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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)
    _________________________
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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: 4230
    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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    #184346 - 03/09/14 11:23 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: madeinuk]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    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.


    Individual lawyers get smooshed by ethical violations all the time.

    It's definitely "rational" to practice law ethically if you actually like and care about your law license.

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    #184354 - 03/09/14 04:22 PM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Thanks, everybody, for all of the great discussion. I am so glad that the U.S. Constitution came up. At home, we are always debating the literal text versus all of the law that has developed outside of the original text.

    Also, I feel as though the ten commandments were common in our area when we were children coming from a Judeo-Christian perspective, but now, for this generation we need to expand that as our area has become much more diversified and that list may not be as basic and inclusive as it used to seem.

    I think we have just been discussing issues as they arise case by case based on facts.

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    #184361 - 03/09/14 05:44 PM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: JonLaw]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1448
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    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.


    Individual lawyers get smooshed by ethical violations all the time.

    It's definitely "rational" to practice law ethically if you actually like and care about your law license.


    So that's why they change to politics. Huh.

    Either way, how did the 'formal teaching' of Ethics go?
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #184363 - 03/09/14 05:59 PM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: HowlerKarma]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    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.


    I am hoping it's like Aikido: you can be extremely good, but also savvy, and use other people's badness to disarm them (without hurting them) as needed...

    Hoping.

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    #184374 - 03/09/14 08:08 PM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    Also, I feel as though the ten commandments were common in our area when we were children coming from a Judeo-Christian perspective, but now, for this generation we need to expand that as our area has become much more diversified and that list may not be as basic and inclusive as it used to seem.
    Some may say that those who choose to believe the moral code of the Bible or Torah are free to follow their faith and "we" have no right to "expand that", suggesting they include information from other sources as being on equal footing.

    This is separate from considering what may be taught as ethics in public schools.

    Originally Posted By: DeeDee
    I am hoping it's like Aikido: you can be extremely good, but also savvy, and use other people's badness to disarm them (without hurting them) as needed...
    Some may say that aikido is based upon a direct personal attack and a defender; By contrast relatively few things in life are a direct personal attack. Many differences may consist of equally valid viewpoints which individuals may discuss as equals without labeling the other as bad.

    ETA: Not to say that "bad" doesn't exist. It took awhile to find but there is this old thread with an article linked in the original post which discusses kiddos without conscience, empathy, or compassion. Interestingly they exhibited strength in manipulation, what some may call leadership, and also organized "teamwork" in their scary, dangerous, antisocial behavior. Fortunately the article contained hope in the sentence "Physiology isn’t destiny.”

    These children may be the opposite of those who exhibit a common trait in gifted children, often listed amongst identifying characteristics, which is alternately described as "advanced moral reasoning", "well developed sense of justice", "moral sensitivity", "advanced ability to think about such abstract ideas as justice and fairness", "empathy", "compassion". Links to lists of gifted characteristics include several articles on the Davidson Database here and here, SENG (Silverman), SENG (Lovecky).

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    #184385 - 03/10/14 12:58 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: indigo]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Is there one agreed upon list that parents are using that is all-inclusive, based on humanity and not any one of its specific religions?

    (We are always debating whether any set of beliefs (even human non-beliefs) constitutes a religion.

    Are you just using the legal definition of religion? Which case sums it up?

    Is humanism a set of beliefs?

    We are back to the ABCs here. For now, we have not found one list that includes everyone, so maybe, ethics are always relative and we will always have ethics problems to solve.

    I am going to research another professor who studies ethics (as opposed to religions) and see if she has written any books.

    Thanks for all of your input.

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    #184403 - 03/10/14 07:05 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    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.


    Depending on who you ask, Snowden was either a systems administrator (says NSA), or an "infrastructure analyst," which is a roundabout way of saying professional hacker (says Snowden). These two roles would teach significantly different definitions of "ethical."

    As a systems engineer I can say that ethical teaching is a BIG thing in this career. It's primarily left to the individual businesses to teach, but this is one place where the businesses find it very worthwhile to invest in some training, on account of it's your IT people who have the keys to the kingdom to do whatever harm to your business they see fit. Regardless of how you feel on whether he was justified in his actions or not, Snowden is a good illustration of the kinds of harm an IT insider can inflict on an organization. It just illustrates one kind of harm, though.

