Ethics and Teaching

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Educational research has tended to portray the teacher's role as a morally neutral pro fession, mainly responsible for imparting knowledge and intellectual skills that can be objectively assessed. This has often been done in the name of the “rhetoric of teachers' professionalization,” that is, the need to strengthen the status and prestige of teaching in society (Fenstermacher, 1990; Gordon, Perkin, Sockett, & Hoyle, 1985; Hoyle, 1980; Soder, 1990; Wise, 1986). Yet, as suggested by ancient thinkers such as Plato and Con fucius, by modern writers such as Rousseau and Dewey, and by a growing number of contemporary authors who are attempting to revive classical normative ideas, teaching is not a “set of mechanical performances judged by the quality of product” (Sockett, 1993, p. 13). It is, rather, a “serving mission” or “a calling” (Hansen, 2001) which is generically subservient to a variety of moral ends (Fenstermacher, 1990; Soder, 1990; Tom, 1984; Valli, 1990; Veugelers & Oser, 2003). According to this approach, the role of teaching to impart knowledge is inseparable from its moral role (Ball & Wilson, 1996; Goodlad, Soder, & Sirotnik, 1990; Olson, 1992). Specifically, teaching is con cerned not only with enhancing students' mastery of the subject matter in preparation for their future occupations, but also with their development as moral persons and citizens in a democratic society (Carr, 2006; Sockett, 1993, p. ix).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching
EditorsLawrence J. Saha, A. Gary Dworkin
Place of PublicationBoston, MA
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-387-73317-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-387-73316-6
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education
ISSN (Print)2197-1951
ISSN (Electronic)2197-196X


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