Towards Professionalism: Ethical Perspectives of Israeli Teachers

Nov. 28, 2009

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 32, Issue 4 (November 2009), pages 473 – 487.

This study attempted to gain a better understanding of teachers' perceptions about their ethical dilemmas and roles.

Qualitative data were collected by interviewing 32 teachers in seven schools. Interviewees were asked to provide detailed descriptions of ethical dilemmas they had encountered. The coding process focused on critical incidents involving ethical considerations identified as conflictive.

Results indicate a large number of dilemmas that can be sorted into five main categories. These include tensions between caring and adhering to formal codes; fair process and fair outcome; school and family agenda; autonomy and educational policy; own religious convictions and that of a colleague.

The study may enhance our understanding of teachers' roles and perceptions regarding these ethical dilemmas. Such understanding may help in the design of teacher education programs focusing on ethics. More successful dealing with day-to-day ethical dilemmas may also help raise the status of the profession.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2010