2nd February 2022
GTC Scotland News

GTC Scotland opens discussion on ethics in the teaching profession

GTC Scotland, the independent professional and regulatory body for teachers in Scotland, has launched a discussion on ethics in the teaching profession.

At its Annual Lecture, Ethics and the Teaching Profession: Why what we value, think and do really matters, Presenter Dr Shirley Van Nuland, a Canadian academic, discussed how ethics are intertwined with teaching and the crucial role that teaching professionals have in the leadership of change.

Dr Van Nuland said, “It takes time to develop as a teacher. Teaching requires attention to its subtleties, those elements that are often indefinable that are ‘morally and ethically infused’ but nevertheless perceived.

“Every day, teachers individually are faced with ethical choices. We expect teachers to exemplify professional ethics when they teach and to conduct themselves with the profession’s current values.

“Much of teachers’ time is spent making ethical decisions without even realising they’re doing so.”

Commenting on the lecture, Dr Pauline Stephen, Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland said:

“I was struck by Dr Van Nuland’s reflections on individual professional identity and what that means for the profession’s collective identity. We need to consider how those work together in Scotland to illustrate what it means to belong to the teaching profession.

“To work with the profession to develop a contemporary Code of Professionalism and Conduct (CoPAC) for teachers, we first need to revisit the purposes of it. Dr Van Nuland has highlighted the complexity we need to explore.

“We thank Dr Van Nuland for her insight into the world of ethics and teaching, which has opened a year of discussion and critical thinking as we work towards a review of CoPAC in 2023.”

Continuing the conversation on ethics

Throughout the year, GTC Scotland will host a discussion on ethics in the teaching profession through a series of provocation videos and roundtables to stimulate thinking and provide opportunities for teachers and college lecturers to feedback.

A Practitioner Working Group, Expert Group and Partner Group are being established to explore and discuss ethics and the teaching profession in depth. Their work will help set the direction of the consultation on, and creation of a future code of professionalism and conduct.

Access all of the ethics resources.

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