On successful completion of this subject, you should:
• understand the content and scope of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and implications for and of public policy related to early childhood;
• reflect upon contemporary images of children and childhood and evaluate how these support or hinder the enactment of children's rights;
• critically reflect upon the content and scope of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the implications for the experiences of children in early childhood settings;
• gain a critical awareness of the various factors that contribute to the violation of children's rights, including political, cultural and economic discrimination and / or
• discern the interrelationship between the legal responsibilities and ethical stances of educators and recognition of children's rights; and
• use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a reference point for advocacy and decision making to ensure the rights of the child are acknowledged and respected in their settings and in their communities.
Theoretical Impact of Ethical Dilemma
The ethical dilemma that will be discussed in this particular case study is with respect to a two and half year old girl by the name of Mayah. The major problem of her is that she gets tired after completing her lunch. She goes off to sleep after the meal and the educator who is responsible for her care feels that if the need is genuine, then it should be allowed to her. In one of the occasion, it can be seen that Mayah’s parents had come to visit her within the institution where she is being educated and they find that their daughter is asleep. This led to the rise of discontentment among them that led them to complain the behaviour to the Director. Her parents are of the view that their daughter should not be allowed to sleep during the midday in spite of the educator allowing her to do so. This is due to the fact that the parents find it difficult to put their child to sleep during the night. The justification provided by the educator and her parents are valid but there has to be a mid-point where both the parties can reconcile their worries that are quite opposite to each other. The main duty of the educator is to impart education to Mayah but she thinks that it will be gruesome to harm the child to fulfil her duties assigned to her. The main concern of the parents is that they think that there is a wastage of time when their child is sleeping instead of utilizing it for study purposes. The essay will be focussing mainly on the various angles through which the ethical dilemma can be resolved.
An ethical dilemma arises from a difficult situation that has cropped up when the action course from both the ends are aimed at improving the situation from one end. The same purpose is being served but the approach that has been chosen by the parties are different with respect to the ethical principle. The misuse of ethical principles are not deliberate in nature and it is taken up so that it can result in solving the emergency situation that has cropped up. The last solution that can be taken up by the parties is similar to the misuse that is being done to the ethical principles (Evans & Howarth, 2019).
There are three conditions that needs to be included in a situation that arises out of ethical dilemma. Firstly, the condition of the agent or the individual regarding a particular action course has to give a decision that is a misuse of the principal of ethics. This takes place due to the fact that there is no other option other than misusing the ethical principles. Thus it can be stated that the ethical dilemma encircles the misuse of principle of ethics in a good manner. Secondly, there is a necessity to take up a different action course whenever there is a case of ethical dilemma. This needs to be supports through different actions so that the justification of the misuse of ethical principles can be provided in a proper manner. This can be demonstrated when the course of action is not in justification with the other one. Lastly, the breach of the ethical principles may lead to a situation when there is a need of ethical dilemma. The compromise of any form needs to be shown for the course of action to be termed as ethical dilemma (Rhodes & Potter, 1986).
Conditions of Ethical Dilemma
The explanation regarding the theoretical impact of ethical dilemma has been given and the discussion needs to be provided with respect to the chosen situation of ethical dilemma. The educator thinks that it is her duty to allow the child to sleep after lunch, as she cannot be cruel towards her by fulfilling her duties of imparting education. Allowing the girl to sleep is indeed breaching the principle of ethics, as it was against her duties of letting the child go off to sleep. The principle of ethics was violated by the educator, as Mayah’s parents had pointed out to the Director that letting the child sleep after lunch causes trouble for them, as she does not go off to sleep at night. The violation has been done so that the child can benefit and the reason for the violation by the educator may not be ignored as well.
The discussion that has been provided above makes it quite evident that the ethical dilemma that is present in the situation needs to be solved so that the misunderstanding between the parties can be dissolved. If there was no reconciliation of the resolution between the parents and educator of the child, the educator had to face grave injustice, which was not deserved by her. A situation of ethical dilemma needs to be resolved so that the situation would resemble like an ethical dilemma. This will avoid the situation to become injustice and the victim needs to be compensated for no fault at all.
The solution can be to convince the parents of the child that the educator was doing her duty by allowing the child to sleep. The response needs to be done in an ethical manner so that there can be a positive outcome for the situation and it can be achieved by collaborating between the two parties who are involved within the conflict. The ethical dilemma in this situation can be understood through the differences present in the perception and the process of thought. Therefore it is necessary to collect the facts so that the arguments can be substantiated at protecting the educator of the child. The educator had deployed an investigative attempt for the well-being of the child in this case. The parents of the child stay away from her for a long period, which makes them unaware of her different behavioural aspects. The investigation that was conducted had shown that the information provided proved that the educator was not at fault in letting the child sleep during the day.
