What Are the Ethical Obligations of Teachers?

We were discussing recently among the staff who has responsibility to form moral persons who can have the intent and skills to bring about moral capitalism and moral government?

Simply put, the moral sense of each person is a product of the social capital provided to that individual and the human capital with which the individual is blessed or which that person accrues through their agency capabilities.

Encouraging the development of a robust moral sense has been the task of societies, I suppose, since our distant ancestors evolved from their less human forbearers. Great thinkers – Confucius, Aristotle, the Buddha, Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud – have given us advice on how to do this work of formation of character well.

Families are the point of departure for the formation of the moral sense, but we have evolved formal engagement of young minds with education and instruction.

Teachers, in many guises, not always as classroom instructors, are architects of the foundation for moral society, moral government and moral economics.

Teachers, then, have important social offices to fulfill; they have responsibilities, duties, to serve.

The Caux Round Table Principles for Government posit that public office is a public trust.

As public officials, teachers in public schools are trustees – they are stewards of power which are to be used for the good of the community and for the good of the students, not as a personal entitlement or sinecure, which draw more on rights of private property than they do of responsibilities for the public good.

Our fellows have made suggestions as to the content of a code of ethics for teachers, drawing on our Principles for Government.

You can review the proposed code here.

I would very much like to learn your thoughts.