How to Become an Ethical Teacher

How to Become an Ethical Teacher

Ethical Teacher


Ethics or moral philosophy is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions:

  1. What is the best way for people to live?
  2. What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?

In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as:

  1. good and evil
  2. right and wrong
  3. virtue and vice
  4. justice and crime

Professional Ethics

Professionally accepted standards of personal and business behavior, values and guiding principles. Codes of professional ethics are often established by professional organizations to help guide members in performing their job functions according to sound and consistent ethical principles.

Professional Ethics encompass standards of behavior expected by professionals. There are several aspects that teachers have to take into account if they want to become an ethical teacher. These are some of the most important aspects to take into consideration:

How to Become an Ethical Teacher

Ethical Teachers Have Disciplinary Competence:

  1. They must have the necessary content knowledge to provide students with up-to-date information.
  2. They have to teach courses within their area of expertise.
  3. If a teacher is asked to teach a course out of their area of expertise, he or she should make a personal ethical responsibility to increase her content knowledge in that area.

Ethical Teachers should Teach Effectively through an Effective Pedagogy

  1. Teachers must remember that content knowledge is not everything so they must have a set of great pedagogical techniques.
  2. Ethical teachers should evaluate the effectiveness of his teaching methodology and the learning strategies that they use in class.
  3. Teachers should make the adjustments necessary  to improve their teaching effectiveness.

Ethical Teachers Provide Balanced Content and Free Inquiry

  1. Teachers must encourage students to think critically.
  2. Educators should’t indoctrinate students into a particular point of view.
  3. Teachers should encourage open discussion.

Ethical Teachers Should Respect Students

  1. Teachers should treat students as individuals.
  2. Teachers should avoid policies that are unfair.

Ethical Teachers Foster Academic Integrity

  1. Teachers should encourage academic integrity.
  2. Educators should communicate and apply consequences for academic dishonesty.
  3. Teachers have the ethical responsibility to adress potential violations to academic integrity.

Ethical Teachers Use Objective and Fair Assessment

  1. Assessments should be objective, valid and fair.
  2. Assessments should match course objectives.
  3. Teachers must design valid and reliable test questions.

Ethical Teachers Protect Their Students’ Confidentiality

  1. Teachers should mantain student performance confidential.
  2. Only individual students should have access to their graded assignments.
  3. Sharing  confidential information with others should happen only when it is necessary.

Ethical Teachers Have Professionally Appropriate Relationships With Their Students

  1. Teachers should mantain professional and objective relationship with students.
  2. Teachers should avoid behaviors that take advantage of their power relationship with students.
  3. Ethical teachers should avoid situations  that might be construed as discrimination or sexual harassment.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about how to become an Ethical Teacher, make sure that you read this this document 

Becoming an Ethical Teacher by G. William Hill IV and Dorothy D. Zinsmeister from the Book Effective College and University Teaching: Strategies and Tactics for the New Professoriate

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