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What does it mean to be a Professional Educator in the 21st Century?
Transcript of What does it mean to be a Professional Educator in the 21st Century?
Code of Ethics
The code of Ethics for teachers in Queensland is comprised of six expectations of the ethical behavior of teachers in regards to their students.
Teachers are expected to follow these Codes of Ethics as consistently and meticulously as possible.
These Ethics are closely related to some of the standards outlined in the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching and can also be found in the deeper explanations provided for the goals in the Melbourne Declaration.
The Melbourne Declaration
Has two Main Goals
The Links Between The Melbourne Declaration, The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, Code of Ethics and The Standards of Practice.
To create effective teachers in the 21st century Australia's seven states and territories worked cooperatively together towards a shared goal to create a better present and future for our youth. After careful collaboration and planning The Melbourne Declaration was created.
The four documents that follow are linked together by the ethical standards that each represents.
What does it mean to be a professional educator in the 21st century?
Standard of Practice
These are a set of standards which apply to all registered teachers that articulate what all teachers should know and be able to do. This document allows employees and educators to make ethical decisions in situations where the correct or best course of action may not be the most obvious one. Though not specifically intended for use by educators, this document was created by The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE, 2013) as a further guidance for professionalism and high standards of ethical conduct in the work place.
This Standard of Practice does not cover every possible scenario but provides further guidance
on the intention of the four ethics principles:-
1. Integrity and impartiality
2. Promoting the public good
3. Commitment to the system of government
4. Accountability and transparency
All young Australians become:
Confident and creative individuals
Active and informed citizens
These two goals assisted in the writing of the Australian Professional Standard for Teachers
For Australian schooling
to promote equity
Domain of Teaching
~ Standard One ~
Know the students and how they learn
~Standard Two ~
Know the Content and how to teach it
Domain of Teaching
~ Standard Three ~
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
~ Standard Four ~
Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
~ Standard Five ~
Assess, provide feedback and report on students learning
Domain of Teaching
~ Standard Six ~
Engage in Professional Learning
~ Standard Seven ~
Engage professionally with:
Creating and maintaining appropriate professional relationships
Acting with impartiality, truthfulness and honesty
Treating students with care, compassion and equality
Respecting uniqueness of family backgrounds
Valuing the effort and potential of students
Acknowledging the uniqueness of each student
Giving priority to the education and welfare of all students in teachers care
Engaging in ongoing professional development to continue improving teaching and learning strategies
Collaboratively and cooperatively working with colleagues in the best interests of the education and welfare of students
Acknowledge that relationships with students and their families must be based on:
Confidentiality - Where necessary
These qualities make a great contribution to the students well-being and learning
Acting and working with colleges within education and the community in ways which enhance the profession
Being fair and reasonable
Being committed to the well-being of individuals, the community and the common good
Resolving competing claims of different ethical principals and different interest groups through reflective professional discussion
Show empathy for, and rapport with students and their families and with colleagues and the community
Committing to students well-being and learning through the practice of positive influence, professional judgment and empathy in practice
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers comprise seven Standards which outline what teachers should know and be able to do. The Standards are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping.
The Standards are grouped into three domains of teaching: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. In practice, teaching draws on aspects of all three domains.
Within each Standard, focus areas provide further illustration of teaching knowledge, practice and professional engagement. These are then separated into Descriptors at four professional career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.
Example As follows -
Domain of Teaching
~ Standard Six ~
Engage in Professional Learning
~ Standard Seven ~
Engage professionally with:
One ~ Integrity and impartiality
This section of the document outlines that teachers recognise that professionalism involves a public trust and that they must seek to promote confidence in the reliability of the public service and that they are committed to the highest ethical standards. They must accept and value their duty to provide advice which is objective, independent, apolitical and impartial to the individual. Always strive to acknowledge the importance of the public interest and assume that any conflict of interest issue will be resolved or appropriately managed in favour of the public interest. Ensure they demonstrate respect for all persons, including towards students, colleagues and the general community, and are committed to honest, fair and respectful engagement with all parties.
Two ~ Promoting the public good
This section of the document outlines that teachers should recognise that they are elective representatives of the people of Queensland with mechanisms to deliver programs and services for the benefit to the people. Teachers are expected to accept and value their duty to be responsive to both the requirements of government and to the public interest as well as their duty to engage the community in developing and effecting official public sector priorities, policies and decisions. They must accept their duty to manage public resources effectively, efficiently and economically and value and seek to achieve excellence in service delivery and enhanced integration of services to better serve students.
