Monday, March 9, 2009

Secondary School Topic: Ethics of Teaching English

10-second review: The teachers’ ethics can be summed up as the Seven Golden Virtues: faith, hope, charity (love), prudence, temperance, courage and justice.

Title: "A Consideration of the Ethics of Teaching English.” L Christenbury. English Journal (July 2008), 32-37. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “Antique as these may first appear, all are relevant today. Ethical teachers have faith in the efficacy (effectiveness) of their work in the classroom, hope that their teaching makes a difference in students’ lives, love for what they do and also for those with whom thy do it. Ethical teachers exercise prudence and temperance in their work within the educational system and in their words and actions; they exhibit courage to resist what is misguided or wrong; and, above all, they are dedicated to justice for all students in all educational settings and classrooms. These are not impossible goals or unrealistic ideals.”

Comment: I never thought of the Golden Virtues in quite that way. But they do apply to teaching. And, in my opinion, they are effective ethical guides for me as a teacher. The implications of these values for teaching will, for me, extend well beyond my reading them in this article. I’m afraid I didn’t always follow them as I should have. RayS.

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