The term “ethical conduct” brings to the fore a debate about the distinctions
between codes of conduct and their purposes, and ethical principles and their
place in the teaching profession. Some would argue that codes of conduct mandate
specifi c behaviour in particular situations, but do not promote individual adherence
to ethical principles. The grey areas in decision-making which confront most
teachers on a regular basis arise in the face of competing interests and values.
Codes of conduct may assist, but not give clear defi nition to teachers’ decisionmaking.
In other words, the organisation or system can mandate what not to
do in particular situations, but it is impossible to list all possible situations that
may arise. This becomes the territory of ethical decision-making. The delivery of
training related to codes of conduct may be possible. Training individuals to adhere
to particular ethical principles when making decisions may not be possible. This
paper addresses the challenges and constraints in the implementation of training
and development programmes with regard to professional ethics in teaching in
large education systems. The scope of the training and development challenge is
revealed by posing a series of questions. Some of these questions go the heart
of the professional learning discourse. The use of case studies as a professional
learning strategy is explored and examples of cases are included.
Proceedings of the 3rd biannual International Conference on
Distance Education and Teachers’ Training in Africa (DETA) held at
the University of Cape Coast,
Cape Coast, Ghana, August 2009