H808 Professional Values (7.1)

CMALT stands for Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology .  “CMALT is a portfolio-based professional accreditation scheme developed by ALT to enable people whose work involves learning technology to:

  • have their experience and capabilities certified by peers;
  • demonstrate that they are taking a committed and serious approach to their professional development.”

The CMALT prospectus mentions the following values in relation to professional accreditation.

  • Commitment to ongoing professional development
  • Gaining and providing recognition of skills, feedback
  • Critical reflection on practice
  • Keeping up to date with new technology
  • Willingness to learn from colleagues and those with different backgrounds
  • Effective communication and dissemination
  • Awareness of wider context
  • Understanding accessibility and assistive technologies
  • Acknowledging copyright
  • Ongoing evaluation and validation of professional skills

 

Possibly relevant but not mentioned:

  • Effectively meeting obligations to students
  • Staying focused on delivering results
  • Awareness of institutional ethics

 Like a lot of ethical guidance, most of these are formal in nature.  Let’s think about how they compare with education ethics more generally conceived.  The Association of American Educators presents a number of principles and maxims in their code of ethics.  I don’t have the space to discuss them all here, but here are some highlights.

Recommendation

Notes

PRINCIPLE I: Ethical Conduct toward Students It probably goes without saying that the first part of being ethical is to be ethically aware.  But in this case it includes the idea that educators should endeavour to “present facts without distortion, bias, or personal prejudice”.  We don’t find this in the CMALT code, perhaps because learning technologists rarely teach themselves.
PRINCIPLE II: Ethical Conduct toward Practices and Performance This is mostly about demonstrating competence and being committed to professional development.  It also includes the idea that teachers shouldn’t embezzle money or otherwise abuse their position. 
PRINCIPLE III: Ethical Conduct toward Professional Colleagues This covers confidentiality and truthfulness without acknowledging the tension between the two!
PRINCIPLE IV: Ethical Conduct toward Parents and Community Professional educators should work co-operatively, being active in school communities and respecting the values of those within them.

 

Overall this gives the impression that educators have a quite different set of responsibilities to learning technologists and, accordingly, a distinct set of ethical codes and principles.  There is more of a sense of duty of care and precaution in the educational ethics, while the CMALT values are more to do with innovation, future facing, and ongoing professional change.

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