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.