The objective of this paper is to clarify the relationship between Ethical Guidelines for Teachers (hereafter, Ethical Guidelines) and Explanatory Notes on Ethical Guidelines (hereinafter, Explanatory Notes). Specifically, the paper examines (1) by whom, (2) when, (3) why, and (4) through what process these documents were created.
As a document setting forth basic guidelines for teacher disposition and behavior, Ethical Guidelines was formulated and adopted through a formal procedure by the JTU. In July of 1951, the draft version of Ethical Guidelines, written by a number of well-known pedagogists and philosophers, was submitted to the JTU Central Executive Committee, where it was accepted as a “draft document.” Thereafter, the Ethical Guidelines “draft document” was officially adopted at the regular JTU general assembly held in June of 1952, attended by representatives of the member unions.
In contrast, Explanatory Notes was created and published without having gone through the formal approval process within the JTU. Explanatory Notes was independently prepared by the Information and Public Relations section of the JTU and published in September of 1951 as an informational pamphlet. The contents of the pamphlet were neither approved by the Central Executive Committee nor discussed at a regular general assembly. Thus, Explanatory Notes, is merely an unofficial document.
Ethical Guidelines sets forth abstract principles for teacher behavior and is written using moderate expressions from beginning to end. The Explanatory Notes, on the other hand, contains passages written in a militant style that evokes images of Marxist class struggle. For this reason, since the mid-1950s, right-wing polemicists as well as conservative government officials and politicians who disagree ideologically with the JTU have criticized the Ethical Guidelines by shining a spotlight on the Explanatory Notes.
However, as demonstrated by this paper, Ethical Guidelines and Explanatory Notes are completely unrelated documents, both in terms of how they were created and how they were approved (or not approved) by the JTU.