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Ethical Dilemma Summary and Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 3031 words Published: 15th Sep 2017

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Hardeep Kaur   

An ethical dilemma is a situation in which often includes a clear mental clash between two things or decisions. In ethical dilemma if we obey one decision than it would bring about disobeying another. Ethical dilemma is also known as moral dilemma. Ethical dilemmas make the situations too difficult. A person has to choose only one way from two of them- a moral or an immoral way. Ethical dilemmas can be seen everywhere in our daily lives. However everybody has their own particular experience towards ethical dilemma. In reality, good values participate in everybody’s life. We need to oversee and take a look after our moral values and in addition towards our desires also. There are three conditions that must be available for a circumstance to be viewed as a moral problem. The primary condition happens in circumstances when an individual, called the “operator,” must settle on a choice about which strategy is ideal. Circumstances that are awkward however that don’t require a decision, are not ethical dilemmas. The second condition for moral situation is that there must be distinctive strategies to look over. Third, in a moral situation, regardless of what game-plan is taken, some moral guideline is traded off. As it were, there is no immaculate arrangement. In any case, the ethics of care focuses on the moral hugeness of tending to the necessities of the general population for whom we accept risk; it is in a general sense about associations. Beyond this, the ethics of care is shown as a record of significant quality that adversaries’ traditional approaches and hypothetical frameworks about consideration on rights, commitments, value, independence and sensible reason. By following good values, individuals make issues and disarray in their life. Everybody has distinctive purpose for the moral issue. For example, social issues, financial issues and emotional issues. In this document, I am going to talk about an ethical dilemma that I faced personally. “Education is described as a moral enterprise and many of the professional dilemmas teachers encounter have an ethical aspect.” (Ulvik, 2016) I am going to explain an ethical dilemma in my one year of teaching experience.

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After my IELTS exam, I started teaching in a school as an English teacher. I was a fresher teacher, so I did not knew much about the schools of my area. After few weeks of my job in school, I noticed that the management of the school was really bad. They did not appoint required staff. There were only few teachers in the staff. In Indian schools, students pay fees monthly, they increased the tuition fees after two-three months and did not gave any proper education to students. Parents expected a lot from the school. They expect a bright future of their children, but the future of students was dark in that school. The student- teacher relationship was not good. Teachers did not care about the students. “Positive student-teacher relationships are related to students’ academic achievement and behavioral and emotional adjustment” (Sointu, 2016)  I saw that some teachers ask children to do their personal tasks, such as bringing something from the market for them and some male teachers also asked children to bring food for them from home. I know that schooling system in India is not so good and but it was worse. I tried my best to teach students everything very perfectly. I cannot help those students to get rid of this management because if I will raise my voice or take any action, I can lose my job and it was against my profession, I cannot go against that organization in which I work and if I will not take any action then I will let the future of those children going into dark. So, at that time I had two options, and I chose to keep quiet. But I think that I did wrong. I became selfish at that time. I should think for those children at that time instead of thinking about me. But I was helpless at that time.

Ethical dilemmas affect our societal, professional and personal values. I think that the decision I made at that time was good but now I think that it was not good. Many values were affected. Taking the social values in account, teachers are the second person after parents on which a child believes the most. In India, it is said that teachers are the second parent of the children. Teachers are the member of society from which society expects a lot. They are professionally respected and are provided with high level of education. They teach them like the parents, they also protect them if they are in any problem. A student can share his problem with teacher if he hesitates from parents. It is said that teachers cannot cause harm to their students. I violated all these societal values. I became selfish and did not protect my students from that school management. I feel ashamed and guilty now. Beside this, my profession was teaching, a teacher is second parent of students. Education is described as a moral enterprise and many of the professional dilemmas teachers encounter have an ethical aspect. Parents and students trust a lot on the teachers. But because I was in fear of losing my job and I cannot go against the organization in which I work, I violated some of my professional values also. I was unable to maintain that trustworthy band between parents, teachers and students. Even none of them know this at that time, but whenever they will know they will blame every teacher. Apart from this, I personally feel guilty. My personal values were spoiled. The values such as service of humanity, trust which my parents, my teachers taught me were violated. I violated the rules of my religion that we should help everyone regardless of our own selfishness. I cannot forgive myself thinking that I how did not I care for those kids.

