Ethics within the educational sector

Ethics within the educational sector

It is necessary that one undertakes profession of interest. Some people argue that profession is a call to serve in a particular field. This justifies the need for dedication in a particular area of study despite the challenges that arise. Obviously you would expect that someone should be perfect after successfully going through a given curriculum in order to achieve a particular level of study. They then come out with certificates which are the evidence that the particular people went through the given curriculum as stated in the certificate (Rhoton 2001, p.78). Petroski poses a challenge to us by associating profession to experience rather than the academic curriculum that one goes through to achieve the profession.

A profession is one’s area of practice mostly used to earn a living. When employers advertise for jobs, they specify that applicants must have a minimum given period of qualification. This affirms the prioritization of experience to academic qualification. Some institutions major on the theoretical aspect of learning living out the practical part (Dawson 2003, p. 35). The emphasis given to theoretical learning as opposed to practical learning in several institutions is the start of the problem. According to Petroski, career development starts when people start practicing their professions.

At the work place one experiences both the benefits and challenges in the profession. The benefits are usually received in terms of remuneration and job satisfaction that one gets at the work place. Remuneration is the reward for the man power that one receives after work. It can be in terms of salary, commission, and interest among others. On the other hand, people can never ride perfectly through their professions. They meet a lot of challenges at the work place. In such a case we are concerned about the job related challenges. Consider a well learned engineer supervising the construction of a storey building. Unfortunately, the building collapses after sometime within the period of construction (Maggioli 2004, p. 312). Who can you blame in such a case? Would you say that the engineer is under qualified for the job? If you were the boss, would you fire the engineer? Certainly no, the collapse of the building does not account to under qualification of the engineer. If you fire the engineer, you are likely to employ another engineer of the same level. It is your responsibility to mold the existing one to acquire more skills

According to Petroski, learning does not necessarily account to one getting things right. Instead, the best form of learning is done by making mistakes thereby identifying the cause of trouble and finally taking an appropriate course of action. As a result, one would avoid making mistakes in future tasks. This is the basic definition of experience in a given profession (Rhoton 2001, p. 145). It is a challenge to employers who mainly opt for experienced workers, instead of training their own workers to develop their careers. The consequence of preferring experienced workers and not being ready to train new ones results in future shortages of experienced workers.

Petroski analyzes some of the notable failures in construction. He points out some of the cases where mistakes have resulted to huge losses. He tries to find a remedy to the challenges in the name of professional development. Professional development is the knowledge and skills that workers acquire to maximize their experience in a particular career. It starts with success in the academic curriculum through farther training sessions that take place even at the place of work. In certain fields like engineering, professional development is very critical. In some states, it is mandatory to undertake career development programs after every set period of time (Dawson 2003, p. 57). For example, in the state of Arkansas, it is a requirement that teachers go through 60 hours of development activities every year. Similarly, engineers should go through regular training in order to keep up with the dynamic world of technology as well as upcoming challenges in the field of building and construction.

Petroski outlines some of the notable challenges that have occurred in construction. He describes how the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed in 1980s as result of an error in a simple design. In understanding the cause of the problem, we would be able to ascertain the general remedies to the challenges (Rhoton 2001, p.45). Petroski also gives a detailed explanation of how the Tacoma Narrow Bridge collapsed in 1940s. In the perspective of success, Petroski describes the success of the Victorian architecture and engineering in building the magnificent Crystal Palace with an idea generated from an existence of an oversized water lily.

Petroski does failure analysis that is useful in making future designs. According to his analysis, the mistakes that occurred were evitable if necessary precautionary measures were incorporated as far as career development is concerned. Following Petroski’s analysis, the accidents could have been avoided by taking workers through appropriate professional development programs. The world is dynamic in nature. This calls for adjustment of various factors that relate to the nature of the dynamic world when coming up with designs (Maggioli 2004, p. 134). For example, conditions under which a construction project was designed in 1980s significantly differ with conditions of the same parameters that can be used to design the structure currently. Therefore employees should be taken through training periodically in order to let them cope up with the changing world in terms of technology as well as natural factors. Seminars and conferences should be held to discuss the upcoming issues that affect the particular field. Workers should also be trained to advance their technological knowhow so that they can use information technology in service delivery. This would in turn improve efficiency and accuracy as well as minimize cost of operation.

By applying Petroski’s recommendations, I have realized the essence of professional development. I will first make a successful accomplishment of education in my field of study. This would enable me to acquire the necessary theoretical skills in my field of practice. Apart from pursuing my field of specialization, I will take short courses in various fields related to my course. I will then be able to problem shoot effectively. I will attend seminars to meet with my collogues so that we can discuss upcoming issues related to our profession ( Dawson 2003, p. 234). I will pursue farther studies and undertake various research projects to improve service delivery in my career. In the world of information technology, I will take appropriate courses to enable me computerize my operations while reducing cost, saving time, improving efficiency, and improving accuracy.


Dawson, L and Xam, I. (2003). Professional development. Worcester, MA: Xam Inc.

Maggioli, G. (2004) Teacher-centered professional development. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Rhoton, J. (2001). Professional development planning and design. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.