Three ~ Commitment to the system of government
This section of the document ensure teacher recognise that they have a duty to uphold the system of government and the laws of the State, Australia and local government. Teachers are expected to be committed to supporting official public sector priorities, policies and decisions professionally and impartially, and accept and value their duty to operate within the framework of executive responsibility to government, parliament and the community.
Four ~ Accountability and transparency
This section of the document looks at teachers recognising that public trust requires high standards of management. Teachers must ensure they are committed to exercising proper diligence, care and attention, show commitment to using public resources in an effective and accountable manner. Must show dedication to managing information as openly as realistic within the legal framework and seek to achieve high standards of public administration to innovate and continuously improve performance and to operate within a framework of mutual obligation and shared responsibility within the community and workplace.
To be a professional educator in the 21st century you need to not only be able to teach but be able to learn and be all encompassing. Have the ability to adapt, communicate, empathise and understand along with many other characteristics. As a educator you have knowledge, you use knowledge in practice and you engage and reflect from you experiences to share the knowledge you have and build upon it with colleagues, students and the community. This is a never ending cycle, you learn, you teach, you reflect, you share and you learn some more.
Whats expected ?
For Australian schooling to promote equity and excellence
What is schooling?
All young Australians become:
Confident and creative individuals
Active and informed citizens
New Jobs are always arising
Students need to know how to adapt
Technology is ever changing, growing and expanding to encompass more of our day to day lives. Teachers must be able to show competence in adapting and learning to use new technologies to become role models to students that life is a never ending learning journey
Teachers can no longer just provide the tools and answers to the students but must encourage self discovery through guided teaching to ensure student can think for themselves and learn to adapt and learn without assistance
Professionals educators are expected to always encourage, communicate and generate feedback towards students and their ideas to promote self discovery and equity and diversity in the classroom and develop the concepts that not everyone has the same ideas or ways of doing things but that doesn't make any 'one' way right.
Ensuring that students are confident in having their own opinions and knowing how to back them up, support their findings and make them think about what they believe in regards to the world they live in.
Show not only What (knowledge) but How (reflect) - Make students think, be creative and learn to teach themselves...
Its not just what you teach but how you teach it
Who makes 'schooling' happen?
How Professionals work
Goals governing what teachers work involves in the 21st century...
Educators must be fair, equal, diverse and adaptive in the 21st century - not everyone is going to be at the same level of understanding
- everyone has different ethnic backgrounds
- students come from many different cultural and religious backgrounds
- there are lots of different types of families students can come from
By looking at the ideas Shulman suggests as Key Behaviors of Professionals, educators can find key points to work on and link their 'Goals' within the Melbourne Declaration to the key 'Standards' listed in the Professional standards for teachers.
Service to a community underpinned by and ethical and moral commitment to equity
Acquisition of a body of scholarly knowledge as entitlement to practice
Engagement in practical action where theory is put into practice
Uncertainty and decisions making due to nonconformity of clients
Learning which occurs through experience and reflection on practice
Participation in contributions to a professional community characterised by aggregation and sharing of knowledge (Shulman, 1998)
what does it look like ?
37 focus areas
Constant learning, sharing changing and adapting.
What you do with the information
Reflecting on what you did and how you could improve it next time
These links come back to the key idea that teachers as Professional Educators in the 21st Century never stop learning.
There is no 'One'
way to teach
Decisions need to be made as to what the 'right' thing to do in different situations might be and what the best approach to an individual situation would be
to make these decisions teachers need to be aware of codes of ethics and codes of conduct
As professional educators it is the goal of the teacher to give the students knowledge, help them use it, make them expand, reflect and share their experiences and gain more knowledge through practice and engagement. This is a never ending cycle for both the students and the teachers and is an important aspect to being a professional educator in the 21st century by giving the students the ability through schooling to become confident, creative, informed and active citizens and individuals.
Whats the right thing to do in this situation?
Teacher not only have to have the knowledge but know how to use it and share it effectively with students to ensure everyone understands and can relate to it.
There is a constant overlap and repeated cycle of these 3 domains and the 37 focus areas that are broken up within these areas showing that as teachers you don't just need to know the 37 focus areas and check them off and that makes you professional, teachers are expected to use these tools to learn and expand within the profession to assist in achieving an over all goal of bettering student learning and accomplishment.