Ethical Dilemma Surrounding Mayah
It was seen that the child spent most of the time in indoor and outdoor game activities, which was the prime reason behind her going off to sleep. The activities of the child during the morning was a daily routine that helped in developing the mental and physical well-being, which cannot be ruled out. Therefore it was decided that the child would be allowed to sleep if she needs it according to the educator. The role of the educator in this case was to sing lullabies to her so that it can help her to be fast asleep. The decision of the institution was to regulate the hours of sleep so that it does not cross over half an hour and the scheduled time was at 1:30 PM. The entire process from allowing her to sleep and waking her up will be done with utmost care so that it does not scare her. The institution had reached this stage by consulting and collaborating with the necessary authorities and the educator along with the parents of Mayah. The educator will be responsible in conveying all the necessary information along with the activities of the child to Manpreet who is Mayah’s mother. She will be notified about the situations so that her reply can be taken in to consideration by the institution.
The resolution that has been passed with respect to this case has been done under the guidelines provided at UNCRC, the NQS, EYLF and the ECA Code of Ethics, as they are responsible for the benefit and taking care of children. The principles in this situation has been taken from the conventions that are mentioned so that the resolution can be fair.
The core principle of UNCRC states that the preferences and views of the children needs to be adhered to and respected as well. It is quite eminent from the fact that the educator had been lenient towards the child by allowing her to sleep, which was not her duty but to keep her engaged in playing activities. But her concern for the child allowed her in taking the necessary steps (Freeman, 2009).
The ECA Code of Ethics states that states that commitment needs to be shown towards the best interest of the child as well as for the community and family. In this present scenario, it is evident that the ethical dilemma can be solved by taking in to account the preferences given by the parents and the transparent options that are present in the decision-making process (Australia, 2006).
Solving the Ethical Dilemma
The Quality Area 2 of NQS states that the concern of the children with respect to health and safety and Area 6 states that it is necessary to get into a collaboration with the communities and families of the child so that it can help in deciding the best interest for them. It is evident from the fact that health was a major concern for Mayah and had to be given priority by allowing her to sleep. The objection raised by the parents to the Director involved the decision to what lay in the best interest of the child Brennan & Fenech, 2014).
The Principles of Childcare by EYLF states that it is good for the security of the child by entering into partnerships. The aspect of reflection is imminent from the strategic evolution that helps in balancing the duties of the educator and the preference of the child. The partnership aspect includes the institution’s authorities, parents of the child and the educator in the process of taking the decision (Nolan & Raban, 2015).
I am of the feeling that it is of utmost importance that communication between the parties will help in achieving a desired solution. The transparency in sharing the information regarding the child’s activities need to be communicated with the parents so that it can result in understanding the behaviour of the child. Therefore it is necessary for the institution to provide all the necessary information to the parents. The ethical dilemma can be avoided by informing the parents regarding the midday sleep that is taken by their child. This would have resulted in avoiding the situation of misconception.
Therefore it can be concluded from the above discussion that the role of an educator is not simple imparting education but also to look after the other activities of a child. It is their duty to look after the overall transformation of the student so that they can be groomed at an early stage. Whenever a situation arises within an institution, it is necessary for the educator to use their sense of judiciousness and judgment so that the matter can be solved in an efficient way.
Australia, E. C. (2006). ECA code of ethics.
Brennan, D., & Fenech, M. (2014). Early Education and Care in Australia: Equity in a Mixed Market-Based System?. An Equal Start?: Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children, 171-192.
Evans, S. F., & Howarth, M. (2019). I Am Happy, So I Learn It: The Ethical Dilemma of Choosing to Promote Happiness in an Education World of Standards. In Ethical Problem-Solving and Decision-Making for Positive and Conclusive Outcomes (pp. 101-122). IGI Global.
Freeman, M. (2009). Children’s rights as human rights: Reading the UNCRC. In The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies (pp. 377-393). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Nolan, A., & Raban, B. (2015). Theories into practice: Understanding and rethinking our work with young children and the EYLF. Teaching Solutions.
Rhodes, M. L., & Potter, J. (1986). Ethical dilemmas in social work practice. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
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