Tag Archives: ethics

Link: Making teaching into a game

An interesting point here about how the discussion of educators fabricating test scores reflects a degraded societal/political concept of what teachers do:

We have reached a point where we can only talk about the ethics of the profession in terms of cheating or not cheating, as if teachers’ main ethical duty is to make sure that scantron bubbles get filled in correctly. Teachers, like journalists, should have a commitment to truth; like doctors, they have a duty of care. Translating those commitments and duties into a bureaucratized measure of cheating-or-not-cheating diminishes ethics; it turns it into a game. For teachers it is, literally, demoralizing. It severs the moral experience of teaching from the moral evaluation of teaching, which makes it almost impossible for good teachers (in all the senses of “good”) to stay in the system.

It’s a bad thing for teachers to cheat on tests. But the fact that badness for teachers has come to be defined in large part as cheating on tests is even worse. If we want better schools, we don’t just need more ethical teachers. We need better ethics for teachers — ethics that treat them as adults and professionals, not like children playing games.