01 SES 08 B, Ethical Dilemmas and Workplace Bullying
The paper deals with the issues concerning teachers' experiences gained in such professional situations which require making a difficult choice between at least two different possibilities and force them to face various ethical dilemmas. Understanding the essence of ethical dilemmas is possible in the context of discovering their sources, which primarily consist in conflicts of values occurring in such situations which are ambiguous in character (Madalińska-Michalak, 2013).Ethical dilemmas can be perceived as such situations which are assumed to offer no correct decisions, but only decisions which can be considered carefully and be no more than only better than other alternative decisions. Facing such dilemmas means that one has to make choices from a group of mutually excluding alternatives, none of which is satisfactory. Solving dilemmas is often accompanied by mixed feelings, i.e. positive and negative ones side by side. In the paper, taking into account the uniqueness of teachers' pedagogical actions, I assume that teacher's educational practice is not free from a sense of risk of committing an ethical error. However, the key issue for me does not concern posing questions about criteria with which to assess the maturity of teacher's judgements, but considering ethical choices made by teachers I am mainly concerned on the identification of influences that these dilemmas revealed, their influences on the teachers' professional development. In the paper I make attempts at answering the following questions: What kind of ethical dilemmas do teachers face in their work? How do teachers "cope with strains" of their role resulting from the situations fraught with various conflicts of values in their work? How do teachers perceive the influences of facing the ethical dilemmas in their work on their professional growth?
In the presented research a special attention is paid to the beginning teachers. There is voluminous literature on the initial professional life phase of the teacher's career. Over the last three decades, research has been carried out in order to illuminate the process and the nature of becoming a new teacher (see, for instance, Bezzina, Michalak, 2005; Bullogh, Knowles, Crow, 1992; Calderhead, Shorrock, 1997; Day and Gu, 2010; Flores and Day, 2006; Goddard and Foster, 2001; Hargreaves and Jacka, 1995; Huberman, 1993;Kelthermans and Ballet, 2002; Olson and Osborne, 1991; Sikers, Measor, Woods, 1985; Tickle, 2000; Vonk and Schras, 1987, Weiss, 1999). Beginning teachers compared with their more experienced colleagues often find themselves immersed in complex social relations and sophisticated professional roles inherent within established school communities, whilst at the same time searching for making sense of their own experiences and understanding what it means to be a teacher (Day and Gu, 2010, p. 66). The literature shows us that beginning teachers’ professional experiences (and tensions) can be crucial in their professional development growth, in forming their identity, their understanding and practice of teaching. Thus, it is important to understand new teachers’ experiences at the one of the first phase of their professional lives through the lenses of the ethical dilemmas they face in their work in order to gain the knowledge in the conditions that are favorable for beginning teachers’ professional growth.
Bezzina C. and Michalak J. M. (2005), Teachers’ Induction and Ongoing Professional Development. Beginning Teachers’ Perceptions of their Preparation and Professional Development in Malta and Poland, Edukacja, 1(89), 87-106. Brown L. M., Depold E., Tappan M., Gilligan C. (1991), Reading narratives of conflict and choice for self and moral voices: a relational method. In W. M. Kurtines, J. L. Gewirtz (eds.) Handbook of Moral Behaviour and Development. Vol. 2: Research, Hillsdale Lawrence Earlbaum, pp. 139-169. Bullough, R.; Knowles, J., Crow, N. (1992). Emerging as a Teachers, London. Calderhead, J. and Shorrock, S. (1997). Understanding Teacher Education. Case studies in the professional development of beginning teachers, London. Day, C. and Gu, Q. (2010), The New Lives of Teachers, New York. Flores, M. A. and Day, C. (2006). Contexts which Shape and Reshape New Teachers’ Identities: A Multi-perspective Study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22 (2), 219-232. Goddard, J. T., Foster, R. Y. (2001). The experiences of neophyte teachers: a critical constructivist assessment, Teaching and Teacher Education, 17 (3), 349-365. Hargreaves, A. and Jacka, N. (1995). Induction or Seduction? Postmodern Patterns of Preparing to Teach, Peabody Journal of Education, 70 (3), 41-63. Huberman, M. (1993). The Lives of Teachers, London. Kelchtermans, G., Ballet, K. (2002). The Micropolitics of Teacher Induction. A narrative-biographical study on teacher socialization. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(1), 105-120. Madalińska-Michalak, J. (2013). Teachers’ Ethical Dilemmas. Paper presented at the Annual EERA conference – ECER 2013 “Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research”, Istanbul, Turkey, 10-13 September. Olson, M. R., Osborne, J. W. (1991). Learning to teach: The first year, Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(4), 331-343. Patton M. (1990), Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods, Newbury Park, CA. Sikes P., Measor L., Woods P., 1985, Teacher Careers: Crises and Continuities, London, Philadelphia. Tickle, L. (2000). Teacher Induction: The Way Ahead, Buckingham. Tirri K., Husu J. (2002), Care and responsibility in ‘the best interest of the child’: relational voices of ethical dilemmas in teaching, "Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice”, 8 (1), 65-80. Vonk, J. H. C., Schras, G. A. (1987). From Beginning to Experienced Teacher: A Study of the Professional Development of Teachers during their First Four Years of Service. European Journal of Teacher Education, 10(1), 95-110. Weiss, E. M. (1999). Perceived workplace conditions and first-year teachers’ morale, career choice commitment, and planned retention: a secondary analysis, Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(8), 861-879.
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