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NASDTEC Task Force to Develop Model Code of Educator Ethics

A new effort by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) will attempt to develop a national framework for PK-12 educator ethics.

Beginning with a meeting June 19-21 in Maryland, the Model Code of Educator Ethics Task Force will review existing codes of ethics over the coming year and draft a consensus document that could be adopted by states, which currently have varying guidelines in place. A public review period is planned before the model code is finalized in summer 2015.

In a press release, NASDTEC Executive Director Phillip S. Rogers said the education profession “has not adopted a set of professional ethical guidance or model code of conduct to assist educators with making ethical decisions and to assist educator preparation program providers in preparing their candidates to make ethical decisions.”

Deborah Schussler, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University and head of AACTE’s Teacher Education as a Moral Community (TEAM-C) Topical Action Group, said her group is “keenly interested” in the work of the NASDTEC task force. “Ethical decision making is the foundation of effective and responsible teaching,” she said. “Beyond teaching an ethical code, quality teacher education programs include multiple opportunities for teacher candidates to grapple with how morality and ethics are infused in multiple facets of pedagogy and classroom life.”

Schussler also expressed hope that the task force would reach beyond its stated aim of “equipping educators in ethical understanding and decision making so as not to violate the boundaries of professional practice.”

“[Rather than] limiting the scope of their task to considering how ethics can prevent professional misconduct,” she said, “they [should] focus on the complexities of the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching that undergird teachers’ daily work.”

Members of the NASDTEC task force include teachers, principals, superintendents, and state department of education directors. Staffing and in-kind support for the effort will come from the National Network of State Teachers of the Year as well as from NASDTEC.

For more information, visit http://www.nasdtec.net/?page=MCEE.

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Omar Davis

Manager of Member Engagement, AACTE