Open Discussion Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

  • 1.  October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 09-28-2018 12:19 PM
    Dear Hello Community:

    We're excited to remind you that we will soon start the third iteration of our online book club on HELLO. Our third book will be Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman. We invite you to jump in and explore the topics introduced in this book, with support from other members and the authors. Each week, the authors will post a question from the book for you to consider and will participate in the discussion over the course of this month.

    The first, introductory question will be posted this coming Monday - and then after that, a new question will be posted at the end of the week - just in time for you read the Hello digest in the morning!

    How it Works:

    • If you don't already own it, purchase the book (if you're a member, use your 20% discount!).
    • Have you already read the book? Share how you've implemented it in the classroom with the Book Club!
    • Dive into the book.
    • Log into HELLO (if you're not a member, join now!) during the first week of October to analyze and talk through the first question.
    • Join the thread called "October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator."
    • Share your thoughts and discuss.
    Looking forward to all the great discussion,

    ------------------------------
    Kathy Charner
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Silver Spring MD
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-01-2018 10:01 AM
    Thank you for the introduction Kathy. We have been involved in work on professional ethics in early childhood education for a long time and we are delighted to have this opportunity to share the book Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator and to engage in dialogue about it with you.

    For this first week please read and think about Chapter 1: An Introduction to Ethics and Chapter 2: The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct. In these chapters, we discuss the nature of professions, emphasize the importance of core moral values, and the need for the work of professionals to be guided by a code of ethics.

    Q: What are your thoughts about the importance of a Code of Ethics in early childhood education and its role in efforts to gain public acceptance of our field as a profession? Did these chapters give you any new insights or awareness and what questions did they raise for you?

    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Feeney
    Portland OR
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-02-2018 10:31 AM
    I believe that it is important to have this Code of Ethics to fall back on as it unifies the profession.  One of the difficult things about being in early childhood is having so many different philosophies and ways to implement education with young children (though I also believe this is our strength as it give us the ability to meet a wide variety of needs in our communities).  This Code of Ethics brings us all back to basics that we can agree on while still honoring our diversity.  I hope that those outside of the early childhood community could have enough time to look at us through the same lens we see ourselves through.


    ------------------------------
    Sherrie Rose Mayle
    Director/Teacher
    Campbell Parents' Participation Preschool
    Campbell, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-04-2018 11:33 AM
    Sherrie Rose Mayle,

    Thank you for your insightful comment. When we began working on developing a code of ethics for NAEYC, we thought that the purpose was to give early childhood educators guidance for dealing with the ethical issues they encountered in their work. As we began to understand the role of ethics in a profession and map the core values of ECE, it became clear to us that the Code could contribute to unifying our very diverse field. I appreciate that you have recognized this unifying role and that the Code can be an important tool for helping those outside the EC community appreciate our commitments and contributions.

    best,

    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Feeney
    Portland OR
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-04-2018 12:29 AM
    The essence of Ethics in Early Childhood Education and Education is what frames the positive learning environment. How we educators explain and include ethics in our teachings, assessments, curriculum implementation and refections makes us fine educators. Since we live in a pluralistic society, power is not evenly distributed. Those who gain power, mostly misinterpret or misuse it. Often times principals and administrators misuse power using fraudulent tactics which are harmful for the students, teachers and parents. Today in our society we notice more vices than virtues, more corruption than even distribution, and more injustices. Thus, it is critical that educators and teachers remain ethical when teaching and doing student assessments, since it relates directly to a students life and contributes to the steps that build their future.When educators remain true to themselves and the communities where they serve, when they solve problems bearing justice in mind, and when they teach and assess correctly, they are able to guide education ethically and build a positive learning environment.

