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Unethical Situation in Education
The main figures at school are teachers and students. Their communication in the classroom and during the extracurricular activities is one of the most important aspects in formulating the personality of a student. In fact, the teacher is, perhaps, the closest person for each student after their parents. There is a strong connection between children and their educator, who always helps to find oneself in this vast world and enriches the outlook. He/she, like no one else, gives a child a helping hand in any situation, be it a difficult task or a complicated life dilemma that seems to last forever. Very often, the teacher is not just an adviser but also a very close friend, whom the student can tell their innermost thoughts without worrying. However, sometimes children as well as educational specialists are not knowledgeable about the basics of good communication. At the heart of the relationship between the teacher and the student is their joint work, as well as success in achieving the goal. The learning process depends on the type of relationship that develops between the student and teacher. All people make mistakes, and sometimes one can face different unethical situations between the school staff and students. Nevertheless, there are also the ways that help avoid or resolve such conflicts. My high-school experience has taught me that teacher’s impatience and unwillingness to accept students’ points of view can lead to unethical situations which negatively impact students’ desire to excel at some subjects.
Everything begins with the teacher and his ability to pedagogically establish appropriate relations with schoolchildren as the basis of effective communication. The educator is a specialist who possesses much knowledge, wisdom, and experience, which is an endearing quality that attracts students’ attention. According to Murray & Pianta (2009), “All the classroom structures, routines, activities and rules create a sense of community to students. All the teachers are knowledgeable about the importance of making safe classroom environment, which will promote a good behavior and learning atmosphere and will minimize disruptions during the study process” (p.108). Moreover, when the teacher keeps contact with the students, it is easier for both to structure the content of the subject and master new learning methods. As a result, such cooperation promotes friendship (Futterman, 2015).
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In addition, educators should find a right balance between the amount of discipline’s theory and practice in the class. Deming states that the latter should go hand in hand with the theoretical material to gain detailed knowledge (as cited in Tauber, 2007). The acquisition of information and usage of learned skills are important in today’s education atmosphere (Tauber, 2007). Moreover, students and teachers should cooperate to gain the knowledge successfully and discover a proper way of applying it in practice. Fenstermacher (1990) has mentioned the importance of mutual work. Education is a collaborative process and its success is impossible without cooperation between students and teachers: “A surgeon can cure the patient’s ailment who sleeps during the operation, and a lawyer can defend a client who stays mute through the trial successfully, but the prosperity of a teacher depends hardly on the active cooperation with the student” (as cited in Labaree, 2000).
Falk claims that since our world is developing very fast, teachers should try to apply the modern techniques of teaching as soon as possible (Falk, 2000). Old methods have lost their effectiveness; thus, people should invent more successful learning strategies to gain new knowledge and achieve ambitious goals. There is a need to remove outdated conceptions of learning that stifle education and discourage academic development. Indeed, students need to acquire much knowledge and exercise their new skills to successfully pass the tests. However, a key to achieving this goal requires more than simply working on test preparation programs (Falk, 2000).
The aim of this paper is to concentrate on the relationships of students and teachers; it also discusses how the lack of cooperation and motivating classroom atmosphere negatively influences the studying process and children’s academic performance. The main purpose is to find the way of creating friendly and respective relations between a teacher and student. It will encourage the latter to study a subject and help avoid many unethical situations which can happen during the educational process accidentally or on purpose.
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The Unethical Situation
Once, when I was at high school, we were discussing one of the novels during the lesson of foreign literature,. The subject was very interesting for me as it gave much information about the authors from other countries and literary legacy of different cultures. However, that lesson has changed everything. During the class discussion, we shared our thoughts about the novel. I started to express my point of view, but the teacher rapidly stopped me telling that my ideas were incorrect and refusing to listen to them further. As a result, my desire to participate in class activities and eventually study foreign literature was discouraged by such unprofessional behavior of my teacher. Pedagogues should be interested in listening to everyone’s opinion; otherwise, discouragement can play a crucial role in establishing good relations with students and learning atmosphere in the class. The abovementioned case is a great example of an unethical situation, which causes many problems related to studying for a student. Again, the teacher should be more patient and interested in encouraging children to communicate their thoughts willingly.
