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Running head: WESLEYAN DISPOSITIONS AND THE CODE OF ETHICS 1

Wesleyan Dispositions and The Code of Ethics in Perspective

Erynn M. Malone

Wesleyan College

April 3, 2018
WESLEYAN DISPOSITIONS AND THE CODE OF ETHICS 2

Abstract

The primary purpose of this paper is to explain both the importance and relevance of Wesleyan

dispositions along with the Code of Ethics as it relates to pursuing a career in education. In doing

so, I will discuss each standard of the Code of Ethics, the significance and relevance of each

standard, and also, how it is designed to make future educators like myself professional and

accountable. I will also explain the Wesleyan dispositions and how they are also designed to

make future educators like myself professional and accountable, and in turn, how this will help

make me, personally, an ethical professional educator.


WESLEYAN DISPOSITIONS AND THE CODE OF ETHICS 3

Wesleyan Dispositions and The Code of Ethics in Perspective

Introduction

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Teachers are held to a higher standard,” or

“Teachers are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism, even when outside of the

classroom.” Well, it’s true! Educators are held to the highest of standards, and they are, indeed,

expected to maintain that same level of professionalism outside of the classroom. Significantly,

teachers are the most influential when it comes to today’s youth. Therefore, it is imperative to

ensure that highly professional individuals are placed in teaching positions.

The Code of Ethics

“Each profession has its own code of ethics [or set of rules] reflecting the activities and

responsibilities of the profession” (Webb, Dean, & Jordan, 2010, p. 30). Significantly, there are

two specific bodies of rules that govern future educators at Wesleyan College: The Georgia Code

of Ethics and the Wesleyan dispositions. To start, the Georgia Code of Ethics is broken down

into ten standards; each of which containing a rule or regulation for Georgia educators created

and designed by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Standard 1 of the Code of

Ethics states that Georgia educators are to abide by federal, state, and local laws (The Code of

Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). Stated previously,

educators have the most influence on today’s youth, and it is imperative to ensure that educators

along with future educators are law abiding citizens. Significantly, Wesleyan strives to prepare

its students for the teaching arena before even actually entering it. Students are given set

guidelines to adhere to such as the Wesleyan dispositions in addition to The Code of Ethics early

on so that once each student enters the teaching profession they are already adapted to the rules

governing them. Standard 2 of the Code of Ethics states that an educator shall always maintain a
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professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom (The Code of Ethics

for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). This means that educators

should remain transparent and profession at all times when dealing with students. This includes

but is not limited to physical and verbal abuse, cruelty, sexual activity or soliciting such from a

student, engaging in or permitting harassment of or misconduct toward a student that would

violate a state or federal law, soliciting, encouraging, or consummating an inappropriate written,

verbal, electronic, or physical relationship with a student, furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or

illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or failing to prevent the use of alcohol or illegal or

unauthorized drugs by students under the educator’s supervision (The Code of Ethics for

Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). This includes consumption of

alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs at the educator’s residence or any other private setting

(The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). This to

say, an educator is an elite role model and mandated reporter in the sense that they cannot

participate or allow participation in illegal activity. Standard 3 of the Code of Ethics states that

an educator shall refrain from the use of alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs during

professional practice (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards

Commission, 2018). This goes without saying. Considering that educators are held to such a high

standard, it is obvious that educators cannot partake in such usage activities during professional

practice. Standard 4 states that an educator shall exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of

professional practice (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards

Commission, 2018). Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to, falsifying, misrepresenting,

or omitting: professional qualifications, criminal history, college or staff development credit

and/or degrees, academic award, and employment history, information submitted to federal,
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state, local school districts and other governmental agencies, information regarding the

evaluation of students and/or personnel, reasons for absences or leaves, information submitted in

the course of an official inquiry/investigation, and information submitted in the course of

professional practice (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards

Commission, 2018). Significantly, educators are required to be honest and ethical in every aspect

of their lives and in their profession as well. Standard 5 states that an educator entrusted with

public funds and property shall honor that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and

responsibility (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission,

2018). This also goes along with honesty. If an educator is entrusted with funds, they are

expected to act with honesty and integrity when dealing with the funds that they are trusted with.

Standard 6 states that an educator shall maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents,

patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation (The

Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). Once again,

because teachers are held to a high standard, they are expected to be ethical in every realm of

their profession. This applies to relationships, funds, and also, an educator’s personal life.

Standard 7 states that an educator shall comply with state and federal laws and state school board

policies relating to the confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material

and other information (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards

Commission, 2018). Just like every other aspect of the teaching profession, teachers are expected

to not only be professional, but most importantly, be honest and ethical in every aspect. Standard

8 states that an educator shall file reports of a breach of one or more of the standards in the Code

of Ethics for Educators (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional Standards

Commission, 2018). As stated earlier, educators are mandated reporters. Thus, when any type of
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unethical behavior is observed or witnessed, educators are required to report that observed or

witnessed behavior or activity immediately. Last but not least, standard 9 states that an educator

shall demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards and preserves

the dignity and integrity of the education profession (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia

Professional Standards Commission, 2018). Significantly, an educator is part of a whole.