    ------------------------------
    Dipanwita Ray, M.Ed.
    Educator, Early Childhood & Elementary STEM & STEAM Enthusiast
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-04-2018 11:34 AM

    Dipanwita Ray,


    Thank you for acknowledging the role of ethics in helping to avoid the misuses of power and practices that are harmful for children. You underline the importance of awareness of fairness and justice in our work with children and commitment to ethical behavior.

    best,



    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Feeney
    Portland OR
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-05-2018 08:30 AM

    My concern about our ethics in field of ECE is we are not using them. The NAEYC's Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator, Ideals 1.1.2 states "To base program practice upon current knowledge and research in the field of early childhood education,…" In this current push down era of ECE we have the dilemma of doing what the mandate dictates in order to continue the funding. Why aren't we doing what is proven to be the best for children. In many instances it is the children who suffer and the teachers who becomes disappointed.   This is a call to action. This dilemma is creating a stressful environment for both teachers and children. If we continue this course we will jeopardize our basic ethical responsibility of "doing no harm". 



    ------------------------------
    Steven Erwin
    Chico CA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-05-2018 03:38 PM

    You ask the interesting and troubling question of why we arenʻt doing what is proven to be best for children based on the ideal of "basing program practice on current knowledge and research..."

     Unfortunately, the NAEYC Code offers guidelines for those in the field who choose to follow it. It would be nice if those outside of our field knew about the Code and were inclined to follow it as wekk.

     Sadly a great deal of policy in early education is created by people with little or no knowledge of the research base or best practices in ECE. P-3B.1 helps guide our thinking about how to respond when policies require us to act in ways that are not based on the field's current knowledge and research about how to provide children with positive opportunities for learning: 

    P-3B.1-We shall follow all program policies. When we do not agree with program policies, we shall attempt to effect change through constructive action within the organization.

     But even as we follow mandated practices, we have a responsibility to work for change.  This call to action is articulated in these two items from the Code:

    I-4.7-To support policies and laws that promote the well-being of children and families, and to work to change those that impair their well-being. To participate in developing policies and laws that are needed, and to cooperate with families and other individuals and groups in these efforts.

     P-4.11-When policies are enacted for purposes that do not benefit children, we have a collective responsibility to work to change these policies.

     You're right that this mis-match between recognized best practices and mandated curriculum is stressful for both children and their teachers. Our Code provides a call to action for us to become involved in advocacy efforts to advance practices that are based on the field's current knowledge and research. We hope that you are familiar with NAEYC's advocacy materials, as well as those of Defending the Early Years, and that you are investing your time and talents on promoting practices that are beneficial for young children.

     Thank you for raising this important issue.

    Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman



    ------------------------------
    Nancy Freeman
    Seattle WA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-05-2018 04:13 PM

    For the second week of our discussion of Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator please read Chapter 3: Addressing Ethical Issues. This chapter explores the difference between ethical responsibilities (mandates that tell us what we may and may not do, page 17) and ethical dilemmas (situations in which there are always two or more morally justifiable resolutions, page 19) and the strategy of ethical finesse (creative ways to resolve an ethical dilemma by finding a compromise, page 23). The chapter presents systematic strategies for addressing ethical issues in your work (See pages 21 and 27).

    Have you found the concepts found in the book (ethical responsibility, ethical dilemma, ethical finesse) helpful for addressing ethical issues you have encountered in your work? How have you handled these issues? What questions do you have about the process for addressing ethical issues presented in the book?



    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Feeney
    Portland OR
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-08-2018 09:10 AM
    I find the topic of ethical finesse very helpful.  Often times we realize things aren't as clear as they may at first seem.  Our biggest struggle, in this area in my opinion, is when it comes down the the wishes of a parent vs. our knowledge early childhood development.  These issues are often sensitive and must be carefully handled "with finesse."

    ------------------------------
    Megan Paulsen
    Knoxville TN
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-09-2018 05:45 PM

    Megan, we're glad that you have found ethical finesse to be a useful strategy for addressing ethical issues you've encountered in your work. And you're right that it is most helpful when resolving issues that require you to balance the wishes of the family with what you believe to be best for their child. That's why these are considered to be complex-client issues – early childhood educators have responsibilities to both the children in their care and those children's families.  Resolving them can be a complex matter.

