Overview[ edit ] Definitions of complexity often depend on the concept of a confidential " system " — a set of parts or elements that have relationships among them differentiated from relationships with other elements outside the relational regime. Many definitions tend to postulate or assume that complexity expresses a condition of numerous elements in a system and numerous forms of relationships among the elements. However, what one sees as complex and what one sees as simple is relative and changes with time. Warren Weaver posited in two forms of complexity:
Search Enter your keywords Focus on Ethics: Freeman Early childhood educators encounter many ethical issues in the course of their work with children and families. Each of the Focus on Ethics columns in Young Children presents an ethical issue and asks our readers to determine how an early childhood educator might best respond to it.
Is it an ethical issue? As we have written in NAEYC books about professional ethics, when faced with a challenging situation in the workplace, the first thing an early childhood educator needs to do is to determine whether it is an ethical issue.
Our experience tells us that this can be a difficult process, one that many are unsure about. If you answer yes to any of the items, you are facing an ethical issue. How you respond to it depends on whether it is an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma.
Is it an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma? Over the years that we have been conducting workshops and teaching courses about professional ethics, we have found that early childhood educators do not always know the difference between an ethical responsibility and an ethical dilemma, nor are they sure about how each should be approached.
To make this distinction clearer, we decided to use this March column to look at these two kinds of ethical issues.
The fact is, however, that instead of honoring these responsibilities, even well-meaning and conscientious early childhood educators are sometimes tempted to do what is easiest or what will please others.
We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children. This principle has precedence over all others in this Code.
You can be confident that when you have done the right thing, the Code is there to back you up. You can rely on it to help you explain why you made a difficult or unpopular decision.
It can be helpful to think of ethical responsibilities as being very similar to legal responsibilities in that they require or forbid a particular action.
And sometimes legal and ethical responsibilities are the same—for example, mandating the reporting of child abuse. A dilemma is a situation for which there are two possible resolutions, each of which can be justified in moral terms.
A dilemma requires a person to choose between two actions, each having some benefits but also having some costs. In a dilemma the legitimate needs and interests of one individual or group must give way to those of another individual or group—hence the commonly used expression "on the horns of a dilemma," describing the two-pronged nature of these situations.
The example of an ethical dilemma we often give is the case of the mother who asks a teacher not to let her child nap at school because when he sleeps in the afternoon he has a hard time falling asleep at night.
The teacher must choose between honoring the mother's request, which may have a detrimental effect on the child, or refusing the request, which will have a negative impact on the mother.
Ethical dilemmas are sometimes described as situation that involve two "rights. But it is also right to keep the child from napping to help a busy mother keep the child on schedule. When you encounter an ethical issue, it may be helpful to remember that it is either a responsibility or a dilemma—its cannot be both.This paper was originally published in in the Baptist Journal of Theology (South Africa).
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