Therefore, if one educator engages in activities or demonstrates conduct that is unethical, it

affects teachers and the teaching profession as a whole. Moreover, it is imperative to be sure that

future educators are rooted in ethical behavior and professionalism; as they represent more than

just themselves. Lastly, standard 10 states that an educator shall administer state-mandated

assessments fairly and ethically (The Code of Ethics for Educators, Georgia Professional

Standards Commission, 2018). It is emphasized throughout the Code of Ethics how educators

should be honest and ethical, and the same emphasis is given here as well. Thus, the Code of

Ethics is used to guide educators along with future educators on how to be both professional and

ethical at all times.

Moral Turpitude

Moral Turpitude, as part of the Code of Ethics, also guides educators on how to maintain

professionalism. It gives specific limits in which educators should not go. It includes but is not

limited to fraud or false pretenses in obtaining something of value, larceny or a misdemeanor

theft by taking, larceny after trust, murder, soliciting for prostitutes, voluntary manslaughter, sale

of narcotics or other illegal drugs, pattern of failure to file federal tax returns in years in which

taxes are due, criminal issuance of a bad check, and making a false report of a crime (Moral

Turpitude, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2018). Thus, while teachers are, of
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course, expected to abide by common law, they are also expected to remain honest and ethical in

every aspect of their lives, as stated previously.

Wesleyan Dispositions

The Wesleyan dispositions also serve as a guide for future educators at Wesleyan

College. Significantly, the Wesleyan dispositions deem what is expected of the future educator.

The first disposition provided by Wesleyan states that the Wesleyan student will appreciate and

value intellectual independence such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation across

the curriculum (EDU 201 01-Foundations of Education, Wesleyan College Portal, 2018). This to

say, the Wesleyan student will not only appreciate or value intellectual independence, but they

will also enforce critical thinking, problem-solving and innovation within the curriculum. The

next disposition states that the Wesleyan student will appreciate the impact of learner

development (physical, social, emotional, and cognitive) on instructional decisions (EDU 201

01-Foundations of Education, Wesleyan College Portal, 2018). In other words, the Wesleyan

student will strive to make an impact on learner development within instruction. Significantly,

the Wesleyan student will enhance the learners ability mentally, physically, and emotionally;

making the learner stronger in every aspect. The next Wesleyan disposition states that the

Wesleyan student will appreciate the impact of a classroom management plan in fostering a

positive climate that supports teaching and learning (EDU 201 01-Foundations of Education,

Wesleyan College Portal, 2018). Moreover, the Wesleyan student understands the importance of

classroom management and understands how it is conducive to learning for both the educator

and the student. Lasly, the Wesleyan disposition states that the Wesleyan student will believe

that it is necessary to use a variety of assessments in order to make prudent instructional

decisions (EDU 201 01-Foundations of Education, Wesleyan College Portal, 2018). Moreover,
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the Wesleyan student will incorporate different types of assessments that actually benefit

students and are conducive to their learning by means of mastery. For example, the Child

Development and Learning course at Wesleyan College teaches students that paper assessments

are not the only way to assess student knowledge. It informs students that assessments can be

varied. They can be pictorial, oral, physical, and overall creative in any aspect of the educator’s

choice. This makes learning not only varied, but fun and conducive in the sense that students

actually gain superior knowledge from what they are being taught. Significantly, Wesleyan fully

equips its students for the field of teaching and education. They are exposed to the rules and

regulation of the teaching realm in addition to being exposed to Wesleyan’s very own

dispositions and expectations.

Conclusion

As a student at Wesleyan College, I feel as though I am fully equipped to become an

educator even as a sophomore in the program. I continuously gain knowledge on how to become

an effective educator in addition to being exposed to bodies of rules such as The Code of Ethics.

I understand that it is a body of rules that governs all educators, and I also understand that it is a

part of my professional expectations. I understand that it is my duty to educate and influence

today’s youth, and in doing so, I must be ethical, honest, and moral. Significantly, the Code of

Ethics along with the Wesleyan dispositions help shape me into a sound educator with a high

level of respect for my profession and the expectations that coincide with it. Not only will I be an

example to students, but I will also be an example to the community. After all, teachers shape the

future of students, and thus, the community. Therefore, it is not just a profession. It is a lifestyle

that one has to adapt to. After all, “Ethical practice lies at the core of the teaching profession”

(Zahm-Duncheon, A., Homes, S. M., & Wamser, R. J., 2014).


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References

Georgia Professional Standards Commission. (2018). Moral Turpitude.

Retreived from https://www.gapsc.com/Ethics/Downloads/moral_turpitude.pdf

Georgia Professional Standards Commission. (2018). Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics for

Educators. Retrieved from https://www.gapsc.com/Rules/Current/Ethics/505-6-.01.pdf.

Webb, L. Dean, Metha, A., Jordan, K. Forbis. (2010). 6th Ed. Foundations of American

Education. Development of the Profession. (26-46).

Wesleyan College Portal. (2018). EDU 201 01-Foundations of Education. Wesleyan College

Education Department’s Conceptual Framework. Retreived from

https://wesportal.wesleyancollege.edu/ICS/LMS/EDU/EDU__201/2018_SP-EDU__201-

01/.

Zahm-Duncheon, A., Homes, S. M., & Wamser, R. J. (2014). Codes of educator ethics in the

united states: A policy analysis to guide leadership at the national, state, and local levels

(Order No. 3716274). Available from Education Database. (1702713144). Retrieved

from

http://proxygsu-wes1.galileo.usg.edu.wesleyancollege.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://sear

ch-proquest-com.wesleyancollege.idm.oclc.org/docview/1702713144?accountid=14961.