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How to Use the International Code of Ethics for Educators

The ICoEE is best used as a tool for critical reflection, professional growth, and decision making. It also can be used for professional engagement and advancement, education policy development, and education reform. As the ICoEE can be used in many ways, educators should determine how they believe it can best be used in their particular setting or school.

When using the ICoEE, it is helpful to keep in mind that the ICoEE offers ethical guidance linked to teaching practice. It is not a static document to be rigidly enforced or adhered to and should be used flexibly and always with consideration of the culture and context of the community and school.

Some schools and communities, or even nations, may not fully agree with all of the practices or ideas included in the ICoEE. Even though the ICoEE is based on relatively universally accepted notions of human rights and education practice, there are some who may not agree with some of the concepts that have been included. In such circumstances, educators should use the ICoEE sensitively and ensure contextualization of the Elements of the Code that can be most easily applied in particular circumstances.

Educators should never be forced to use the ICoEE, or try to force others to use it, if doing so would compromise their safety. Again, although many of the concepts in the ICoEE are universally accepted, there may be places in the world where particular principles or elements may be harder for local leaders or other authorities to accept. Please be sensitive to this when introducing the ICoEE to others.