MR606 : The Ethical Self in Early Childhood Education

The focus of this course is ethics in early childhood education. Ethics is framed as belonging to both the professional and personal realms. For the individual teacher, the resolution of these sometimes disparate realms, is critical for one’s own sense of integrity. A critical aspect of this course is in terms of gaining an overview of ethics from a philosophical perspective, discussing the shift from a Universalist to a Particularistic perspective. We then examine the construct of the Ethics of Care, which recognises that teachers are intrinsically implicated in their relationships with the learners, families/whānau and other members of the team. This course recognises that teachers of young children are constantly faced with ethical decisions in often complex, fluid and dynamic environments. We explore relatively recent constructs in early childhood discourse, including the ethics of care that promotes the role of the professional teacher in the construction of meaningful and pedagogically based ‘caring’ relationships. We engage with children’s rights as represented by the United Nations and you are encouraged to select an area of ethical concern to explore further, either domestically or globally. This encourages you to develop the skills and knowledge to envision yourself as an active and transformative practitioner who is empowered to make informed changes. The aim is for you to develop a deeper insight into the complexity and challenges of developing your ethical self.