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Ethical Dilemma - Essay Example

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Professional ethics tend to exist in all the aspects in which social relationships are involved. In education, there are certain professional ethics that have to be followed by the teachers in class while teaching the whole class collectively. In order to carry out ethical teaching in class, the teachers might face ethical dilemmas often. …
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Ethical Dilemma

In order to carry out ethical teaching in class, the teachers might face ethical dilemmas often. Ethical dilemma is known to be the complex situation in which one might get when he has a mental conflict between moral essentials in which it is known that the choice of one may result in disobeying the other. They are also known as moral dilemmas and in these cases, societal and personal ethical guidelines may not provide any satisfactory outcome (Garber, 2008). Ethical dilemmas and moral situations can often arise in situations where one person can not take a moral decision and is bound to take a decision that does not fit in the ethical boundaries in one way or the other. Such situations may have many similarities and are at many times considered to be analogous (Carr, 1999). An experience I had that shows the similarities between the ethical dilemma and a moral situation is during my internship when I observed a situation in class where the teacher was in an ethical dilemma. The situation can be called as a moral situation and an ethical dilemma, as in both the cases, the teacher was bound to take a decision that did not fit into the moral principles and the professional ethics of education. In the situation, James was a classroom teacher of the ninth grade. His homework policy was that the homework would be given to take home on Friday and the students must bring it back and submit it on the following Thursday. He continuously emphasizes that it is the students’ choice to do it or not, but in case the homework is not completed and handed in on Friday, they will have to serve detention during one period of recess. Raoul was an excellent student in his class who always finished his work on time and correctly. He was a sensitive and dedicated student who strived hard to please the teacher. One Wednesday, Raoul gets sick and out of school, moreover the following day which was a Thursday, he forgot to bring his homework to class. This was the first time Raoul did not have his homework. James was sure that he had done his work and forgot to bring it. Raoul could get a day’s extension for being sick. And James also knew that the thought of serving detention was devastating for Raoul. However, James had to decide whether to follow the rule and have Raoul serve the detention, or make an exception based on the fact that Raoul has been sick and his routine is disrupted. This situation can very well be executed as a moral situation as well as an ethical dilemma. James is the teacher and he holds the responsibility in class to follow the professional ethics of education in which the teacher is supposed to apply the same rules for every student and avoid favoritism. On the other hand the professional ethics state that the teacher should understand each student and contribute in the best way possible towards his learning and his encouragement. James gets in ethical dilemma as he knows that taking a decision in regard of one ethical standard will violate the other. If James gives Raoul detention, he will discourage him and led his morale down, and if he gives him an excuse it will violate the professional ethics that he has set for his classroom (Robinson, 2005). In the similar way, the situation can also be called as a moral situation in which the teacher is bound by the moral principles of class and he is in moral dilemma. James is a teacher of ninth grade, who are teenage students and understand the situations of the class very well. If James gives an exception to Raoul, it will violate the moral conduct of the class in which the teacher owes a moral responsibility towards every child equally. Since Raoul has disobeyed the moral conduct of the class, James should give him the same punishment that all the students get, ... Read More
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