Professionalism and Ethics in Early Childhood Education

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Accompaniment to Chapter 9 of Continuing Issues in Early childhood Education by Stephanie Feeney, Alice Galper, and Carol Seefeldt.


Presentation Transcript

Professionalism and Ethics in Early Childhood Education:

Professionalism and Ethics in Early Childhood Education Ashford University – ECE601 Instructor: Dr. Lisa Rodriguez Overview of Chapter 9 Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education by Stephanie Feeney, Alice Galper , and Carol Seefeldt


Professionalism ECE is not like traditionally thought of professions such as medicine and law. ECE is considered an emerging profession. Professionals usually have high salaries and high prestige in comparison with others in society. There are disadvantages as well as benefits to ECE being perceived by society as a profession.

Eight Criteria of a Profession:

Eight Criteria of a Profession Specialized knowledge Stringent entrance requirements Standards of practice Commitment to meeting a societal need Altruistic and service oriented Provide an indispensible service Autonomy Professional Code of Ethics

ECE as a Profession:

ECE as a Profession Advantages Affirm important and traditionally undervalued work. Higher expectations of performance Higher bar, assured all workers would bring specialized skills and knowledge to their work. More training = higher status Greater respect Better compensation More control over intellectual content and conduct of our field Improved programs & services disadvantages Focus on technical aspects for entry could lead to NEGLECT of the “caring aspects of our work”. Exclusion of some teachers ALREADY in the workforce, and the voices of some groups of people Could eliminate the career ladder—including opportunities for beginniers to acquire specialized knowledge and skills on the job. Without career ladder, could end up with a MONOCULTURAL workforce. Lack diverse teachers for students cultures.

Ethics & Morality:

Ethics & Morality Morality – An individual’s idea of right and good that is based on personal values. Values – Fundamental beliefs about what is desirable or worthwhile that guide behavior. They come from an individual's family, culture, community, faith, and society Ethics – The study of right and wrong Professional Ethics – Perceptions about professional responsibility that are collective systematically carried out by the members of a profession. Core Values – Deeply held commitments embraced by members of a profession because they make a contribution to society. Code of Ethics – A document that identifies a profession’s social responsibilities and obligations of its members. (Feeney, et al, 2009, p. 205)

NAEYC code of Ethical Conduct:

NAEYC code of Ethical Conduct First step to establishment of code of ethics - 1976 1978 and 1991 expansion – Ethical Behavior in Early Childhood Education (Lillian Katz and Evangeline Ward) Identified two characteristics of ECE as critical: Protect them. Vulnerable. Protect them from harm, respect them. Prioritize conflicting interests (students, parents, administrators, governmental organizations, and others.) No NAEYC consensus till 1984 – establishment of ethics commission Final version - 1989 The code of ethics is, as yet, unenforceable, but still provides guidelines and serves to protect children’s interests.

1st Priority is Children’s Well-being:

1 st Priority is Children’s Well-being The first principle in the NAEYC code (p-1.1) is, “Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children”. Precedence over all others in the code.

Brain Research:

Brain Research Recent research on the brain and human development has demonstrated the importance of learning at very early ages. “Children’s earliest experiences create neural pathways that will determine, in large measure, how their brains will function for their entire lives” (Feeney, et al, 2009, p. 208). Click to start the video.

Economic Benefits of ECE:

Economic Benefits of ECE Research has supported the concept that investing in high quality early childhood education will have long-lasting economic benefits to society. (Feeney, et al, 2009, p. 208)

The Challenge:

The Challenge Early childhood teachers must be prepared with extensive knowledge of child development and age-appropriate teaching and assessment strategies. They need to have the knowledge and courage to do what is best for the children . (F eeney, et al, 2009, p. 209)


References Feeney, S; Galper , A.; & Seefeldt , C. (2009). Continuing issues in early childhood education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, Inc. Harvard Education. (2009). The Science of Early Childhood Development. Retrieved from