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New Survey Gauges Attitudes About Ethics in Educator Preparation

To understand more about attitudes toward professional ethics in preservice educator preparation, AACTE is collaborating with the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE) to conduct a brief survey this spring. We invite you and your colleagues in both PK-12 and higher education to complete the survey by May 15, 2017.

This survey is intended to gather information regarding teacher educators’ beliefs about professional ethics as well as practices in educator ethics preparation across the nation. Responses will inform the future work of NCAEE, which was created following the 2015 release of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

Part of NCAEE’s mission is focused on promoting and fostering an intentional focus on ethics and ethical instruction across the profession of education. In addition, the Council works to ensure understanding of the MCEE, which is a guide for future and current educators faced with the complexities of PK-12 education. The MCEE mitigates the risks inherent within the profession and is designed as a guide for current and future educators to construct the best course of action when faced with ethical dilemmas, providing a basis for educator learning, self-reflection, and self-accountability. Essentially, the MCEE gives the profession a common language to guide professional decision-making.

As a living document, the code is poised to provide guidance to educators whose jobs involve making hundreds of decisions in multiple roles. Five principles undergird the code:

  • Responsibility to the profession
  • Responsibility for professional competence
  • Responsibility to students
  • Responsibility to the school community
  • Responsible and ethical use of technology

“The MCEE provides a framework for preservice and in-service educators to use in making informed decisions grounded in principles of ethics,” says Nadene Davidson, AACTE’s liaison to NCAEE and professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “It is important that preservice candidates are prepared to utilize the MCEE as it connects the aspiration of professional ethics with the day-to-day realities of the practicing educator. As I have acquired a deeper understanding of the MCEE, the identified principles affirm education as a profession and validate the significance of our work for generations to come.”

In addition to partnering with NCAEE, AACTE supports the field’s work around professional ethics through an agreement with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS sponsored the development of the MCEE and NCAEE and now offers an online ethics-training program for teachers, aligned with the MCEE, called ProEthica. Information about this program and related resources from AACTE and ETS are available at http://ets.aacte.org/proethica/.

The NCAEE survey is focused on professional ethics, defined as standards in professional practice that assist practitioners in choosing the best course of action. This survey is not intended to focus on law, codes of conduct, policies, statutes, or judicial activity that articulates conduct absolutes for employment, licensure, or criminal sanctions.

Things to know before you respond to the survey:

  • Please respond from your own context, which you will indicate in a general question at the beginning of the survey.
  • Responses will be kept strictly confidential. Individual information will not be shared. The aggregate results of this survey will be compiled and shared.
  • At the end of the survey, consider joining the e-list that NCAEE will use to share future information and resources.

Please access the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AACTE_NCAEE_EthicsSurvey. Thank you for participating by May 15!

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Sungti Hsu

Director of State Affiliate and Partnership Support