There are various ethical standards that are being challenged in this situation. Numerous professions all through the ages have set themselves moral rules that express the states of mind and awareness of other’s expectations that individuals are required to appear towards their work, articulating the basic qualities and rule that they ought to have regarding their calling. The teaching profession depends on the idea of instructors as specialists who have been appointed particular errands by society, which has likewise set them up for such undertakings by furnishing them with the vital state of training. The profession then requests that the delegates chose to play out these undertakings ought to exhibit high moral measures in all circumstances. An exclusive expectation of professional ethics is a standout amongst the most vital assets accessible to educators, controlling their work and their intelligent relations at the expert level. The work of educating ought to incorporate thought and assessment of the morals of one’s own objectives and intentions. ln this sense the reason for the present record of an educator’s expert morals is to classify and advance the feeling of what is morally right that has dependably been a piece of practice a professional level of expert ability. I think that I have violated all these ethical standards of teaching profession.

Now I am going to explain the theories and model that I will use to solve this dilemma which I think that I should use at that time. Utilitarianism is the theory that says that “an act is right (moral) if it is useful in bringing about a desirable or good end” (Thiroux, 2017). There are two types of utilitarianism: Act utilitarianism and Rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism says that “everyone should perform that act which will bring about the greatest amount of good over bad for everyone affected by the act” (Thiroux, 2017) whereas rule utilitarianism says that “everyone should always establish and follow that rule or those rules that will bring about the greatest good for all concerned” (Thiroux, 2017). In my situation, I should apply utilitarianism theory. To give a better future to students, I should act against the school to bring a desirable and good end. Acting according to act utilitarianism, I should had act against the school to improve the condition of school that will bring the greatest amount of good over bad for students and everyone (like parents and society) affected by that act. Personally, at that time, the decision that I made was good. But I regret afterwards. As rule utilitarianism says there should be some strict rules that should be followed to improve school standards.

The ethical decision making model that I will use to solve my ethical dilemma is The Ethical Problem-Solving Model. The first step of this model is identifying the problem or dilemma. The dilemma was that the students were not given proper education in the school in which I used to teach. I was professionally appointed in school as a teacher and I see that students are not given their rights. I was unable to help them because I was in fear of losing my job. Also I cannot go against the organization I work. So this was the dilemma. Second step of this model is to identify potential issues involved in the problem in terms of rights

responsibilities and welfare of all involved. The rights and responsibilities of teachers are to help students in every situation, regardless of their own selfishness. So I should help students to gain better education and raise voice against students. Students should be given proper and quality education as if they will be given proper education then the future of country will be secured. It is my responsibility towards the nation and society. I should create awareness among students. It should help them and the society also. The third step of this model is to review relevant code of ethics if they apply. According to me, on behalf of a social worker, a social worker shall respect the intrinsic worth of the persons served in professional relationships with them. So if I apply this to my situation, I should respect the people’s i.e. students, parents, society and nation as well and act on behalf of serving them as best as I can. The fourth step of the model is to review applicable laws and regulations regarding the dilemma. There was right to education act in India that every Indian has right to get education, so according to that they should be given proper education. The RTE Act says that there is the “right and access to quality education to all children in India” (Kothari, 2016). Although, there are not proper accurate laws relating exactly to the dilemma. But the students as a citizen of democratic nation, have the right to know that they are being discriminated. They are not given proper education. They have freedom to fight for their rights. They have freedom to speak against the school. On basis of humanity, every individual have the right to expose off a bad management or a bad activity harming the society. No organization have the right to spoil the future of the students. They management should be punished and closed. They are spoiling the future of the country not only the students. So, they government should act upon them. The fifth step of the problem solving model is consulting to get other perspectives about the problem. When I observed the problem in the school, I discussed it with a few of my close teachers and asked about their views on the problem. Most of those said that just don’t interfere in anything. Just let go on how it is going previously. The students which were studying from nine ten years in the same school were used to of the situation. They don’t think that the system should be changed. A minority group agreed with my decision, but we alone cannot raise voice against such a big organization. The sixth step of the model is to consider courses of action. In this step, as a teacher the courses of action that I can take are, the first thing is that I should aware the students about the bad management and convince them to fight for their rights. I should help and support students in every situation of their fight for rights. Or the other side of this is that I should not speak anything and just watch the future of students spoiled by the management which I did at that time. Despite this, the other course of action is that I should aware the society to protest and start a reform against the schooling managements that they are spoiling the future of the students. I could also go to the head of the organization and warn him or her to improve the situation of the school and the quality of education. The seventh step of the model is that enumerate consequences of various courses of actions. So in this step, is I consider the first course of action, the students will be aware of the problem and they can fight for themselves. If in their future life, they face the same problem they can fight for themselves and against the injustice. It will give students a power and strength to be independent for their rights and justice. The second course of action will protect my job as it already did because I applied it but it is not good to be selfish in any profession. The next course of action was that I should create a feeling of protest in society. It will create awareness in public against bad management. But it will also create imbalance in society. The other course of action was to approach to head of organization and warn them. This will protect the organization from being disrepute. The problem will be solved politely and without any disputes. The last step of the model is decide on best course of action. According to me, awareness in students and helping them to fight for their rights is the best solution. The students will learn to fight for them. They will not accept injustice in their future life if they will be taught to fight against it in the school life. If students will be aware, then these kind of schooling management will fear and will not even think of doing discrimination with students by not giving them proper education. They will fear that the students can take an action against the management. So this action is best one. The other plans can be applied but I don’t think so that they will be that much effective.

