Understanding Ethics in Early Care and Education

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9780131120556: Understanding Ethics in Early Care and Education

This book interprets for pre-service and in-service teachers alike the Code of Ethics of the NAEYC. Coverage encourages readers to examine the beliefs that will guide their own ethics and, in so doing, expand their knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding ethical practice. The authors make excellent use of adult learning principles that engage readers in reflective practices to create an accessible, engaging, and highly interactive text. For future teachers preparing for their first—and subsequent—classrooms.

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Primary concerns in the field of early care and education are the needs for an enhanced dialogue with pre-service students and practitioners about ethics and for avenues to expand the awareness, understanding and application of the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Code of Ethical Conduct. The authors of this text, both professors in an early childhood program, have embraced these concerns because in their review of books, journals, and other resource materials for their courses, they have found that there is limited reference to the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct (hereafter referred to as NAEYC Code). It is only recently, through the impetus of two NAEYC publications, that early care and education courses have begun to address more comprehensively the study of the NAEYC Code. The authors, by writing Understanding Ethics in Early Care and Education, have created an additional resource for students, practitioners and families to enhance their understanding of ethics in early care and education and the NAEYC Code.

There are two overarching goals that serve as the framework for the writing of Understanding Ethics in Early Care and Education. The first goal addresses the authors' attempt to encourage the reader to both examine the beliefs that will guide his/her ethical behavior and expand his/her knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding ethical practice. To accomplish this, the authors focused the text on four Guiding Questions: I) How has the profession addressed the issue of professional ethics? 2) What do you do when your personal and professional values conflict with the values of your profession? 3) What resource can an early care and education practitioner use for resolving ethical dilemmas? and 4)How do we extend our understanding of ethics in early care and education? Part I, addresses the first Guiding Question by examining the historical development of the NAEYC Code and reviewing its conceptual framework and content. The second Guiding Question is addressed in Part II by assisting the reader to explore his/her relationship with the NAEYC Code by examining his/her personal and professional self. Part III addresses the third Guiding Question by providing opportunities for practice in applying the NAEYC Code and a Review Process for analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas. The last Part addresses the final guiding questions by supporting the reader's exploration of two issues and assisting the reader to think differently about ethics in early care and education.

The second overarching goal is to offer an interactive text based on adult learning principles that enable readers to engage in reflective practices to enhance their understanding of ethics in early care and education. The major learning strategy is dialogue or a continuous sharing of knowledge and experience as suggested by Carter and Curtis (1994) and Vella (1995). The assumptions that guide the authors' thinking about the readers' learning is that learning occurs through active engagement in reading, dialoguing and reflection (Vella, 2000). Each Part includes activities adapted by the authors from Carter and Curtis (1994) and Vella (1995) e.g., Guiding Questions, What I Know, What I Have Learned, and Celebrating Our Understanding activities. The authors hope that the activities provided throughout the text will encourage the reader to engage in deep self- reflection related to ethics in early care and education and specifically to the NAEYC Code.

We trust that you will find Understanding Ethics in the Early Care and Education enjoyable reading and a contribution to the expansion of your knowledge, skills, and attitudes in early care and education ethics. We hope that this expanded knowledge will serve you well in your daily ethical practice with young children and their families.

Nancy Baptiste and Luis-Vicente Reyes

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