Arts and craft activities
The narrative of the dilemma is a mother asked her child's teacher not to engage her daughter in any arts and craft activities that involve getting her expensive clothes messy. The mother expresses the wish that she would like her child to return home with a look that is similar to the one the child arrived at school with. Due to the difficulties involved in cleaning the child's clothes at home, the mother expresses the desire that the number of toys and activities that the child participates in should be limited.
The problem is an ethical dilemma for the teacher. She is faced with the dilemma of safeguarding what she thinks is best for her child against, though the child's mother may not be in agreement with her. Fortunately, the problem can be solved using ethical finesse. The teacher's core responsibilities are to the child since she is responsible for making the child reach her full potential.
The most relevant guidance that will be used in solving the problem ethically is Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The following ideals and principals adapted from Boutte, Lopez-Robertson & Powers-Costello (2011) will guide decision making while approaching the issue:
1. P-1.1- We shall not expose the children to harm or participate in activities that may harm them emotionally, physically or is disrespectful.
2. I-1.5- We shall strive to create and maintain a safe and healthy setting that fosters a child's development either socially, emotionally, and physically as well as respect their dignity and their contribution.
3. P-2.2-Shall provide families with information about the institution's program philosophy, assessment system, curriculum, culture and explain the reasons for teaching as we do.
4. P-2.14-If family members are in conflict with one another; we shall provide our insights derived from the observation of the child with the aim of helping the parties involved to make an appropriate decision.
A universal and nationally accepted vision
The codes were included since they form unifying themes for the teaching profession. They also express a universal and nationally accepted vision for excellence for early childhood professionals. Guidance from the family handbook can also be used for the case since it provides reliable information about support and care of children. The family handbook provides a catalogue of steps that parents can undertake when seeking to tackle certain problematic situations and decisions. A family handbook ensures every decision made for the child is for best interests of the child.
One of the possible solutions to the dilemma is changing the child's clothes immediately she arrives at school. The child will then be dressed up in regular clothing, which she will use when taking part in messy art and craft activities while in the classroom. The step will enable the child to get involved in an activity that her classmates are engaged in and not feel left out. At the end of school hours, the child can be dressed in clothing that she wore while coming to school, thus, returning to her mother with the same look as he/she came to school.
Another possible solution to the dilemma is a substitution. The step entails providing supplies, toys, and utensils that are water resistant thus preventing a scenario where they stain the child's clothes when they are exposed to any liquid. The child may also be provided with art and craft instruments that do not have dust, do not react with water can only be drawn on paper and are less sticky.
When solving the problem, some steps need to be made. One of the steps entails educating the child's mother and taking the time to explain the importance and benefits the child derives from engaging in playful activities. The action will help the mother shift her focus on distress caused when cleaning clothes to benefits the child is attaining from the activities. Another step involves suggesting to the mother that she considers a change of the child attire during periods in which she is participating in the messy activity. The action is appropriate since there are no repercussions involved in the change of attire as there are in limiting a playful activity for the child. The mother should also be informed that the child engages in the messy activity because she wishes to. Additionally, she mother can be educated about the concerns and the disadvantages involved in limiting her child involvement in art and craft activities. According to Shapiro and Stefkovich (2016), educating a parent about the possible disadvantages of actions deemed unconstructive to a child's development may prudently inform her decision-making on the child's exposure. The step may thus inform her of the dangers of development that she is exposing her child to by limiting her child from engaging in a beneficial class time activity.
The effectiveness of the solutions chosen can the evaluated by administering the resolution and taking note of the parent's response. The mother of the child can volunteer to come to class and make observations of the child while she is involved in the activities. For instance, the mother and the teacher can observe how the child is engaging in class activities using the controlled tools such as water resistant instruments. They can also see the child's use of conventional art and craft tools then note if she is missing anything due to the implementation of the change. They can also observe her change of dressing after she arrives at school and changes when it is time to go home. The mother can also be in a position to choose the strategy that works best for her.
Boutte, G. S., Lopez-Robertson, J., & Powers-Costello, E. (2011). Moving beyond colorblindness in early childhood classrooms.T Early Childhood Education Journal,T 39(5), 335.
Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2016).T Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.
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