In the textbook, chapter 3 values and professional ethics, it lists the core values of social service worker profession that were very helpful in developing the resolution for dilemma. The core values include “respect for inherent dignity and worth of persons; pursuit of social justice; service to humanity; integrity of professional practice; and competence in professional practice” (Miller, 2007). These are the values listed for social worker profession. But I think that every profession should follow these values. According to me, in this ethical dilemma situation, the teacher should act in accordance to respect the dignity and value of students and expectations of society. A teacher should act in regard to provide justice to students and he/ she should work for providing good service to humanity. A teacher should not tolerate this for his own child so he should not tolerate this for other students of the society.

The code of ethics that implies to the situation is that a social worker shall not behave in a manner that discredits the profession of social work or diminishes the public’s trust in the profession. So as a teacher, I should help the students and not be selfish. I should not act in a way that public’s trust should be diminished. I should act against the school because that would be best for the society, regardless of thinking about the school. And another code of ethics is that a social worker should promote excellence in the profession. So in the situation, the teacher should help the students and create a good example in the profession. It should be a lesson for other teachers also.

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To conclude, I can say that the decision that I should aware students is the best and if I would had made this decision at that time it could save their future. But I was not this much aware of it at that time.  “Students are aware of teachers actually caring about them; they are able to immediately sense hypocrisy and are aware of the differences between snobbish and authentic behavior. The moral impact on students is important with regard to what they can see and hear around them. (Gluchman, 2016)” So if I will help students then it will make a good bond between teacher and students and they would respect the teachers. The students of that school thought that the teachers are cruel. But if I will create love and affection in their hearts and a feeling of getting rid of bad management then they will respect the teacher. At that time, I had a little idea to help students, but I never thought to prepare students to protest for their rights. At that time, I was a bit worried about students, and a lot about my job. But now I think that we should not be selfish. Student power can do anything. So, if this decision would be made at that time it would be much better.


Gluchman, V. &. (2016). Ethical relationships in the teaching profession in Slovakia. Journal Of Educational Sciences & Psychology, 01-20.

Kothari, J. a. (2016). A battle of rights: the right to education of children versus rights of minority schools. Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal , 195-218.

Miller, P. (2007). Ethical Decision Making. Nelson Education.

Sointu, E. T. (2016). Longitudinal associations of student-teacher relationships and behavioural and emotional strengths on academic achievement. Educational Psychology, 457-467.

Thiroux, J. a. (2017). Ethics: Theory and Practice. Pearson Education.

Ulvik, M. S. (2016). Ethical aspects of professional dilemmas in the first year of teaching. Professional Development In Education, 236-252.


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