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NASDTEC Releases Model Code of Ethics for Educators

A new ethics framework from the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) aims to guide PK-12 educators in their decision making—and assist their preparation programs in nurturing their ability to make ethical decisions. NASDTEC unveiled the Model Code of Ethics for Educators at a press conference June 25 in Washington, DC.

The code was developed over the past year in a joint effort with Educational Testing Service, the University of Phoenix, and the National Association of State Teachers of the Year. Once the draft was ready, a public comment period last winter provided feedback before the language was finalized. NASDTEC considers the result to be a fluid document that will continue to adjust to conditions in the field. Its board even created a new National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics to oversee modifications to the framework on an ongoing basis, and comments are still welcome on the document.

The code centers on five principles (supported by a glossary):

  1. Responsibility to the profession: The professional educator is aware that trust in the profession depends upon a level of professional conduct and responsibility that may be higher than required by law. This entails holding one and other educators to the same ethical standards.
  2. Responsibility for professional competence: The professional educator is committed to the highest levels of professional and ethical practice, including demonstration of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for professional competence.
  3. Responsibility to students: The professional educator has a primary obligation to treat students with dignity and respect. The professional educator promotes the health, safety, and well being of students by establishing and maintaining appropriate verbal, physical, emotional, and social boundaries. 
  4. Responsibility to the school community: The professional educator promotes positive relationships and effective interactions, with members of the school community, while maintaining professional boundaries.
  5. Responsible and ethical use of technology: The professional educator considers the impact of consuming, creating, distributing, and communicating information through all technologies. The ethical educator is vigilant to ensure appropriate boundaries of time, place, and role are maintained when using electronic communication.

See the PowerPoint slides from last week’s press conference here.

Access the full code, glossary, and hyperlinks to comment sites here.


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Kristin McCabe

Editor, AACTE

Omar Davis

Manager of Member Engagement, AACTE

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