education, as well as the possibility of assimilating its direct relationship to ethical responsibility. The abundance of student organizations and leadership. I hasten to add that none of these point to any clear ethical lapse or mistake The professor-student relationship does not end when the course. Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at ScholarWorks at WMU. It has been accepted for faculty-student relationships to show why they are morally wrong.
Further, such relationships may have the effect of undermining the atmosphere of trust on which the educational process depends. Implicit in the idea of professionalism is the recognition by those in positions of authority that in their relationships with students there is always an element of power. It is incumbent upon those with authority not to abuse, nor seem to abuse, the power with which they are entrusted…. Other amorous relationships between members of the faculty and students, occurring outside the instructional context, may also lead to difficulties.
Relationships between officers and students are always fundamentally asymmetric in nature. A teacher and student may simply be at the same institution and have no direct relationship. On the other hand, there may be a reasonable potential for a relationship to occur, for example in the case of a department chairman or dean, on whom the student may need to depend at some point. It is in such relationships that the need for both closeness and boundaries are at their greatest.
Clinical supervision in the mental health professions carries special needs for appropriate boundaries because of their relative levels of intensity, intimacy, personal disclosure, and isolation2,5 Levinson19 p. In his role as guide, he welcomes the initiate into a new occupational and social world and acquaints him with its values, customs, resources and cast of characters.
As exemplar, he serves as one whom the student can emulate. He may sometimes serve as a counselor in times of stress.
ethics - Any ethical problems with dating a former student? - Academia Stack Exchange
This role may be reflected in relatively immediate functions, such as grading, or in more temporally indefinite functions such as the writing of letters of recommendation for advanced training, licensure, or career opportunities. The first is what Levinson19 p. The mentor represents a combination of parent and peer; he must be both and not purely either one. If he is entirely a peer, he cannot represent the advanced level toward which the younger man is striving.
If he is very parental, it is difficult for both of them to overcome the generational difference and move toward the peer relationship that is the ultimate though never fully realized goal of the relationship. Next is the issue of mutuality,1 and this is probably where the challenge of the mentoring relationship to maintain appropriate boundaries becomes greater than in other professional relationships. As good teachers, we expect our students to contribute to our own professional growth. We learn from what they read, we want to be challenged by their questions, and we like to see their success as reflecting, at least in part, on our own professional expertise and devotion to them.
A part of this mutuality is our social interaction with our students, especially in a close academic environment. They can enhance working relationships in the training environment. They help acquaint the student with the people and the culture of the profession he or she is planning to enter. They may help contribute to the personal development of the student. And such activities reflect a concern with the development of the whole person, not only a well-educated professional.
In this way, our role as teacher is similar to that of a parent or a therapist.
In an article outlining the characteristics of a helping relationship, Rogers21 wrote about the importance of warmth, caring, liking, and interest, all of which reflect a degree of closeness to our clients. We must each give up the master without giving up the search p. The mentoring relationship traditionally has held special problems for women.
And when a man becomes interested in guiding and advising a younger woman, there is usually an erotic interest that goes along with it.
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What follows from that are many combinations we can easily recognize: The kicker is that the relationship of guide and seeker gets all mixed up with a confusing sexual contract.
Almost without exception, the women I studied who did gain recognition in their careers were at some point nurtured by a mentor. When a woman is in the position of power, she, too, holds this responsibility. Conroe and Schank2 suggested a guideline, at least with regard to clinical supervision, emphasizing the importance of finding a balance that suits the situation at hand.
Sexual involvement not only has profound symbolic significance in a relationship, but it is relatively easy to define in operational terms. We may treat students differentially, not because of their academic or clinical qualifications, but because of a personal regard or attraction.
Boundaries, therefore, refer to a spectrum of activities that have the potential to exploit the dependency of a student in a number of ways. Boundary violations compromise the integrity and effectiveness of the student-teacher relationship.
If the professional relationship is an administrative one, the student may lose a potential resource for assistance in areas such as financial aid, career counseling, and so on. A dual relationship can confuse roles for the student, who is no longer sure what the relationship to his or her mentor should be. And eventually, that person is too much like her father for her own developmental good.
The known existence of a sexual relationship and its tacit acceptance by the academic community reduces the tendency to discuss the issue openly, either as an institutional issue, or as an issue in clinical supervision. Finally, one must consider the potential of personal harm to the student, especially if there is a history of poor self-esteem, dependency, or victimization.
