OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
Section 7: Enforcement of the AECT Code of Professional Ethics
In the inaugural issue of the Audio Visual Communications Review (Vol. 1, No. 1: Winter 1953), James Finn, one of the leading pioneers of the educational technology movement in the United States, described what he believed to be the six criteria that must be met in order for our field to be recognized as a profession. One of these criteria was a code of ethics and standards. In his article, Finn, in addition to emphasizing the critical importance of these element, goes on to say:
However, the publication of codes of ethics and manuals of standards in itself guarantees nothing. Professionalization occurs when enforcement is possible and vigorous.
In the development of its constitution and bylaws, The Association for Educational Communications and Technology has demonstrated its commitment to its Code of Professional Ethics and the enforcement of that Code. One evidence of this commitment is the status that has been assigned to the Committee on Professional Ethics. As stated in Section 11 (a) of the AECT Bylaws, this committee has been given a special status as one of only three governance committees of the Association ("Governance committees of the Association shall consist of a Nominating Committee, an Executive Committee, and an Ethics Committee.").
Concerning enforcement of the Association's Code of Professional Ethics, Section 18 of the Bylaws, as quoted below, speaks directly to this matter.
Section 18 - Professional Ethics
(a) Adherence to the AECT Code of Ethics shall be a condition of membership in the Association.
Furthermore, all members of AECT are obligated to not only abide by the Association's Code of Professional Ethics but also to assist in its enforcement. This obligation is embodied in Section 3, Principle 9 of the AECT Code, which states:
In fulfilling obligations to the profession, the member shall observe all laws relating to or affecting the profession; shall report, without hesitation, illegal or unethical conduct of fellow members of the profession to the AECT Professional Ethics Committee; shall participate in professional inquiry when requested by the Association.
As difflcult as this obligation may seem, it is essential to creating an environment and tradition of professionalism that will earn the confidence and respect of the education, training. and development community.
It is, therefore, evident that the Association for Educational Communications and Technology is actively working to strengthen this important area that is essential to the fleld gaining professional recognition and respect.