will not accentuate or promote in their teaching the interests of any particular group in society.

Parents should be very worried about the extent to which the teacher unions have a strangehood on the education system, and are so obviously concerned only with protecting their union members, and not at all about protecting students or parents.

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12 Responses to “Teacher’s ethics code”

  1. Mark () says:

    “Strangehood”? “Stranglehold” perhaps?

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  2. robertp () says:

    I would say the Education Department (teachers colleges in particular) have a “strangehood” over teacher training. According to friends who have been through it, it’s the most mind numbingly PC-commie-liberal institution. Trainees have to submit to the hive mind to pass courses; views not approved by the PC overlords are suppressed and derided. It’s a darling of Labour.

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  3. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Mark -

    One of those rare occasions where the typo is equally accurate. :)

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  4. Ed Snack () says:

    David, one should also consider just how much trouble such a code could produce. Just what is unnecessary, harsh or unfair punishment ? In most pupils eyes, almost any punishment would fit this definition. And exposure to embarrasment or disparagement, you mean like asking them the answer to a question in class ? I have absolutely no brief for the PPTA, but is this code, in too prescriptive a fashion, a wise move ? A woolly statement might be better overall, you know how the courts and tribunals will interpret anything in obtuse ways given the opportunity.

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  5. GPT () says:

    Valid point re. the stranglehold of the teachers unions.
    Ed above has stolen some of my thunder, particularly in relation to embarrassment or disparagement – it is rather embarrassing to be told off for misbehaving. It is disparaging to be told to work harder b/c you are lazy.
    The punishment clause is perhaps a fairer “don’t” but is awfully subjective (not that subjectivity in itself has prevented terms in codes of conduct up until now).

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  6. John () says:

    Sure, getting rid of some of them might be OK, but its worse than that. Longer response on my weblog.

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    I find this interesting, having recently pent some time considering a code of ethic for Ministers in a protestant Church denomination. Nowhere can I see what the purpose of the code is. For example, is it intended that teachers who transgress the code would be subject to disciplinary action? If so, by whom? Is it intended than any person might bring a complaint against a teacher for allegedly transgressing the code? Or is the purpose of the code to give parents a warm fuzzy feeling about teachers? From the comments of the union wollopers it sounds as though the latter is the real purpose.

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  8. Craig Ranapia (OtherPundit) () says:

    Ed -

    Fair point, but isn’t that reason to discuss, re-draft and refine rather than throw the whole thing out? Sorry, but I think the teacher unions should get a grip on the notion that the profession may be well respected (and deservedly so, more often than not), but the union isn’t when it behaves like this.

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  9. Millsy () says:

    I’m afraid you can’t really mock the strangehood typo while referring to the Education Department which hasn’t existed for decades!

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  10. baxter () says:

    I agree with Ed Snack with the exception of the last clause the others were rightly dropped, however the dropped clauses appear to be the same code of ethics by which Prison wardens are expected to maintain order in their prisons.

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  11. waterman () says:

    Is the need for a code of ethics just driven by more parental paranoia? Parenthood or strangehood? Why do we need the code? We all survived our education without one didn’t we?

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  12. stef () says:

    A tory who doesn’t like the teacher training colleges. Wow! Those must be about a rare breed as lefties who can’t stand commerce faculties.

    As for the code, I think that if teaching is to be take seriously as a profession there needs to be professional guidelines.

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