Sunday, 17 March 2013

Task 5b

In Task 5a I looked at the sort of qualities and practices that I would consider to be part of the ethical aspects of my profession. Some were from the understanding I already had and some were further developed thoughts from reading the materials in this module.
The second part of this task was to find out the codes of conduct/ regulations relevant to my job, which I listed at the end of my blog 'professional ethics from a personal perspective'.

The main areas of importance across the codes are as follows,
  1. Integrity
  2. Competence
  3. Professionalism
  4. Objectivity
  5. Courtesy and consideration
  6. Confidentiality
  7. Honesty - in how you publicise yourself and the skills you attribute yourself as having
  8. Diligence
  9. Compliance - with national regulations and professional body codes, for example: health and safety, child protection, CRB, data protection.
Most of the information included in the documents I expected to be there, although perhaps in more depth than I had considered. However, there were a few areas I hadn't thought about.

An area that Clare Orlandi brought up as a post on danceteacherssig was the following, from the CDET code of conduct:


A teacher should:

  • assist professional colleagues, in the context of his or her own knowledge, experience and sphere of responsibility, to develop their professional competence.

As a teacher I am always happy to help out or listen to, and share, problems with other teachers, in the spirit that we are all working towards the greater good. I didn't realise that it was part of the code of conduct though!
Reflecting on the statement further, and from having read around the subject of competence as mentioned in Reader 4 Developing Lines of Professional Inquiry (p.10), it really brought home the difference between knowledge as static and knowledge as changeable and situation specific. Let me try and explain!

As dance teachers we all have a skill/ knowledge base that is used on a day to day basis but the application of which takes an understanding of the unique environment we find ourselves in on that specific occasion. For example, although I teach in the same school every Monday, each Monday brings a new set of challenges, opportunities and events that require a different application of my practice:
Successful adaptation to the circumstances encountered as one develops is more often accomplished through the co-ordination of abilities and appropriate knowledge, affect and behaviour patterns than through the capacity to utilise a single ability of reproduce a piece of information on demand. 'Competence', then, must be distinguished from the 'competencies' assessed in contemporary testing programmes. It rest on an integrated deep structure ('understanding') and on the general ability to co-ordinate the appropriate internal cognitive, affective and other resources necessary for successful adaptation.                                 (Wood and Powers, 1987, p.414)
The assistance of colleagues in sharing problems, ideas, difficult situations, etc., is therefore invaluable in furthering my ability so therefore must also become a fundamental part of how I interact with others in the same profession - the sharing of knowledge for the benefit of all. 

Another area that I found I hadn't even thought about was the following statement, again from the CDET,

Promotional material...should not make any disparaging references to, or disparaging comparisons with, the services of others.

I hadn't even considered the possibility that in advertising myself I might undertake to blacken the name of another teacher or dance school. I suppose this is a very naive way of thinking and that, in the climate we live in, some people would stop at nothing to get ahead of the competition. However, on a more individual note, I can relate this to gossip and talking about others in a less than professional manner. For example, the consideration that should I have an issue with another teacher I would take the matter to her personally rather than talking about her to other teachers and making derogatory claims about her skills.

One final area of which I hadn't been aware, and something I shall be reflecting on further, is the need for 'written, clearly defined aims and objectives setting out the broad goals to be achieved by the school.' (CDET Code of Conduct, 2008)
I have my day-to-day, termly, and yearly lesson plans/ outlines, in which I have clear statements of what I am trying to achieve in my classes at the various different places I work. I also have, as most of my lessons are syllabus-based, a clear outline and set of objectives from the professional body of each of the disciplines that I teach.
As I teach for other people should I have my own 'all-encompassing' document of 'broad goals' or am I bound by the ethos of the various schools that I work for?

I'm really glad that I've had this opportunity to refresh my knowledge of the finer details of the ethics surrounding my profession and know that I will now be more up-to-date when I reflect on my current practices.



C.D.E.T. Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Teachers of Dance 2008/2009 Accessed 16 March 2013

I.S.T.D. Child Protection
Accessed 16 March 2013

I.S.T.D. Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Teachers of Dance 2008/2009
Accessed 16 March 2013

R.A.D. Child Protection Policy Accessed 16 March 2013

R.A.D. Code of Conduct and Professional Practice for Teachers registered with the Royal Academy of Dance
Accessed 16 March 2013

Wood, R., & Power, C. (1987). Aspects of the competence‐performance distinction: educational, psychological and measurement issues. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19(5), 409-424.

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