Discuss about the Lee’s Condition In The Kindergarten.
The scenario that I need to analyze and reflect upon is that of Lee’s condition in the kindergarten. One day I found that Lee’s mother, Anna has come to receive Lee and I could sense she was in an intoxicated condition. On enquiring her about her condition she was said that she was alright and tried to avoid the situation by saying that she had to pick up Lee’s sister from the school. The distance between Lee’s home and the school is not in close proximity, therefore it makes me as an early childhood professional practicing in Australia makes me worried about Lee as well Anna’s safety. Given this situation, I engage in the analysis of the situation by identifying the different stakeholders and each of their issues. Secondly, I reflect upon my ethical and legal obligations in the context of this scenario an thirdly I would provide my response to the situation based on the Australian Code of Ethics.
In the given scenario, it can be witnessed that Lee’s mother, Anna has come to collect Lee from the kindergarten. As an Early Childhood Professional at Lee’s kindergarten, I was astounded to find that Lee’s mother was under the influence of the alcohol as there was a stench smell of alcohol from her mouth. In addition, her eyes red and she looked quite awkward. On enquiring about her well-being, she responded that responded in a rather uncomfortable manner. Seeing her in this alcoholic condition, I felt it would not be appropriate to allow Lee to drive along with her. This is because there is a large distance between the kindergarten and her home. The stakeholders involved in this issue are Lee (the child), Anna (Lee’s mother), me and the approved, that is the school authority. As I have identified the three stakeholders in this scenario, now the turn is to identify the different issues for each of the stakeholders. For Lee as well as Anna this situation calls for maintaining safety. The school authority needs to ensure that parents are strictly oriented bout their behavior in the school premises. In my case as an early childhood professional it is important to for me to communicate the matter to Anna, Lee’s mother in sensitive manner so that it does not lacerate her sentiments but at the same time convinces that it is illegal, unethical and dangerous to drive car under the influence of alcohol.
After fathoming the sensitivity of the case, it is important to discuss the legal and ethical obligations that emerge in the light of my duty as an early childhood professional. It has been found that the key challenges in the lives of early childhood professionals is the sporadic professional and personal dilemmas of people working close together in an atmosphere of helping and supporting one another and the promoting the values of change and learning. The choices made by the teachers are not obvious as sometimes they are dependent on the specific resources, predetermined expectations or the timeframes. Dilemmas arise due to the power imbalance between the teacher and the families (Ortlipp, Arthur & Woodrow, 2011). As it can be understood from the above situation, there is a clear-cut hierarchical relationship shared between Lee’s mother, Anna and me (the early childhood professional). In this Anna might feel disempowered as she is advised to not drive the car. She may also feel that her right as a parent to take back her child from the school is also being encroached upon. Aporia is an important aspect of the dilemma, as the parents may not know the outcome of the decision. According to the Australian Code of ethics, codes are important in guiding the teachers about the decisions in the light of the early childhood professionals facing dilemma (Coombe & Newman, 2011). In this case, I would adopt the value-based personal principles where it would my duty to come out of my initial inhibitions and advise Anna to not drive the car as it posits threat for her as well a her child. The early childhood professional is expected to comply with the obligations in the legislations. I t is enshrined in the Australian Code of Ethics that in case the legal obligations are not adhered to properly there will be penalties on the approved provider, individual educator and the nominated supervisor (Davis, 2009). This further compels to seek the decision of not allowing Anna to drive back Lee as it may bring injury to both. It is my ethical responsibility advocate my profession and provision the care and quality of education to my students.
Based on the given situation, it is important for me as an early childhood professional to place myself in the shoes of Lee’s mother, Anna and understand her concern. It may be assumed that Anna was trying to avoid further communication with me thinking that I woud intervene her and she would have to answer my questions. This would make her feel uncomfortable as has been seen that she was feeling uneasy throughout the course of the conversation. The value that is involved in this issue is integrity. It is not ethical for a parent to arrive at the school of her child in a state of intoxication. Therefore, it is the breach of moral obligations and parental duty. According to the Australian code of Ethics, the role of an early childhood professional is to act in the best interest of the children and create a healthy and safe environment for the children (Fenech, Sumsion & Shepherd, 2010). It is also the duty of the early childhood professional to enhance the relationship between the families and the children through my professional practice. The short-term goal in this case would be to immediately refrain Anna from driving the car under the intoxicated condition, as it would be dangerous for the as well her child. It would take me time to explain her legal as well as ethical consequences of driving car in intoxicated state. The long-term goal in this respect would be to prevent similar situations so there is no replication of the present incident. I would inform the incident to the school authorities (another stakeholder or the approved provider) about Anna’s condition. This would be followed by seeking appropriate measures In this case it would be separately calling Anna and enquiring to her about her intoxicate state. Since it is a sensitive issue, the counselor of the kindergarten will also remain present so as to understand what might have provoked Anna to arrive in the school in a miserable condition. It may be found that Anna is going through personal crisis and resorting to alcohol is a respite for her. If this turns Anna into an alcoholic and a repeat offender of driving car in intoxicated condition (that is already prohibited by the law), it is important for the school community and me to step into the matter for a long-term process. This is because Anna’s supposed state of personal crisis based on her body language and alcoholic condition may affect the domestic atmosphere and interfere with the learning and growth of Lee as well as her sister (Sorin, 2005). It may also be discovered later that under the intoxicated state Anna has turned violent towards her children and therefore, not practicing her moral obligations as a parent. According to the Australian Code of Ethics, the duty of the early childhood professional is to enrich the learning experience of the child through a balanced approach that contributes to her/his well being. Therefore, it is my obligation to ensure that Lee is able to find a compatible atmosphere of learning in his home so that it promotes his holistic development. Ensuring that Lee is presented with the necessary resources and favourable condition to learn and grow is part of my professional values as an early childhood professional (Australia, 2006). It is important to communicate to Anna that the school authorities would not tolerate such actions.
From the above discussion, it can be stated that an early childhood professional have to adhere to a complex process of ethical dilemmas combined with legal obligations for the welfare of the child. In this case, I have responded, analyzed the scenario, and reflected upon my role in conformity with the Australian Code of Ethics.
Australia, E. C. (2006). Code of ethics. Early Childhood Australia.
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Davis, J. (2009). Revealing the research ‘hole’of early childhood education for sustainability: A preliminary survey of the literature. Environmental Education Research, 15(2), 227-241.
Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., & Shepherd, W. (2010). Promoting early childhood teacher professionalism in the Australian context: The place of resistance. Contemporary issues in early childhood, 11(1), 89-105.
Sorin, R. (2005). Changing images of childhood: Reconceptualising early childhood practice. Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne.
Ortlipp, M., Arthur, L., & Woodrow, C. (2011). Discourses of the early years learning framework: Constructing the early childhood professional. Contemporary issues in early childhood, 12(1), 56-70.