Teachers in the 21st century are no longer able to simply teach a set of skills for a set job and make everyone repeat them over and over until they get it right. Students are now very independent and diverse and the world outside of school is ever changing. as teachers we not only ourselves have to become adaptive, diverse and all encompassing, but teachers must also ensure students possess these same abilities and qualities when entering the real world and therefore must make the content knowledge relevant to the students 'real world' concepts.
This also means no two students will have the same 'real world' views and every individual student will learn in a different way and teachers must be able to adapt accordingly. As well as adapting to their method of learning teacher must also be able to empathise and respect individual backgrounds and follow the Code of Ethics to guide them through their responsibility as teachers to ensure equity and diversity in the classroom to encourage students to feel safe secure and respected in their individual opinions
Teachers not only have a professional responsibility to their students but to the community, their colleagues and the government.
As mentioned before, the most ethical or moral course of action may not always be the first and foremost obvious one. These code of conducts know as the Standards of Practice are put in place for all professionals to help guide them to making the right or best decision in relation to the situation at hand. This document alone is not enough to ensure teachers act professionally but with the supported knowledge, practice and engagement of the Professional standards, the goals of the Melbourne Declaration and the ethical assistance from the Code of Ethics this is a handy tool for teachers of the 21st century to use when dealing with individual situations not only involving students but the school, the community and the government. This will ensure the teacher is acting in the best interest and manor of all parties and stake holders.
1. Marsh, C. J. (n.d). Becoming a teacher : knowledge, skills and issues [electronic resource]. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. :
Pearson Australia, c2010.
2. Clarke, M. (2013). Professional standards, teacher identities and an ethics of singularity. Cambridge Journal Of
Education, 43(4), 487-500.
3. Gorard, S. (2013). What Difference Do Teachers Make? A Consideration of the Wider Outcomes of Schooling. Irish
Educational Studies, 32(1), 69-82.
4. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) (2011), Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education
Programs in Australia. Available at: http://www.teacherstandards.aitsl.edu.au/Standards/Standards/AllStandards
5. Code of Ethics for Teachers in Queensland. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.qct.edu.au/PDF/PCU/
6. Ministerial Council for Education, Employment (MCEE) 2008, Training and Youth Affairs, Melbourne declaration on
educational goals for young Australians, Melbourne, 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf
7. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2005), Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and
retaining effective teachers, OECD Publications.
8. Leigh, A. (2010), Estimating teacher effectiveness from two-year changes in students’ test scores, Economics of
Teachers coming into 21st century schooling need to be ready for the demands of teaching in classrooms that are more challenging and diverse than ever before, particularly due to the growing number of children with special needs. Teaching in a 21st century settings not only requires confidence in the content of the subject, but proficiency in adapting to the most applicable approach to ensure students of all intelligence level, backgrounds and disabilities benefit. Teachers share with parents and the community a significant responsibility in preparing young people to lead successful and productive lives. This responsibility places increasingly complex demands on schools and teachers. Schooling needs to effectively prepare students to live, work and be successful in a society where they will be required to solve problems, work collaboratively, and think creatively and critically while adapting to ever changing circumstances. Teacher must themselves role model the ability to be life-long learner to ensure students will also be self-directed learners, and be committed to life-long learning, in a rapidly changing world. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)(2011) quoted, “As professionals, teachers need to engage in reflective practice to critically think about their skills and knowledge, access professional development for improvement and become an active member of learning communities to meet their professional needs.”
What does it mean to be a professional educator in the 21st century? There is no one correct way to answer this question as there are many aspects of being a professional and many criteria behind being and educator, but not only that in the 21st century classroom teachers are no longer just there to teach you a set of skills for a specific job and after repetitive practice and a grasp on the skill, send you away into the world to use that one set skill. With technology constantly updating everyday life and machines taking on simple jobs, students need to learn to adapt and have self-teaching skills to ensure their success in this new age and it is the role of a teacher to provide them these skills as well as ensuring students can use the skills effectively within their own personal environment(Leigh, A. 2010). Teacher need to do this through professional role modeling and ability to adapt and change the way each individual learns. As shown in the previous digital artifact there are many tools to guide teachers on the right path. These four documents all have an individual purpose in a larger scale picture.
