Ethical Dilemma Analysis

The reading/literacy specialist has many roles, and frequently must use professional judgement to decide the best ways to help students improve in reading and writing.

The following scenarios will inform the assignment that follows. Please select the scenario that aligns with your program emphasis:

Elementary Scenario:

Joey is a student in a regular classroom. According to Informal Reading Inventories, he is reading about three grades below his current grade level. He was previously pulled out of the classroom for small group interventions. Since the intervention group has stopped, he has made minimal growth in reading and writing. When he is called to Mr. Santiago’s table to read with his group, he often complains that the words “jump around on the page,” and is reluctant to read aloud. When asked questions about the book, he gives very little accurate information about what he read.

During independent reading and work time, Mr. Santiago reports that Joey has a hard time keeping his hands to himself and is constantly out of his seat, disrupting the classroom. Mr. Santiago is frustrated by Joey’s behavior and has admitted he loses his patience with Joey and is lost as to how to help him. He has expressed to you that he just does not seem motivated and will not even try. You have arranged a time to observe the situation in hopes of helping.

As you are leaving your observation, the instructional assistant in Mr. Santiago’s classroom, Julia, has come to you and expressed concern for how Mr. Santiago treats Joey. Specifically, she details the negative treatment of Joey during reading and writing instruction by Mr. Santiago.

Secondary Scenario:

Joey, a freshman, is a student in an inclusive general education ELA classroom. According to Joey’s IEP, he is reading a grade below his current grade level. Last year, Joey was pulled out of his ELA general education setting to receive more support in the resource setting. He showed great progress and wanted to start his high school experience in a general education classroom for ELA. Since he was showing progress and there was an opportunity to be in an inclusive setting, the IEP team decided to place Joey in Mr. Santiago’s ELA freshman class, along with Mrs. Cavill, a special education teacher and Joey’s case manager.

It is now the second quarter of the school year, and Joey’s progress is declining. Mr. Santiago has noticed his regression in reading and writing. Mrs. Cavill has been documenting Joey’s performance, both academically and behaviorally, and also making the appropriate accommodations and interventions to try and support Joey.

At this time, Mrs. Cavill does not believe Joey needs to be placed back in the resource setting for ELA, but has observed other classroom factors that are not supporting Joey. In conversations with Joey’s parents, they also agree to not change the setting yet. Instead Mrs. Cavill will look for additional support to keep Joey in ELA during instruction time, but perhaps to have a reading/literacy specialist work with him independently during an open resource time. Mrs. Cavill, with approval from Joey’s parents, has reached out to Ms. Adams, the itinerant reading/literacy specialist for the district, to see if additional support from her would benefit Joey.

Ms. Adams arranges to observe the ELA class and Joey. As she leaves the classroom, Mrs. Cavill feels she needs to address additional concerns that she has seen that may be affecting Joey. She expressed concern for how Mr. Santiago treats Joey. Specifically, she details the negative treatment of Joey during reading and writing instruction by Mr. Santiago. In addition, during independent reading and work time, Mr. Santiago constantly reprimands Joey for being disruptive, or being out of his seat (which Mrs. Cavill is working on with him, but the constant belittling to Joey is just escalating his behaviors). In addition, Mr. Santiago has shared with Mrs. Cavill how frustrated he is by Joey’s behavior and has admitted he loses his patience with Joey and is lost as to how to help him. He has expressed that he just does not feel Joey is motivated, nor does he seem to try. Mrs. Cavill also shares that Joey he has shared with her that he is reluctant to read aloud due to the words “jumping around the page.” In addition, in observing and working with Joey as well, Mrs. Cavill noticed that Joey gives very little accurate information about what he read when asking questions about various readings done in class or for an assignment.

In 750-1,000 words discuss the following based on the scenario:

  • An explanation of the ethical dilemma for you as the reading/literacy specialist
  • Description of how to act and communicate professionally in this situation with all stakeholders
  • At least 2-3 steps to try to resolve the issues at hand
  • 1-2 culturally responsive, research-based strategies for the teacher to use to address the student’s reading needs
  • 1-2 resources to help the teacher support the student’s academic and behavioral needs in the classroom
  • Overview of 1-2 strategies or resources the teacher can provide to the student’s family to support academic and behavioral needs at home
  • Rationale to support how behaving ethically in your professional practice affects student achievement. Refer to the Model Code of Ethics

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