Since 2013, over 130 new student privacy laws have passed in 41 states, with more bills and regulations being rolled out each year that include many new requirements for educators and administrators to implement. Some state laws include the threat of jail or large fines when school staff even unintentionally violate student privacy. Unfortunately, few states have received funding or support in implementing these new laws.
This massive shift in the legal landscape makes it hard for schools and districts to keep up. This isn’t only a legal problem. As technology changes and the amount of information schools collect and maintain increases, ensuring that new educators and administrators come into their schools with the skills needed to adequately protect student privacy in their day-to-day work is extremely challenging.
The Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) is engaged in an initiative to bring the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) to Iowa’s teacher preparation programs. Educators have the responsibility to ensure a safe environment and support the well-being of each and every child. The MCEE was designed as a framework to inform the decision-making process that educators can use to guide them through the gray areas of the profession based on five guiding principles. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) began developing MCEE in 2012 and adopted it in 2015. The MCEE is designed to protect the rights of students and support educators’ commitment to the profession.
There are five principles of responsibility identified in the MCEE:
- Responsibility to the profession
- Responsibility for professional competence
- Responsibility to students
- Responsibility to parents/guardians, colleagues, the community and employers
- Responsible and ethical use of technology
The profession of education is highly complex, with educators having to make multiple decisions in their daily work. Competing tensions and multiple, greatly nuanced variables that are inherent in this field can add to the vulnerabilities and risks that educators must navigate, especially when it comes to professional decision making.
To gauge attitudes regarding teacher educators’ beliefs about the role of preparing candidates to navigate these complexities through preparation in educator ethics, current practices, and what resources might be most useful for enhancing professional ethics preparation, AACTE is collaborating with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), and the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE) to conduct a brief survey.
Members of the Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education participate in a recent annual conference; at right, current chapter President Victoria Groves-Scott of the University of Central Arkansas addresses members.
The 47 state chapters of AACTE employ a wide variety of membership models, activity calendars, and strategic partnerships to meet the priorities of their members. While all chapters are based on the fundamental value of interinstitutional collaboration, these coalitions are not just about members talking to themselves or circling the wagons. They also provide an effective launching point for their individual and collective members to connect with external groups that lend important new perspectives and advantages.
The Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (ArACTE) offers an example of how connections forged outside its membership boost its capacity to focus on advocacy priorities as a group–and on common programmatic concerns at the campus level.
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.
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification held its annual Ted Andrews Winter Symposium January 4-6 in San Diego, California, convening educators from varied settings around the topic “Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Innovation Through Collaboration.”
The theme of partnership-driven innovation was reinforced through a number of sessions in which AACTE members presented along with colleagues from the PK-12 sector and from state education authorities. I was pleased to address the group on the topic of teacher recruitment policy and practice from providers’ perspective. Other notable sessions on the program included these:
Did you miss AACTE’s webinar last month on what teacher candidates need to know about the intersection of educator dispositions, ethics, and law? Don’t worry – you can watch the recording at your convenience in AACTE’s Resource Library. You’ll find it, along with the presentation slides, here.
David Thompson, University of Texas – San Antonio
Troy Hutchings, Educational Testing Service
Presenters David Thompson of the University of Texas at San Antonio and Troy Hutchings of the Educational Testing Service opened their presentation with a case study that illustrated the complexity of factors at play not only in teacher-student relationships, but also in teacher-supervisor and other adult interactions. They discussed different frameworks that can guide teachers’ decision making and how teachers might reconcile conflicts between these frameworks to “navigate the gray areas.”
This article originally appeared as Ena Shelley’s monthly “Transforming Education” column; it is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, they teach us what life is all about.” – Anonymous
You are likely reading this on the brink of our national election. There have been months of bickering, insult slinging, and behavior that would not be tolerated in most of our classrooms. Certainly there are adult issues that must be addressed, yet I sometimes wonder that if we remembered more often the voices and ears of children, we might find the margins of compromise that allow debates to become more about the “us” and less about the “them.” Children truly have wisdom and perspective that adults sometimes forget or lose in the busyness of life. I am sharing three links in this column that are the voices of younger children and adolescents. What if those running for political office, as well as those who already hold a policy-making position, and the media gave more time and attention to the wisdom they have to offer?
AACTE will host an interactive webinar next week discussing the intersection of educator dispositions, ethics, and law—and how teacher educators can assist their candidates in navigating the broad range of gray areas that they will face as professionals. Please join us!
Beyond the Obvious: The Intersection of Educator Dispositions, Ethics, and Law
The recent passing of Muhammad Ali was a sad time for many. Although I was not particularly a boxing fan, I count myself among the millions of individuals around the world who were significantly impacted by Ali’s teachings. As educators and teacher educators, we stand to benefit from discussing and embracing the steadfast resolve shown by this great legend.
My fascination and admiration with Ali began with a personal encounter while I was attending college in Pennsylvania. The champ trained for some of his boxing matches in Deer Lake, PA. Upon a Saturday night whim, a group of friends and I decided to visit his training camp. We arrived there not realizing that there were actually regular visiting hours—and unfortunately, we had missed them.