Why teach with integrity in public education?
Kertes, Thomas W.
Given that students are compelled to attend school in British Columbia and the legacies of colonialism, including cultural genocide, the author asks the question: Is it moral to teach in the public-school system? Morality is defined in both personal and general terms, drawing from life experiences and critical reflections on the morality of education, colonialism, and genocide. The answer to the question of whether or not teaching is moral depends on the function of public education, or its purpose and practice, in reality. An overview of how this function is articulated in government policy and direction, such as through the School Act, the Teacher Act, and the British Columbia Teachers‘ Council, and through regulation of the profession, is provided. Together, the government and the teaching profession, require teachers to practice respect, dignity, and recognition of Indigenous rights. In order for teaching to be moral, it is argued, these policies must be implemented, in full and as formally articulated. Strategies for how to implement moral teaching, drawing largely from an ethics of integrity, are provided.