Why are there no ethical guidelines for teachers or schools? Ethics only seem to be considered when it comes to research, getting consent for school trips or when taking photographs. Yet aren’t issues such as consent, confidentiality, communication, and record keeping more widely important? Schools “experiment” routinely on children, yet the idea of consent only becomes important when “research” is mentioned. In the US, schools are required to obtain informed consent from parents before providing special education services to their child. Is sensitive information about pupils and their family shared appropriately across schools – to teachers, volunteers, other parents? In this session, I want to discuss whether these issues are important, and whether a more comprehensive framework providing guidance on would be helpful. It’s not a scandal to be uncovered, but it’s an unconsidered area that – morally?, professionally? – deserves a look.
Jonathan Haslam is the Director at the Institute for Effective Education. For the last ten years, he has been working to get research evidence out to practitioners and policy makers in an easy-to-understand format.
He is the editor of Best Evidence in Brief, the IEE’s e-newsletter published each fortnight, which goes to nearly 15,000 subscribers around the world. He is the IEE’s lead on the Research Schools Network project, supporting 22 schools aiming to lead the way in evidence-based practice.