    Chapter 5 of Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator focuses on our responsibilities to families. It includes several cases which have a good likelihood of being resolved through finesse. Look at the suggested ways to finesse the dilemmas presented in The Nap (begins on p. 52), Messy Play (begins on p. 58), Don't Let My Son Dress Up as a Girl (begins on p. 62), and Reporting Classroom Behavior (begins on p. 67), and review the Reflection on Complex Client Cases that begins on p. 76.

    We are interested to know about how you (and others) were able to finesse an ethical dilemma you have encountered in your work.

    Best,



    ------------------------------
    Nancy Freeman
    Seattle WA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-11-2018 01:04 AM
    I want to add a caution about ethical finesse. It is a wonderful strategy and quite often the best alternative to use in addressing
    an ethical dilemma in an early childhood setting. But because early childhood educators are most often caring people who donʻt like to say no or disappoint others there is some danger in using finesse when a difficult decision needs to be made. For example, in the case of the parent who doesnʻt want the child to nap in school. There are many ways that finesse might make this dilemma go away (better night time routines at home, allowing the child to go to another classroom where children do not nap etc.). But when a teacher has make every attempt to use finesse, and the child still canʻt function without a nap, the logical conclusion is that it is harmful to the child to be deprived of a nap in school and she must tell the parent that she cannot honor her request.

    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Feeney
    Portland OR
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-12-2018 03:29 PM
    Stephanie, I really appreciate you bringing up that point! I've made the mistake (even posting about it in this forum!) of trying to use ethical finesse in all situations, instead of recognizing that it is a valuable tool, but there are times when there is a clear right and wrong solution, and someone may, indeed, not be happy about it.

    ------------------------------
    Lydia M. Bowers
    Sexual Health Consultant
    www.lydiambowers.com
    NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-12-2018 04:09 PM

    Thank you to everyone who's contributed to this discussion.  Chapters 4, 5, and 6 in Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator describe some of the ethical issues early childhood educators are likely to encounter that relate to their responsibilities to children, families and colleagues.

    Did reading these chapters make you think about an ethical issue you have faced? Did guidance from the Code help you to address the issue? Please share an example. How do you think the increased understanding of the Code you gained by reading the book might influence your work with children, families, or colleagues?



    ------------------------------
    Nancy Freeman
    Seattle WA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-22-2018 11:45 AM
    How do you think the increased understanding of the Code you gained by reading the book might influence your work with children, families, or colleagues?

    Right now a quote from chapter 5 (page 67) stands out to me: "Early childhood educators may also want to consider their obligations to society at large and engage in advocacy to support the developmental needs of young children who are gender nonconforming. The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct points out that early childhood educators have a collective resonpsibility "to work toward greater societal acknowledgement of children's rights and greater societal acceptance of responsibility for the well-being of all children" (I-4.6)."

    Ethical finesse may not be possible with a federal administration, but we can (and should) advocate for children (and family members and colleagues) that are gender nonconforming.

    ------------------------------
    Lydia M. Bowers
    Sexual Health Consultant
    www.lydiambowers.com
    NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: October Book Club: Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator by Stephanie Feeney and Nancy Freeman

    Posted 10-22-2018 01:38 PM

    Thanks, Lydia, for highlighting our responsibility to be advocates for all children and to work to ensure their well-being. Children who are gender nonconforming are one important vulnerable group. And, thankfully, their particular needs have recently attracted increased attention. We should also be mindful of how we can support children whose families are immigrants, children whose homes and communities have been badly damaged by this year's devastating storms,  and those facing other circumstances that create extraordinary stress.

    I'm wondering what other issues the Code has inspired NAEYC members to address through their personal and collective advocacy efforts. 



    ------------------------------
    Nancy Freeman
    Seattle WA
    ------------------------------