HET202 Scholarship and Research in HE Assignment 1 On-‐line activities 50% weighting for unit -‐ Pass/Fail Activity 5 -‐ Ethics The area of ethical practice that I have chosen is vital for my research next year. A lot of the activities I plan to carry out involve going in to schools and teaching children aged 15-16 years old. There are some glaringly obvious ethical considerations I must make before entering a school environment. Luckily, a vast amount of data on this area of ethical practice can be found at http://www.education.gov.uk/. My finding can be read below: School Security Access to any school is understandably controlled. Most schools have at the least got: • • •
Logging/signing in, badging and routine approaches to directing visitors and ‘hosting’ once on school premises. Improved signage – to provide guidance to access points, aid pupil and visitor circulation, and set clearly defined boundaries. Door security/entry systems – included automated and self-closing doors, intercom systems, and monitoring through CCTV at entry points. Reception point at lobby – to restrict unchallenged access and direct visitors.
Personal Data As a standard I will adhere to the Data protection act 1998. There is a fairly accurate summary of this act that can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998 E-Safety The majority of activities I have considered for workshops in a school environment involve the Internet. Because of the Internets global reach the school children are at risk of exposure to inappropriate content. There are also concerns about ‘grooming’ in chat rooms and social networks of personal details getting leaked on line. The government education site outlines some key policy that should be upheld and communicated to the students with an emphasis on how important they are. • • • •
Keep personal information private Consider the long-term implications of any content posted online Do not upload or post inappropriate, offensive or illegal content to their own or other online spaces Read and adhere to any website’s terms of conditions of use – including those around age restrictions.
(Anon, 2012. Principles of e-safety) I am fairly sure that every school already has an Internet access policy. They will most definitely have an IT infrastructure in place that is designed to safe guard the learner from inappropriate content as well. Professionalism After reading an article titled “blurred boundaries for teachers” by Jon Henley I am hyper aware of some of the more controversial risk my school visits raise. Working at a university, I fully understand the nature of social media, emailing, texting and other boundary blurring technology. This being said, in a HE environment we are dealing with what are considered to be grown adults, so in theory there is a lesser risk of being misinterpreted. Henley observes that: That fixed distance is shortening; those old boundaries - between professional and private, home and school, formal and informal - are blurring. (Henley, J., 2009)
I intend to define clear boundaries between the classroom and my personal life, I will ask the teachers already employed the school to be a buffer between the children and my additional support. In other words if the children need support while I am not there then the teacher can assist where possible and if they can’t help then it is the teacher’s place to contact me not the children. I will not divulge any personal information such as email address, mobile number or any messenger of social networking ids to the children. This way there can be no blurred boundaries. It is in now way my intention to make the workshops I teach boring. I want the content to engage the student fully in deeper learning. This being said, I will always avoid physical contact and behave in a manner that is professional.
Case Study: Member of staff from Newquay Treviglas School (key points) •
“We have a Safeguarding policy, any visitors must have CRB check to be alone with children or else they must accompany at all times. There is a designated safeguarding officer every school should must one.” “Any photographic evidence must be clear with parents first especially if it goes online.” “Before any online activity, content must be cleared with the South west good for learning filter, any online activities you plan to do must be checked first.”
Referneces Lloyd, R. & Ching, C., 2003. School security concerns, Available at: http://collectionsr.europarchive.org/tna/20040105040008/http://www.dfes.gov.uk/schoolsecurity/pdfs/rr41 9.pdf [Accessed July 25, 2012]. Anon, 2012. Principles of e-safety. Available at: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/pastoralcare/b00198456/principles-ofe-safety. Henley, J., 2009. Blurred boundaries for teachers. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/sep/23/teacher-pupil-sexual-relationship.