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Science teachers play a central role in educating, inspiring, and guiding pupils to become

responsible, scientifically literate citizens. Therefore, teachers of science must uphold the highest
conduct of the profession to earn and maintain the respect, trust, and confidence of pupils, parents,
school leaders, colleagues, and other community members. According to Wikipedia, professional
conduct is the field of regulation of members of profession bodies, either acting under statutory or
contractual powers. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA; 1999: 50ff) establishes
the following expectations and principles to guide the professional conduct of all teachers of
science, including pre-service, novice, and experienced educators.

Quality science instruction is an interdependent process that requires the active participation and
shared responsibility of science educators, school leaders, district administrators, school boards,
and parents. NSTA (1999:50ff) calls on science educators to accept the professional responsibility
to provide all pupils with quality science education; embrace and promote their professional
learning and growth; uphold and strengthen the public image of the profession; and become active
leaders and advocates for quality science education in their schools and communities. Therefore
this piece of writing will discuss the profession conduct of science teachers.

Firstly, the science teachers are expected to provide quality science education for all pupils. The
teacher is responsible for diagnosing educational needs, prescribing and implementing
instructional programs and evaluating progress of pupils (NSTA; 2000:23).

They are expected to show respect for each individual and value his or her identity and cultural
heritage. This means that the teacher conduct himself/herself in a manner that respects the dignity
and rights of all persons without prejudice as to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity, physical characteristics, disability, marital status, family status, age,
ancestry, place of origin, place of residence, socioeconomic background or linguistic background
(NSTA; 2002: 45ff).

Recognize the abilities and strengths of pupils, as well as their unique learning needs (NBPTS;
1999: 55). This implies that in any case were pupils are not able to grasp the scientific skills and
knowledge in a classroom set up, the science teachers should not be told by pupils that they did
not understand the delivered lesson to them and instead the teacher should see to it that psychology
is used to evaluate their academic strengths and weaknesses.
Model and emphasize the skills, attitudes, and values of scientific inquiry (NRC; 1996:29). In
interpretation, science teacher is expected by the pupils to conduct themselves in the manner that
the pupils will get motivated in the field of science by coming up with new scientific knowledge
and ideas that can curb certain problems in our community. The science teacher is expected to help
pupils reflect as learners and use skills of inquiry to become effective problem solvers (NSTA
2004:33).

Besides that, the teacher should treat pupils with dignity and respect and considerate of their
circumstances. The teacher should not divulge information about a pupil received in confidence or
in the course of professional duties except as required by law or where, in the judgment of the
teacher, to do so in the best interest of the pupil (NSTA; 1999: 55).

Also, the teacher should not accept pay for tutoring a pupil in any subjects in which the teacher is
responsible for giving classroom instruction to that pupil. This means that the teacher is not
expected to take advantage of a professional position to profit from the sale of goods or services
to or for pupils in the teachers charge (NSTA; 2004: 27).

Not only that but also to promote their own personal professional development and recognize that
becoming an effective teacher of science is a continuous process that requires a commitment to
lifelong learning (NRC 1996, p. 55; NSTA 2006: 45). This is to say that they are expected to stay
current on literature in science and pedagogy and strive to be reflective practitioners who generate
new knowledge and share that knowledge with others.

In addition, they should seek out formal and informal opportunities to learn, such as becoming
active in professional associations; organizing and attending conferences; taking courses and
seminars; reading professional publications; visiting other classrooms; and interacting with
colleagues, mentors, and coaches to support their personal growth.

To promote the profession both inside and outside the classroom, teachers of science should be
active leaders promoting collaboration among colleagues, parents, and other members of the
community. NSTA recommends that science educators must ensure that they promote
collaboration among colleagues in the school and in the larger community of science educators to
share ideas, discuss problems, and support one another to improve their practice and this is to say
that they must serve as mentors and coaches to support the initial and ongoing professional
development of beginning teachers of science (NSTA 2007a).

Furthermore, they are required to promote the improvement of science education by being active
leaders in professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels. This means that they
must see to it that they foster positive partnerships with parents to support and enhance pupil
growth and success in science, including helping parents understand the goals of science education
at the school, district, state, and national levels, and recognize the need for scientific literacy on a
global level.

As a science teacher, take all reasonable steps in relation to the care of pupils/students under your
supervision, so as to ensure their safety and welfare. For example, during practical, a science
teacher needs to ensure that laboratory safety rules are followed to prevent accidents and report,
where appropriate, incidents or matters which impact on pupil welfare.

Science teachers must work within the framework of relevant legislation and regulations. They
should conduct themselves within the confines of the teaching council, curriculum, syllabi etc.
without swaying away from the laid down rules and regulation, so as to comply with agreed
national and school policies, procedures and guidelines which aim to promote pupil/student
education and welfare and child protection.

They are also expected to communicate effectively with pupils, colleagues, parents, school
management and others in the school community in a manner that is professional, collaborative
and supportive, and based on trust and respect. This implies that, any communication with pupils,
colleagues, parents, school management and others should be appropriate, including
communication via electronic media, such as e-mail, texting and social networking sites.

According to The Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers published by the Teaching Council
in accordance with section 7(2) (b) of 2013 states that science teachers should:

Ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession while
engaged in school activities, inappropriate materials/images in electronic or other format. This
means that they should ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in
their possession, illicit materials/images in electronic or other format such as pornographic
material.

Ensure that they do not practice while under the influence of any substance which impairs their
fitness to teach. For example, when a science teacher is under the influence of either alcohol or
any drug, they are not in their rightful senses and therefore should not teach.

The science teachers must also conduct themselves by working in partnership with school, district,
and community members to gain a greater understanding of the cultural fabric of the community
and its relationship to achieving quality science education for all pupils and reflect a professional
image to pupils, parents, and the community through appropriate speech, attire, and actions

In conclusion, it is important for science teachers to follow the professional conduct so as to


educate, inspire, and guide pupils to become responsible, scientifically literate citizens. Thus,
teachers of science must uphold the highest conduct of the profession to earn and maintain the
respect, trust, and confidence of pupils, parents, school leaders, colleagues, and other community
members.
REFERENCES

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). 1999. What teachers should know
and be able to do. Arlington, VA.

National Research Council (NRC). 1996. National science education standards (NSES).
Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). 2007a. NSTA Position Statement: Induction
Programs for the Support and Development of Beginning Teachers of Science.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). 2007b. NSTA Position Statement: Liability of
Science Educators for Laboratory Safety.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). 2006. NSTA Position Statement: Professional
Development in Science Education.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). 2004. NSTA Position Statement: Scientific
Inquiry.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). 2000. NSTA Position Statement: Safety and
School Science Instruction.

New York State Code of Ethics for Educators. 2002. New York State Education Department.
Albany, NY.