Violating Early Childhood Code of Ethics Dealing with young children is one of the most difficult and challenging careers. This is because children, unlike adults have not yet developed a mature code of behavior. This makes it difficult to handle them according to some of the stipulated codes of ethics regarding early childhood…
Secondly, it also discusses some of the appropriate ways that could be taken to avoid such a violation. One of the most challenging ethical issues while dealing with children is food. Ms. Devan, an early childhood development teacher was implicated in an ethical case whereby the parents argued that she went beyond her ethical boundaries by allowing children to used food as playing tools. Precisely, Ms. Devan was using pudding as finger paint while teaching children how to paint. According to her, they preferred using edible pudding as finger paint since they discovered that the children were putting it on their mouth. Although there are ethical codes demanding that the health of the children should be given the first priority, she preferred using food pudding since it was safer than finger paint (Swim & Freeman, 2008). Although her actions were well intentioned, so many ethical questions are raised from such an action. For instance, the children developed a habit of licking the pudding paint directly from the table. This is certainly not hygienic. However, it is better compared to swallowing the regular finger paint that is sold commercially. The ethical case came into the limelight when one of the child’s mothers scolded her child for licking sandwich jelly that had spilled on the table at home. When she asked the child, the child affirmed that their teacher let them do it at school. Certainly, the child had learned a different thing from what was initially intended. The parent was worried that the teacher was not exercising the children code of ethics. The teacher also failed to realize that children could have learned that playing materials are good for consumption. This is certainly a violation of early childhood code of ethics, which demands that children be taught the right code of behavior especially during this important stage of cognitive development. Actually, the parent was even more worried that the teacher was wasting food while there were thousands of other children all over the world dying of hunger. Some of the ethical concerns raised from the situation demand a critical thought and consideration. Was the teacher acting safe by allowing children to play with food? Was it safe for the children after all? Did the teacher think about other lessons learned in the process? So many questions of ethical concern can be raised from this case. Undeniably, there is no clear cut difference between what should be done or what should not be done. This is even made more complicated because of the differences in ethical values between different stakeholders. Early childhood codes of ethics may not suffice enough to handle such ethically complicated issues. According to National Association for the Education of Young Children, it is necessary “To create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development and that respect their dignity and their contributions” (2012). It is evident from the ethical principle that the teacher failed to maintain healthy settings, failed to consider the overall social development of the children’s behavior, as well as intellectual development. Needless to say, there are several measures that can be taken to avoid similar ethical violations. Firstly, the teachers need to expand their knowledge on childhood cognitive development. This would enable the teacher to make better decisions when choosing ...
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