Firstly looking at The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MD), this document shows what is expected of teachers. These expectations are broken down within the two goals in the attached digital artifact. These goals require teachers to ensure students have a quality education with access to up-to-date and relevant curriculum, and for the people who know them best – their parents, teachers, principals and community – to be able to make informed decisions that will affect their education. The first step to achieving a quality education, which is so critical for the future of young Australians and our nation, is to lift the quality, professionalisation and status of the teaching profession. The Australian Professional standards for Teachers (APST) in a guidance tool to ensure just that. There are three domains of teaching that are critical to professional and effective schooling in a 21st century setting; Professional Knowledge (PK), Professional Practice (PP) and Professional Engagement (PE)(AITSL, 2011). Though separated these domains rely on each other to continue successful growth in the teaching profession and they are often overlapped in practice, as shown in the digital artifact. These three domains those based on different areas all work together to create a professional schooling experience and help teacher achieve the two goals stated in the MD (MCEE, 2008).
PK requires teachers to use a body of professional knowledge and research to respond to students needs within their educational contexts. To do this teacher need to know students well, including their diverse linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds. This will affect the structure of lessons to meet the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of individual students and a whole class group. Teachers must not only know the content of their subjects and curriculum but also be able to use them in practice. PP requires teachers to make learning engaging and appreciated. They should be able to create and maintain a safe, inclusive and challenging learning environment and implement fair and equitable behaviour management plans to ensure diversity and equity towards and amongst students. Teachers must be able to identify barriers to learning and in turn challenge students to improve their performance through different methods of teaching and understanding based on the individual’s needs and the subjects’ content. Teacher will be ever reevaluating, adapting and engaging with colleagues to build upon lesson plans to improve the outcome of successful student learning for all stake holders. PE ensures teachers model effective learning by identifying their own learning needs and being able to evaluate and expand their professional learning, both collegially and individually. Teachers must demonstrate respect and professionalism during interactions with students, colleagues, parents and the community valuing opportunities to engage with their school communities within and beyond the classroom to enrich the educational context for students. Marsh (2010), quoted, “The secondary school teacher has to understand the personal joys, concerns and goals of developing adolescents. Somehow, through patient observing and support, a teacher and his/her students can develop respect and dignity.” This engagement will ensure teachers understand the links between school, home and community in the social and intellectual development of their students.
The two above documents show what’s expected and what a teacher should know and be able to do, the Code of Ethics for Teachers in Queensland (CETQ) on the other hand is a simpler document that provides a formal framework of ideals designed to guide and encourage all teachers to achieve these high standards of ethical behaviour and professionalism in their dealings and relationships with students, families, caregivers, colleagues and the broader community (CETQ, 2014). The six ideals are listed in the attached artifact in greater detail. The ethics are linked to the standards by guiding the teacher through how we ensure a fair and equal education for all parties involved. These Ethics are closely related to some of the standards outlined in the APST and can also be found in the deeper explanations provided for the goals in the MD.
The final document, Standards of Practice (SP), outline what teachers obligations as a public sector representative are. These are a set of standards which apply to all registered teachers that articulate what all teachers should know and be able to do. This document allows employees and educators to make ethical decisions in situations where the correct or best course of action may not be the most obvious one. Though not specifically intended for use by educators, this document was created by The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE, 2013) as a further guidance for professionalism and high standards of ethical conduct in the work place. This SP provides further guidance on the intention of the four ethics principles.
In conclusion, the attached digital artifact shows how together these documents give teachers the guidance and tools to become successful Professional Educators in the 21st century and ensure greater student learning in not only providing them with the content knowledge and how they should use it, but also ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to learn an understand the content that will teach them life-long values and skills to ensure future learning continues and is shared. Teachers are life-long learners and must demonstrate this ability within the classroom; the APST recognises this through the four career stages outlined. The APST support the MD which describes aspirations for all young Australians for the next decade (AITSL, 2011, MCEE, 2008). This commits teachers to the specific educational goals that schooling promotes equity and excellence and that all young Australians will become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens (MCEE, 2008). Teachers share a significant responsibility in preparing young people to lead successful and productive lives. It is believed that teacher quality is the single-most important in-school factor influencing student achievement. 'The greatest resource in Australian schools is our teachers. They account for the vast majority of expenditure in school education and have the greatest impact on student learning, far outweighing the impact of any other education program or policy'. (OECD, 2005). Effective teachers can be a source of inspiration and, equally importantly, provide a dependable and consistent influence on young people as they make choices about further education, work and life. As stated in the MD,(MCEE, 2008) “Improving teacher quality is considered an essential reform as part of Australia's efforts to improve student attainment and ensure it has a world-class system of education.”