Monday, April 11, 2011

Assignment: Important Codes of Ethics

The following ideals are from the naeyc Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment Revised April 2005

“To base program practices upon current knowledge and research in the field of early childhood education, child development, and related disciplines, as well as on particular knowledge of each child.”
I feel this is significant because it’s important to base your program on what’s best for the children. You have to use current information regarding best practice and apply that to each child. Anyone who works with children has to make sure that the environment, activities and materials are age appropriate for the children. Things should be individualized enough so that each child can learn at his or her own pace and each child should have the opportunity to explore their interests. I believe this part of the code reminds us to keep our programs child centered and to reflect on how well our programs are serving children and families. I always try to reflect on what I’ve done in the classroom to see how it worked for the children and if not, what can I do to improve it? I also think it’s important to keep learning new information about the field so I can bring that to the classroom.

To create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development and that respect their dignity and their contributions.
This is significant to me because it’s important to have a safe environment for children that fosters development in all areas. When we are setting up the environment or planning activities, this code reminds us that the whole child needs to grow. You can’t only work on cognitive abilities; children need to learn social skills as well. It also tells us that we need to set up a safe place for children where they will be respected and their contributions will be valued.
I always think of safety when planning activities. I also think about how each activity will build skills in each developmental domain. As for contributions, I remember that a child’s contributions may be small, but they are just the beginning.

“To support the right of each child to play and learn in an inclusive environment that meets the needs of children with and without disabilities”
I feel this is significant because it’s important to have accessible programs for all children regardless of their abilities. It’s also important for children with and without disabilities to have the opportunity to play and learn together. It teaches children about differences and can create attitudes of tolerance and acceptance. Every child has the rite to participate and have access to tools that will make them successful. I do my best to include all children and will adapt the environment or activities when necessary.

The following ideals are from The Code of Ethics of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) August 2009

“We shall use individually appropriate assessment strategies including multiple sources of information such as observations, interviews with significant caregivers, formal and informal assessments to determine children’s learning styles, strengths, and challenges.”
This is significant to me because I believe that when you are assessing a child, you need to use a variety of strategies and not rely on a single test or observation. These days, we as a society are too quick to diagnose or put a label on something. It’s important to step back and use multiple resources before diagnosing or labeling a child. Many people have had difficult lives because of people jumping to conclusions and misdiagnosing them. It’s a serious issue and I think if you can’t find a label, then just try to treat the symptom or behavior. Special needs are real, but we want to make sure that the right needs are being met.

“We shall respect families’ rights to choose or refuse early childhood special education or related services.”
I feel this is significant because families should be allowed to refuse services. They know their children better than anyone else and may not feel certain programs or services are right for their children. If they are refusing because of denial, I think it’s understandable. In that case, families might change their minds when they are ready. I’ve seen parents refuse services and refuse to label their children with certain diagnoses. Although it’s frustrating to some professionals, it’s their rite. I respected these families’ decisions. Not every family is wrong or neglectful when they refuse services. It goes back to looking at things on an individual basis and respecting children and families.

Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment (NAEYC.)
DEC Code of Ethics


  1. How long would you assess a child and what methods of assessment would you use before you decide whether or not you would speak to the parents and make a special needs referral for evaluation and services? This is in reference to your first DEC ideal. I'm just curious because I don't know that there is a magic number, but I think every professional has a time frame or assessment method with which they are most comfortable.

  2. In Head Sstart we assess children throughout the year to ensure that they are developing appropriately and to use this information on lesson plans and for planned individual activities and or referrals if needed. Great information.

  3. It may have seemed like I'm against assessing for special needs or refering children. I'm not. If a child has a special need, I think it should be addressed. Amanda, I don't have a clear cut answer for you. It depends on the child and what the special need might be. If it's something really obvious, I'd talk to other staff who work with me and the child and the family as well to see what other concerns they have. Then I'd document observations and compare it to what children at that particular developmental stage should be doing. Probably after a few weeks, I'd have them refered. If the need was less obvious like a slight developmental delay in one area, I'd probably take longer to document it to see if it improved. Meanwhile, talking with the family and other staff who work directly with the children. I might refer them after two or three months if things weren't improving or other concerns popped up. The timeline would really depend on the child and the family. Screenings at the beginning of the year or throughout the year isn't a bad idea to get a feel for where everyone is developmentally and to make sure that they stay on track. Thank you for your comments.

  4. Darcey,

    I like the ethical codes that you chose, I think they all touch on very important pieces of early childhood education and as educators it is important to remember these ethic when working, teaching and assessing children.


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