A Dialogic Construction of Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession

  • Deirdre Mary Smith Ontario College of Teachers


Ethical practice lies at the core of the teaching profession. The establishment of an agreed upon set of ethical principles by both the teaching profession and the public provides a collective understanding and vision for the professional judgment and action of educators. Reflective analysis of ethical practice and the use of multiple inquiry processes were used to review and construct an ethical framework for the teaching profession in Ontario, Canada. Both the educational community and the public were involved in this construction of ethical standards. The consultative and dialogic inquiry processes that were developed invited feedback, participation and leadership from students, the teaching profession and the public. These groups worked together to create and to validate the ethical standards that guide the individual and collective professional practices of Ontario educators. A dialogic construction requires that participants engage in communication that is relational, dynamic and builds on new insights that emerge from the shared understanding and knowledge of these individuals (Bakhtin, 1981). This paper describes both the process and the outcomes of this dialogic experience.

Author Biography

Deirdre Mary Smith, Ontario College of Teachers
Manager, Standards of Practice and Education