Early Childhood Education: The Ethical Dilemma

Early childhood educators face one of the most challenging tasks imaginable, and they are one of the first socialization channels children meet. There is no doubt that educators’ understanding of the world, to some extent, influences the kids they teach. That is why dealing with ethical responsibilities and dilemmas correctly is of critical importance. In the framework of this essay, one case of dealing with an ethical issue will be analyzed through the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct principles.

The situation under analysis is an ethical one, as the teacher faces opposition to the educational techniques employed by the center, from the parent of one of the children. There are a few NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct values that apply to this case. These include the second value, describing the necessity to base one’s work on how children develop and learn, and the fifth one that regards the importance of respecting dignity, uniqueness, and worth of every individual (National Association for Family Child Care, 1). Besides, the third value – the respect for the bond between the child and their family (NAFCC, 1). Aside from the values involved, educators often nave clashing responsibilities.

In this case, Marge is at conflict, as the ideals of the center include enhancing children’s imagination and communication skills through participation in dramatic plays. However, the ideals of the organization also refer to fostering the engagement of families in the process. According to the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, educators have to recognize the unique abilities and potential of each child and base their program practices on that knowledge (NAFCC, 2).

Still, the request of Victor’s father to forbid him to participate in plays contrasts these ideals. The principles of the Code clearly state that two-way communications to involve families in the decision-making regarding their child are of crucial importance (NAFCC, 3). These principles also indicate that children should be educated in positive environments and should be enrolled or retained from any activity only based on multiple sources of assessment (NAFCC, 3). Nonetheless, the conflict occurs at the intersection of general principles and responsibilities to families.

The family environment is the basis of children’s development and should always be considered in the educational process. Parents should be involved in the process of decision-making when it comes to their child, and have a right to give or withhold their consent regarding the participation of their child in any of the activities (NAFCC, 4). Families are to be informed about the philosophy, policies, cultural practices, and to be in accordance with the responsibilities of teachers to children (NAFCC, 4).

The mentioned positions are those of particular importance, as they refer to the problem under analysis. Parents have the right to make important decisions for their children, and they can give or withdraw their consent. Still, as they are informed about the policies, ideals, and practices of the organization, the ethical responsibilities of the educators, they are expected to respect those.

Thus, the most ethically defensible course of action for the teacher would be to review the study program with Viktor’s father again and explain the purpose of the activities in which his son is participating. She might also talk to him about her responsibilities as a teacher. If the final decision of the parent remains negative, it should be implemented, and Marge should develop new practices that would let Viktor have the same social and educational experiences with respect to the norms accepted in his family.

Work Cited

National Association for Family Child Care. NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment. National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2011.

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