Ethics and Morals Course Reflection

Reflection

I am not the sole creator of my values; in-fact I play a small part in their development.  My values were, for the most part, chosen for me. My values were chosen by my parents in that they nurtured my character. They were chosen by my community as the community nurtured my parents. My values were chosen by my country as it provides the framework for my community’s culture. My values were chosen by my environment, my experiences, and how others as well as myself deal with those experiences.  My education and where I received that education, my husband, my friends -the only place where I have added a personal touch to my values and beliefs are in how I perceive things and how I have melded all these components of family, community, culture and environment into my continuously morphing personage. “We are not born with them [virtues], nor do we acquire them by any natural process that does not involve our own activity and perhaps more important, the activity of parents and other elders” (Aristotle).

How does this affect my teaching practices? If I believe that values are created within each person through the influences of others than I can make a difference in the growth of my students’ characters. This is true for me as well. If I believe that character continues to be shaped throughout one’s lifetime then I have the opportunity to learn alongside my students. This provides opportunities to model problem solving and to work through problems together, in the moment, or to reflect upon situations in order to wade through the pros and cons of various solutions. Everyone in a classroom should be an educator and a student when it comes to anything known or to be known in regards to morality or of any subject or discipline. “But to study with a teacher who not only speaks but listens, who not only gives answers but asks questions and welcomes our insights, who provides information and theories that do not close doors but open new ones, who encourages students to help each other learn…” (1993).

I must be explicit, cautious, and open when teaching or choosing a read aloud about responsibility, respect or compassion. I must also consider the larger community in which my students belong. “It reminds me that the questions I ask my students must take into account the larger community of truth in which they live their lives…” We do not want to create in our students “…a kind of schizophrenia in which knowing runs on one track, living on another, and never do the two tracks meet” (1993).

Yes, I have influence, but I must also take into account their ever-changing environment and self. I must create a gradual release of responsibility within my character teachings to provide a “…gradual and respectful acknowledgement of their increasing responsibility for their decisions…” (1999). My role is to guide students to become actively engaged democratic citizens. They need to be able to problem solve and be knowledgeable decision makers. It is my responsibility to show as many sides of a situation and provide my students with the tools to make educated decisions. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is not infallible protection against a soft head” (1974).

References

Lewis, C.S. 1974. The abolition of man. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Palmer, P. J. 1993. To know as we are known: Education as a spiritual journey. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Scales, P.C., Leffert, N. 1999. Developmental assets: A synthesis of the scientific research on adolescent     development. MN: Search Institute.

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Grading Exceptional Learners

Grading…a challenge for every teacher. An extra challenge -grading children with an IEP; different learning goals than the general education student. What can we do to grade appropriately? Well, this PowerPoint will answer some questions and give some good ideas. It is important, however, to remember that grading processes are often to measure a child’s progress in comparison to the norm. Including an additional progress report with a quarterly report card, that highlights their progress in correspondence with their IEP, would be beneficial to all parties involved in the child’s education.    Exceptional learners and the Grading System Powerpoint Presentation

Consultation-based academic interventions for children with ADHD

This article is a follow-up on a previous study that randomly placed students with ADHD into two groups. One group was taught by teachers receiving Intensive Data-Based Academic Intervention (IDAI) consultation and the other group was taught by teachers receiving Traditional Data-Based Academic Intervention (TDAI). The IDAI teachers received consultation on creating interventions based on assessment data. They were also provided feedback and modeling. The TDAI group of teachers created interventions based on teacher’s choice and did not receive feedback or modeling.

To read more: Academic Journal Abstract SPED

Ethical Dilemma: Public or private record keeping in regards to misbehavior

In my classroom I promote consistent positive feedback with a ratio of three positives to every negative. For the purpose of this paper I will be focusing on what I should do when consequences are necessary in order to redirect behavior.

I have tried two different management techniques since I began teaching at —- Elementary. A card-flipping method, which visually reminded the students of what consequences they had received as well as giving them heightened awareness of their behaviors as they were held accountable to flip their card whenever they were reminded to stop a certain behavior.

The second method that I am currently using is a more private technique. I keep track of individual  behavior reminders and tell students privately what consequences they must serve. I created a matrix where I record interruptions and any other disruptive or disrespectful behaviors. In the following sections I will dive deeper into my inquiry about the ethical controversies and dilemmas that I face when considering various techniques to hold students accountable for misbehavior.

Ethical Dilemma

End discriminatory ban on special education at religious schools: Seattle Times article

This article addresses Washington State’s ban on special education services being provided at religious, private schools. A public hearing was held to attend to the need for special education services to be provided in all schools, not just secular institutions.

The article refers to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to strengthen their argument. IDEA strongly suggests that special services be provided at the point of learning, which is the student’s classroom. With the ban in place this is impossible as parents are forced to seek special education services outside of the religious schools. The ban will be lifted if the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction approves this proposal.

Three families, recognizing the stigma that is being unconstitutionally placed on their children, filed a federal lawsuit against the state in regards to the ban. “After all, no parent should be forced to choose between her child’s physical needs and the school she believes is best for her child” (2009). Media Article 1