As with patients who become over-involved with their therapists, the betrayal of trust and sense of loss can sometimes lead to depression and a need for psychiatric care. First, we need to be aware of risk factors — those things that may lead to a blurring of appropriate boundaries. There are a number of factors that could reflect a psychological vulnerability on the part of the student, such as low self-esteem, a need for authority, a pattern of repeated victimization, or difficulties with a personal relationship.
For example, a student may see her teacher as the kind of father she wished she had. There are risk factors for the teacher as well.
Boundary Issues in Teacher-Student Relationships
As with therapists, we sometimes see a pattern of predatory sexism related to a characterological impairment. Attempts by the student to terminate the disturbing aspects of such a relationship often result in either intimidation or dependent, demanding entreaties on the part of the professional. Teachers may exhibit their own psychological vulnerabilities, which play out in relationships with their students.
There may be times of our lives when we begin to doubt our attractiveness or our effectiveness and feel that we need to test ourselves. Most of us get into the business of helping partly to satisfy our own narcissistic needs. We need to be needed, and that sometimes makes it hard to let go of our charges.
We may be experiencing difficulties in our own personal relationships, and it becomes tempting to reach out to a student who, at the very least, respects who we are and what we do. Even if we do not take such an initiative, we may find it harder to resist the initiative made by a needy or seductive student who hopes that we can fill personal needs that transcend our role as mentors. Finally, there is a set of risk factors that are inherent in the professional or institutional setting itself.
For example, a faculty member experiencing little collegial support from other faculty members, may depend excessively on the loyalty, sympathy and support of a devoted student. We need to be honest with ourselves about whose needs we are meeting, when we invite a student to work with us, when we decide which students we may involve in a special project or in a social engagement, or to whom we tend to disclose certain kinds of personal information.
We may sometimes need to see if there are other ways for us to get certain of our own needs met, whether at home, in therapy, or through our colleagues. We also need to treat the challenge of maintaining appropriate student-teacher boundaries as an open issue. This should be done both in the orientation of new faculty members and as a part of the training and supervision of our students. The maintenance of healthy boundaries is not only something that teachers need to do in their own relationships with students.
We need also to prepare our students to monitor boundaries with their own students, patients, and clients. We can help them develop this awareness by exploring this issue as a part of their training and by modeling appropriate professional behavior in our own relationships with them.
Finally, we can help develop institutional guidelines and policies that reflect a commitment to the maintenance of appropriate student-teacher boundaries. Advisor and advisee issues in doctoral education. J Higher Educ Sexual intimacy in clinical supervision: Minneapolis, Walk-In Counseling Center, Today I visited each music class, along with our counselors, school psychologist, and social worker.
We told them that sometimes adults do bad things. We said we understand that they are upset, and that we have an adult they can talk to, if they want. We also encouraged them to talk to you, because as their parent, you are their first and best counselor. We said we will continue the band program as usual, since their education is our first priority. I know you may now be suspicious of teachers who take an undo interest in your children or offer to help them after school. This may be especially true in extracurricular activities, where teachers and students often spend many hours before and after school.
Most teachers are caring, compassionate, and have the well being of their students as their first priority. The teachers in this school are exceptional. I deeply regret that they have been tainted with this tragedy, and I hope that you will come to trust them again. Of many questions thrust at me that night, the one I remember came from a parent whom I consider a friend.
If one does not have an internal moral brake to prevent such an act, no outside force can prevent it. While I sensed all this, I had not clarified the issue for myself. Parents were rightly angry and frustrated, as was I.
I responded honestly that I was as shocked as they were and had no answer. We were stunned that Mickey Brown was the protagonist in this tragedy. He had been an outstanding teacher. Under his direction the band performed better than they had with two previous band directors.
He had been one of my stars. He was a gifted teacher. His students loved him, but he spent an inordinate amount of time with them. Ironically, he was a loner and spent little time with his peers. Despite everything, no one thought there was anything askew, even though the signs were there. Many students spent time with him, and none reported anything amiss. Among those most frustrated at their misjudgment were two teachers who taught in the room next to his.
The band suite was housed in a building separate from the rest of the school. The same structure, however, held two classrooms staffed by a pair of seasoned and savvy teachers. They were two women who probably had a combined fifty years of teaching between them.
Like everyone else, they recounted the events that led to the demise of their classroom neighbor. Like Mickey Brown, they were dedicated and spent many extra hours at the school. Like Mickey, they arrived early, but he was already there. Like Mickey, they stayed late, but he stayed later. The overwhelming majority of teachers are dedicated, compassionate, and center the best interests of their students as the basis for everything they do. We know that this event challenged that belief and trust.
We must work to rebuild that trust. With it, our teachers and schools can continue to accomplish great things.