| Early Childhood Australia's Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics Agenda outlined here describes the process leading up to the
Early Childhood Australia's Code of Ethics was groundbreaking work, it was developed by a dedicated National Working Party comprising Anne Stonehouse, Margaret Clyde, Barbara Creaser, Lyn Fasoli, Barbara Piscatelli and Christine Woodrow.
|At National Council 2003, Early Childhood Australia members voiced their desire to look at the Code of Ethics ten years on. In response to this, a call to assist was sent out for those interested in forming a National Reference Group. Currently, the reference group consists of Christine Woodrow, Lois Pollnitz, Linda Newman, Catherine Hydon, Anne Kennedy, Margaret Clyde, Jenny Humffray, Lyn Fasoli, Elizabeth Dau, Kristina Barnett and Lennie Barblett.|
The steps in the Code of Ethics Agenda
The first step was to gain current views and understandings around ethics and codes of ethics through a thorough literature review.
From this information, and the expertise found among our working party, in the second step we fashioned some questions to be put to focus groups in all ECA Branches.
The third step was to construct a survey to delve deeper into the issues that arose in the focus groups. We received over 200 surveys and have analysed the data from interested stakeholders. In the review of the data for those who are interested the quantitative data was analysed using a program called SPSS and the qualitative was clustered into common themes.
The fourth step was the draft of the ECA Code of Ethics (PDF).
The draft Code of Ethics
The draft was completed by a small group from the working party that met in Melbourne in May and had an ethical weekend'. It was a stimulating process with much discussion, and each point brought up was scrutinised from many perspectives. It was apparent from the survey that members wanted the format not to change too greatly but there were silences identified that needed voicing. In our thinking while writing the draft we tried to do three main things:
- Use the information garnered in the literature review.
- Understand the needs and opinions of our members and include them accordingly.
- Make the document modern, encompassing and aspirational, so that it can stand up until the next review or rewrite.
In doing this, the working party realises that there are some words or issues that may challenge people's thinking about ethical principles. The first draft is just that a draft and now is the time to comment and help us move the document forward.
At the moment ECA Branches have been asked to comment and we hope that all interested stakeholders will take this opportunity to join in the discussions about ethical principles. You can either comment through your branch; email me directly; or download the draft, write on your ideas and fax it to Lennie Barblett on 08 9370 6690.
The draft Code of Ethics can be downloaded here (PDF).
I relish the discussions, as the discussions that we had when writing were most stimulating and thought-provoking. Such discussions are very healthy for our sector and I hope that you take some time to comment on this first draft. The writing group knows that the Code of Ethics belongs to all members of Early Childhood Australia and so wish to hear your views.
Convener of Working Party