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    #184254 - 03/08/14 03:20 AM Ethics and public schools
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    I have been thinking about Snowden and watched C-Span last night for a while. The definition of treason was being discussed.

    Whenever I think about ethics, I think about Wall Street and all of the stories I hear about ethics or lack thereof. I get the impression that recruiters like athletes for Wall Street and for big sales jobs. So far, from a career perspective I have avoided Wall Street so I can't speak to the culture first hand.

    Because verbally gifted people converse so much. I find them always talking about ethics, but I am not sure how to get that to trickle down or ripple across to everyone else. I am not sure if non-gifted people care.

    I find that our district public school constantly shows less than the highest standards, but I have no idea how to get them to see it. I can't give specifics because I am certain there would be consequences to our still young gifted student.

    I do believe that Snowden was a highly intelligent fellow. I don't remember him having a specific profession though that required and taught a strong ethics code. I am sure that the NSA hopes to never hire anyone like Snowden again, but how to achieve that kind of certainty is interesting.

    Maybe all professions need to define and teach a set of ethics, including the education field.

    You don't have to state how you feel about Snowden. I am just wondering if parents think that ethics are addressed at public schools (I think most other schools have honor codes, for example.). Do we need to make ethics more of an actual subject in public schools so that it can hopefully carry over into worklife and even personal life in general? Are ethics always fact specific and even totally relative to an individual? What should our code of ethics for public schools be?

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    #184256 - 03/08/14 04:14 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    chris1234 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    I am sure that nd folks care about ethics, but I think everyone picks this up more by example than by reading a certification guide for one's particular industry (eg: accounting). Not sure if that was what you meant by 'specific profession that taught strong ethics'.

    Not everyone has parents who do what is right, teachers or workplace mentors who do what is right and friends who do what is right, so it it not surprising when people go off track. Most of us don't get into positions where we are responsible at that level across so many lives, or would dream of violating so many legal rules (laws) to do something we felt was ethically correct. (Since that is what he says he was doing - at least as I read it, whether we believe him or not, or the results are good or bad. )

    When the 'good' or 'ethical' decision is more clear cut, probably more or most folks will more easily see that breaking some laws may make sense -- the scenario makes all the difference.

    As to addressing ethics at the public school:
    I think that by example, my kids learned
    1. It's ok to agree to one thing (over and over) and not do it, or do something else.
    Lesson 2- As long as you're just dealing with kids, it's ok to lie. (oh also, lying is a good idea).

    Good stuff.

    (good subject, hope I don't sound too negative).

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    #184257 - 03/08/14 04:29 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    chris1234 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    ps, I think you may have edited while I was posting, so as to the question of should it be addressed more formally, or taught...If there are classes or instruction that set up examples that teachers or students would really run into, I think could be a very effective approach.

    ex:
    While standing in front of the parents asking if you are going to provide such and such (enrichment, other) folder of material for their child, if you are NOT/never going to provide that folder, just say so "No, we won't ever give your child the things you are requesting."

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    #184266 - 03/08/14 06:01 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1448
    Loc: NJ
    Personally, I think that ethics start in the home.

    I do not believe that highly intelligent people are more ethical than NT folk at all.

    Further, I think that those that profess to blame Wall Street without paying due regard to the shared culpability of Washington are either very manipulative intelligent people or hopelessly naive people i.e. either children or fools.


    Edited by madeinuk (03/08/14 06:15 AM)
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #184268 - 03/08/14 06:22 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Our district has a program that teaches social skills but that's the closest it gets. The guidance counselor goes into the classrooms on a regular basis and teaches lessons on how to treat other people, be a good friend, conduct oneself, etc.

    Here's an interesting page on "character education".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_education

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    #184274 - 03/08/14 06:41 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree with Chris re: what "school" has taught my DD.

    I'll add

    3. When you hold the position of authority, you can define "honor" as whatever you like. Let the the little ants complain if they like, because you don't have to care.

    Recently we have also learned that (much to MY amazement) even kids that I'd have thought were "highly ethical" are pretty much...



    um...



    well, let's just say that some kids' grades don't mean what MY daughter's grades do, and leave it at that. She is earning hers by writing all of her own papers, studying for and taking assessments in closed-book, proctored conditions, etc. Little did I realize that we're considered crazy for doing things this way when the school itself demonstrates a lack of accountability or ethics towards its students on a regular basis. Most other parents apparently feel that the behavior justifies pretty much "whatever means necessary."

    Given the shenanigans this year with some of my DD's classes (and the lack of instruction in them) I'm starting to see their point.

    The school also care a LOT more about window dressing than they actually do about cheating or authentically ethical practices on either side. That's also apparent.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #184325 - 03/08/14 10:25 PM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Thank you for your input. We are thinking hard about ethics here and how it can we taught and role-modeled.

    Thank you to the poster who reminded me that Wall Street does not act alone and that in fact Washington, D.C. and Main Street are also players in any scenario.

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    #184336 - 03/09/14 07:20 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1448
    Loc: NJ
    The only professions that cover ethics formally are Law and Medicine - how far did that get us? Hmm, let's see...

    The bulk of politicians started off as lawyers and the costs of medical treatments are so high that being without insurance simply isn't a viable option.

    Ethical education belongs in the home although I am beginning to see that conducting one's self in an ethical manner may be 'right' but not necessarily rational in today's world.

    Sad but true - I am probably setting my DD up for failure in such a world by insisting that she maintains her self respect by living with integrity.
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #184339 - 03/09/14 08:19 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    That is a conversation that DH and I have (privately) had many times, madeinUK. We worry that while we are teaching our DD to be a GOOD person...

    that may merely make her the ultimate victim by today's standards. I sure hope not.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #184345 - 03/09/14 11:03 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4256
    Quote:
    Are ethics always fact specific and even totally relative to an individual?
    Some may say that there are two competing answers to this:
    1) Laws are not always just. Laws can be changed by careful examination and discussion of ethical principles, however prickly and uncomfortable some may find honest, open, and respectful conversation on such subjects to be. An obvious example is slavery.
    2) Even when just laws, rules, or policies exist, organizations may not follow them or may engage in selective enforcement. Many organizations encourage members to subjugate ethics in favor of being insular to the organization. Whistle-blowers may be commonly regarded as pariah. Intimidation, retaliation, or fear of retaliation may be used to gain compliance, possibly related to concerns expressed here
    Quote:
    I find that our district public school constantly shows less than the highest standards, but I have no idea how to get them to see it. I can't give specifics because I am certain there would be consequences to our still young gifted student.


    Quote:
    What should our code of ethics for public schools be?
    Some individuals may follow the ethics distilled from a religious or moral code, as they understand or interpret them. Some may pick-and-choose, selectively embodying a mix of beliefs or tenents of their faith "cafeteria-style". Some may follow a set of ethics which they believe empower them to eliminate individuals, cultures, or societies with other beliefs. When does acting on one's beliefs trample the rights of others?

    Because the Constitution of the United States is the highest law of the land, and that which even Presidents swear to uphold, when teaching of ethics to a diverse population in USA, public schools may wish to uphold the Constitution.

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