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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24872

Title: Touching the Future: Educators and the Law
Authors: Scarfo, Nick James
Advisor: McDougall, Douglas Emerson
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Educational Law
Beginning Teachers
Ethical Standards
Legal Boundaries
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: Teachers are perceived by society and in law to be in a position of trust. As a result of the daily interaction with their students, educators have the opportunity to be influential and they are expected to behave in a responsible, ethical and moral manner. Being viewed as a moral compass of society is a significant responsibility and the implications of such a statement are substantial upon not only teachers but also impact on teacher education programs. This study investigates how educational law impacts on beginning teachers in light of the many legal and ethical boundaries that educators will experience throughout their career. The literature review discusses the delicate balance between an educator’s mission and the requirement to follow policies and procedures; documented court cases, which have an impact on educators; and, finally, the educational law component within the teacher education framework. Six participants were interviewed in this study of which two are teachers in their first three years of teaching, two recent graduates, a principal and an official with a teacher union who is a member from the Counseling department. All four of the teachers completed a two-year initial teacher education program. In addition, the principal is a member of the Partnership Advisory Council of the program. Maintaining the delicate balance between an educator’s mission and the law will continue to be a challenge. The direct and indirect statutory rules and regulations which impact on the education system and the supporting landmark court case decisions clearly bring to question the level of preparedness of teacher candidates and indicate a need to examine the role teacher education programs play in preparing future teachers. The major themes include the impact of educational law on the professional and personal lives of beginning teachers, the role of initial teacher education programs, and the legal enablers and barriers for educators. The key findings for each of the themes are discussed. Educators find themselves in a very complex role. The teacher education programs in Ontario need to examine the importance of including meaningful and insightful dialogue about the legal and ethical aspects of being a teacher.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24872
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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