10 SES 12 C, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Working with a vulnerable population, early childhood educators are required to support and maintain high ethical standards. The fact that most young children are not able to defend their own rights places an enormous moral and ethical responsibility on the shoulders of early childhood professionals. In addition, working closely with children´s families may bring early care and education teachers face to face with conflicting and difficult situations in their work on a daily basis (Feeney, 2010).
In an era of standards and accountability, most professions have adopted a code of ethics; a set of rules guiding professionals´ decisions when encountered with ethical dilemmas (Bredekamp, 2010). The field of Early Childhood Education is no different. The National Association for Education of Young Children´s (NAEYC) Code of Ethical Conduct (NAEYC, 2005) continues to be one of the most widely adopted documents regarding early childhood education professional ethics throughout the United States and among many international communities (Bredekamp, 2010).
In addition to NAEYC´s Code of Ethical Conduct, early childhood professionals from numerous countries such as Australia, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand have adopted their versions of an ethical code reflecting their own cultural values (Velu & Meng, 2010). Many other countries, on the other hand, have yet to adopt a professional ethics code for early childhood teachers. In Turkey, for example, the Preschool Education Program prepared by the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) briefly mentions the ethical responsibilities of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers but, these sections in the program are mostly consist of direct translations from the NAEYC´s code (MoNE, 2006). There is no known study investigating the extent of the influence these ethical guidelines have on teachers´ day-to-day decisions in Turkey. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to survey the cultural, moral and professional factors that influence Turkish early childhood teachers´ ethical decisions in classroom settings while investigating the effectiveness of current ethical guidelines provided by the Turkish Government. In order to achieve these aims, following research question are determined:
RQ1: What are the cultural, moral and professional factors that shape Turkish early childhood teachers´ ethical beliefs and attitudes towards children, families, colleagues and the community they all live in?
RQ2: To what extend the Turkish early childhood teachers base their ethical decisions to the current ethical guidelines provided by the Turkish Ministry of National Education?
Bredekamp, S. (2010). Effective practices in early childhood education: Building a foundation: Pearson. Feeney, S (2010). Ethics today in early care and education: Review, reflection and the future. Young Children. MEB (2006). 36-72 Aylık Çocuklar için, Okul Öncesi Egitim Programı, [Early Childhood Education Program for Children Between the Ages of 36 to 72 months] Milli Egitim Basımevi, Ankara,Turkey. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2005). Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment. Velu G. & Meng, L. H. (2010). Code of Ethics Handbook: An essential companion for daily practice, Association for Early Childhood Education, Singapore
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