International Codes of Ethics for K-12 Educators: A Hermeneutic Analysis

Nova Southeastern University
James F. Lane, Ed.D.
Presentation Date: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Event or Conference: 
The Qualitative Report Seventh Annual Conference
Presentation Type: 
Paper Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Attachment(s): 
Presentation Location: 
Nova Southeastern University
Davy, FL
United States
Recent global trends in K-12 education include foci on student learning and assessment, teacher accountability and preparation, and the treatment of marginalized groups. Increasingly, professional practices of educators worldwide are being guided by articulated codes of ethics, published by education agencies of at least 20 countries (UNESCO, 2006). The recent Model Code of Ethics for American Educators published by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC, 2015) reflects awareness of and concern for contemporary ethical issues and provides an opportunity to review codes of other countries for similar themes. This study in progress examines the published educator codes of ethics of countries in which English is the predominant language, e.g., the U.S., India, New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. This discussion applies the methodology of hermeneutics, which undertakes “a dialogue with the text” to reveal a “deeper and richer meaning in light of an overarching pattern of interpretation (lvesson & Skoldberg, 2009, pp. 100-101). It considers the educator codes of ethics of these countries through the hermeneutic lens of Madison’s nine “methodological principles” (1988, pp. 29-30): Coherence, Comprehensiveness, Penetration, Thoroughness, Appropriateness, Contextuality, Agreement, Suggestiveness, and Potential. The hope is that revealing overarching patterns and themes reflected at these broadest philosophical levels will heighten awareness of these concepts for those who shape policy and develop ethical guidelines affecting k-12 education.