In the abovementioned situation, the teacher did not want to listen to my point of view and continue the discussion of my thoughts in the class. However, educational specialists should build and develop their relations with students, and they should be based on the interest and believe in children’s abilities. Students should definitely know that they can share their thoughts about some notions concerning the peculiar subject with the teacher who will always be eager to listenand give some pieces of advice. To start with, the teacher has done several mistakes in this situation. First, she did not consider me as a knowledgeable student as she refused to listen to my answer. Second, she showed no interest in cooperating and communicating with me. Third, the teacher failed to keep good relationship and my interest in this subject.
An important point about learning something is that each student can be convinced of the significance to acquire solid knowledge and develop mental abilities. The child is not alone at school. They work with pedagogues and peers. They turn to each other for help, not being afraid to admit that they do not understand something. Pedagogical tact and sensitive attitude towards students certainly plays a decisive role in the success of the teacher’s work. Although it is a very important aspect of the teacher’s skills, in the abovementioned situation, my teacher demonstrated none of these abilities. In fact, she undermined the relations between me and my classmates making me look not knowledgeable about the subject I like.
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In addition, the respect and good attitude should be mutual. As it was mentioned in the lecture materials, educators and students should cooperate to gain knowledge effectively. According to the lecture materials, some teachers use the old methods of teaching, which is evident in the case I provided as an example. Nowadays, teachers should consider and accept the fact that students and their thoughts are different. Moreover, because of such reckless behavior of the teacher, the student has lost the interest in the subject. Some other students present in the lesson could be also discouraged as they noticed that their teacher was subjective and intolerant towards others.
According to the lecture review, we discovered that this situation was unethical as the productive environment in the class and effective gaining of new knowledge are based on the proper communication and mutual trust. In addition, the teacher should try to adopt a new method of teaching her subject and learn to be patient with different thoughts of students in order to encourage them to participate in the discussion later.
Some recommendations below suggest how teachers can develop or improve the behavior to unethical situations.
- Try to show a respectful attitude to the personality of the student, omitting any kind of insults, nicknames, or unfair remarks. The teacher is a role model in the class, so his/her behavior shapes the behavior of the students.
- Organize work with all children, continuously ask, make them think, and find more interesting ways of teaching. This helps the students develop critical thinking skills which are necessary in the modern world
- Try to achieve students’ full understanding of the material.
- Know the subject “perfectly” and be competent. However, always consult books and Internet when hesitant.
- Try to use different methods and forms of training.
- Create an atmosphere of continuous communication with the class
- Use standards and old proven methods as a guide rather than the compulsory rules in the teaching process.
- Do not punish the students for their mistakes in making efforts to understand the subject better. Making mistakes is part of the learning process.
- Do not require from the students unconditional submission. Each of them has their unique character and way of thinking.
- Try to develop and improve everyday communication and ability to hear students. They should not be afraid or ashamed to discuss their thoughts and ideas.
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A key to an effective communication between the teacher and students is a relationship based on respect and trust. The teacher needs to pay attention to the promptness of the beginning of the contact, the formation of the basis for democratization, the feelings of “we”, and the introduction of personal aspects in interaction with children. Additionally, the educator should vividly express their own feelings as well as inner state and focus on the demonstration of the goals of activity. The teacher who has a stable emotional-positive attitude towards children, a negative reaction to shortcomings in teaching and behavior, and a calm manner of explaining the material always make students relaxed and sociable. . The correct style of communication creates an atmosphere of emotional well-being, which in many ways determines the effectiveness of teaching and educational work. An appropriate style of pedagogical communication, corresponding to the unique individuality of the teacher, contributes to the solution of many problems. In fact, the relationship between the teacher and the student usually depends on this aspect. A truly good teacher should have some peculiar features, which attract students.. They include such personal characteristics as kindness, cheerfulness, and responsibility; such organizational characteristics as: fairness, consistency, honesty, and respect for others; as well as such professional characteristics as: excellent knowledge of the subject, usefulness, democracy, and ability to arouse an interest. Indeed, being a teacher is a responsible and challenging task. However, when a person chooses this profession, he/she should realize that he/she will definitely receive pleasure from his/her work and develop professional and personal features.