What has ethics got to do with it? (additional week 7 thoughts)

NAEYC Code of Ethics

Principle 1.1- “Above all, we shall not harm children…”   With the increasing pressure to “push down” curriculum, test children, and “cram” learning into the daily schedule, we sabotage our commitment to NAEYC’s Principle 1.1.  As we pressure teachers to collect volumes of data on children, we lose connectedness with the natural learning environment of the child, and begin to insert artificial scenarios in order to efficiently gather information.  By doing so, we harm children by adding undue stress to their lives – stress that serves our purposes.  We harm children by reducing or denying their access to the natural learning environments provided by play, the outdoors, and their own, internal transition times. 

Principle 1.7- “We shall strive to build individual relationships… make individualized adaptations… and consult with the family…”  As stated in principle 1.7, our work is grounded in the context of relationships.  Results, products, outcomes are secondary to relationships.  Results, products, and outcomes depend upon solid and healthy relationships.  When we place the outcomes before the relationships, we undermine both the process and the product.

Principle 1.11 “If we determine that a policy does not benefit children we shall work to change it. If we determine that a program policy is harmful to children, we shall suspend its implementation while working to honor the intent of the policy in ways that are not harmful to children.” (NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Supplement to EC Program Directors).  This is the reason that I rant.   This is where we, as a profession, have perhaps our greatest need to grow.  We must become advocates even if it makes us unpopular with politicians and funders – because it is our obligation to work to change that which is not effective.



4 thoughts on “What has ethics got to do with it? (additional week 7 thoughts)

  1. Andrea says:

    I can agree that if a policy does not benefit children we shall work to change it. As professionals it’s up to us to educate policy makers and administrators what works for our children. Decision making about children should have knowledgeable professional with valid input.


  2. moniquedw says:

    I realy appreciated the aspects that you raise in you blog. It sadens me that their are educators in our field do more harm than good. We need to remeber that we rae their to help children and not harm them by putting them down or discriminating against them

  3. mrskto says:

    We Shall NOT harm children is the key. We can hurt children in many ways. Some teachers or caregiver have to realize that the tone of your voice can hurt a child if it is in a negative manner. Hurting a child is more that physically hurting him/her. Mental abuse is long lasting.
    I have to say that in my opinion, that is the best code of ethics.

  4. mrskto says:

    “If a policy does not benefit children we shall change it”. Before this class, that is something that I could have thought of to be too hard for me. Now, I feel as though I can do what ever it takes to advocate for the children.

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