    I say "was" in the first sentence because, assuming that he experiences his personal best-case scenario of returning to the US and being exonerated in a trial, there's no chance he'll ever find like employment in a public agency or corporate environment, so his pool of likely future employers in his past role is extremely small. He will never be trusted around non-public personal information again.

    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    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.


    Washington DC is a direct subsidiary of Wall Street, so it's hard to say where one ends and the other begins.

    Main Street is for bread and circuses. Wall Street provides the former, and Washington provides the latter.

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    #184404 - 03/10/14 07:09 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    Is there one agreed upon list that parents are using that is all-inclusive, based on humanity and not any one of its specific religions?

    (We are always debating whether any set of beliefs (even human non-beliefs) constitutes a religion.


    My personal definition is that religious beliefs are those which have to be taken on faith, rather than on evidence.

    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    Is humanism a set of beliefs?


    More a philosophy, I'd say.

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    #184492 - 03/11/14 06:34 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    With regard to our town's treatment of gifted children (which I think is in indication of ethical treatment), it is politics, politics, politics. Everything people complain about with gridlock in D.C. applies to some extent to our little town. I don't know if I could work for either--too much politics.


    Edited by Mark Dlugosz (03/11/14 08:25 AM)

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    #184510 - 03/11/14 08:11 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Mark D. Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/31/69
    Posts: 271
    Please keep this discussion on gifted education and try not to veer into politics/religion.

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    #184601 - 03/12/14 04:32 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1448
    Loc: NJ
    WSG,

    Mark is the moderator here and it was my post that was removed. As far as I am concerned it is his (by proxy) site so his rules apply. Further, although I was trying to contribute positively, on reflection, I see that what I wrote could have offended someone's ( way more delicate than my own ) sensibilities. I accept Mark's decision as I fully understand that being on this forum is a privilege.

    What I was trying to say is that the following quote quite pithily sums up the meaning of ethics for me and it would be a good focus for discussion with kids:-

    Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Potter Stewart once stated:

    “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.”




    Edited by madeinuk (03/12/14 05:27 AM)
    _________________________
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    #184717 - 03/13/14 09:44 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Thank you for your feedback! We are still thinking all of this through and will steer clear of anything that should be private and not public policy. Thank you for the guidance and help. We hear you. It is appreciated.

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    #184719 - 03/13/14 09:58 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    We were in a PS for 1 year. We are in an excellent PS with an excellent PTA - ethics and anti-drugs and anti-bullying etc were a huge part of the education in that school starting from K onwards - the PTA pushed the agenda and the admins supported it. They had constant education on ethics (doing the right things, not doing the wrong things, helping the fellow man/student, not being influenced negatively by others, standing up for your convictions etc etc) and once a month hour long events in classrooms to teach about ethics.
    So, I think that in addition to what a parent can teach at home on these topics, the parent can work with the PTA to implement effective methods to teach ethics at school.

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    #184725 - 03/13/14 10:26 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: ashley]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: ashley
    ethics and anti-drugs and anti-bullying... in addition to what a parent can teach at home on these topics, the parent can work with the PTA to implement effective methods to teach ethics at school.
    Agreed. Especially within the norms of a local community of stakeholders, such as a school or district.

    Problems may arise with creating/imposing something as public policy on a larger scale.

    Words are proxies for ideas/concepts. Once an idea/concept is documented into agreed-upon words based upon stake-holder discussion and understanding, some may begin to apply those words in other contexts which were not contemplated, thereby enforcing opposite ideas/concepts and outcomes than those desired, contemplated, and documented by the stakeholders.

    One example of this may be the definition of "gifted", identification of "gifted", qualification for "gifted" progams/services, and the counter-point or push-back that everyone is "gifted".

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    #184942 - 03/15/14 01:36 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Thanks, Ashley and Indigo. It is great to hear positive takes on the subject. It is so encouraging. I think we are just having one of those years. Your positive energy is great. Thanks again.

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    #236873 - 03/03/17 11:55 AM Re: Ethics and public schools [Re: madeinuk]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk

    What I was trying to say is that the following quote quite pithily sums up the meaning of ethics for me and it would be a good focus for discussion with kids:-

    Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Potter Stewart once stated:

    “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.”


    Here is a somewhat similar quote ~
    Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists not to do what you like,
    but having the right to do what you ought.

    – James Caviezel, actor

    (What caused me to add a post to this old thread? The discussion of "character education" came to mind when reading this current thread on bullying in school - "Teaching a PreK kid how to deal with disruptive environment.")

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