Friday, 10 June 2016

Week 29 - APC - Influence of Law and Ethics on Professional Practice...

Identifying your personal ethics
We are constantly being asked to make objective judgements on issues through the process of ethics, yet many of these ethics are based on theories of morality.
Ethics are not a single topic you can study in isolation but are a foundation upon which you live and practice. Everything you do, every decision you make, has ethics at its core, driving or motivating your actions and decisions. Sometimes you will recognise the ethics of a situation and sometimes you will think there are no ethics involved. Identifying your personal ethics allows you to understand what drives and motivates you to respond to situations in certain ways. Identifying and understanding your professional ethics provides part of the map on your professional journey and at times prescribes exactly what you can and cannot do. Often ethics are not black and white, they are shades of grey. Laws or a Code will not always provide the specific answer but can be a legal ground upon which you can move towards a possible solution.
Understanding Professional Ethics
Identifying and understanding your professional ethics is part of the journey of your professional development and at times prescribes exactly what you can and cannot do.
A Code of Ethics is one way an organisation can set the limits for minimum behaviours in their profession or organisation. Adherence to such a Code requires education and understanding of those inside and outside an organisation and profession.
Think about how the NZ Code Of Ethics for Certified Teachers governs your practice.
Ethical dilemma
Identifying your personal ethics allows you to understand what drives and motivates you to respond to situations in certain ways. Being able to reflect on your personal views will enable you to more easily set them aside while you make the ethical decisions required in your practice.
Watch the video “Teacher Ethics- Social Media Dilemma” then think about your answers to the ethical problems raised in the video.
Examine social media policies within your organisation and the Code of Ethics for Certificated Teachers and consider how those documents should be interpreted to assist you in ethical decision-making process. Hall (2001) suggests a set of questions to guide the process including:
“Which stakeholder should be given priority? Why?
What restrictions are there to your actions?
Which courses of action are possible?
How should the course of action be implemented?“ (p.5)
Recommended readings:
  • Henderson, M., Auld, G., & Johnson, N. F. (2014). Ethics of Teaching with Social Media. Paper presented at the Australian Computers in Education Conference 2014, Adelaide, SA. Retrieved from The authors categorise 4 common ethical dilemma that teachers need to consider when using social media in teaching. The questions are good starting points for teachers to engage in conversations with colleagues or policy makers in their school in this aspect. Unfortunately, the authors do not provide any guideline to deal with the ethical issues.
Activity 5: Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice
After reading the Class Notes, create a blog post where you identify an ethical dilemma in your own practice linked to digital or online access or activity.
Explain the dilemma and discuss either:
  • how you would address a potential issue if it occurred in your own practice
or (if relevant):
  • an actual situation that you have knowledge of, and how it was resolved.
The discussion should be in relation to either the guidelines of your organisation on online practice or the code of ethics for certificated teachers.
Collste, G.(2012). Applied and professional ethics. Kemanusiaan,19(1), 17–33
Education Council. (nd). Code of Ethics for Certificated Teachers. Retrieved from
Hall, A. (2001). What ought I to do, all things considered? An approach to the exploration of ethical problems by teachers. Paper presented at the IIPE Conference, Brisbane. Retrieved from

Establishing safeguards from Education Council on Vimeo.

Commitment to Parents/Guardians and Family/Whānau from Education Council on Vimeo.


  1. Hi there

    I am confused as to why this is the class notes from the week and not an actual response to Activity 5. Are you from management and just sharing what the work we are supposed to be doing?

  2. Sorry for the confusion Maria.
    I am aware that as soon as the course finished, I will no-longer have access to these amazing reosurces so I post them on my blog giving me the opportunity to re-visit them at a later date, when I have more time to continue to unpack them.


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