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Ethical Decision Making in Education

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Teachers are faced with making ethical decisions everyday. In this scenario the teacher is solely responsible for making the ethical decision of whether to go against schools policy and continue sponsorship with McJacks which in turn discriminates against Molly. This essay will consider the possibilities for the teacher from four ethical frameworks and will discuss final recommendations based on this analysis.

Consequentialists would argue that an act is right or wrong based on the goodness or badness inherent in the consequences of that act (Hugh, 2000). Three possible consequentialist theories can be considered. Egoist theorists, such as Stirner, would argue that acts should be driven by self interest and should have the least negative outcomes for decision makers (Leopold, 2006; Regis, 1980). An altruistic theorist, such as Comte, believes that while the decision maker may benefit from decisions, they are morally obliged to serve the interests of humanity, even at their own expense (Abruzzi & McGandy, 2006). In contrast, Utilitarianism is when the actions of a person provide the most practical, workable outcome for the greatest number of people, including the decision maker (Mill, n.d).

A possibility from the consequentialist framework would reflect utilitarianism theory. This ought to involve; declining the sponsorship, adhering to school policy, continue educating students on healthy choices and suggest McJacks use alternative means to advertise their product. Although accepting the sponsorship benefits the school, they would be sending the wrong message to the students and community, leading to negative consequences in the future. By taking this approach the teacher upholds her valued position in the school, the student...

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Hugh, L. (2000).The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. Blackwell Philosophy Guides. Oxford, OX, UK ; Malden, Mass., USA Blackwell Publishers.

Hursthouse, R. (1999). Virtue Ethics. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 8th July, 2010, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/

Leopold, D. (2006). Max Stirner. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 11th July, 2010, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/max-stirner/

Mill, J. (n.d). Utilitarianism. Retrieved 7th July, 2010, from http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/mill/john_stuart/m645u/chapter2.html

Regis, E. (1980). What is Ethical Egoism. The University of Chicago Press. Vol. 91, No. 1, pp 50-62.
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