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Ethical Dilemma Judge Information

This year's competition surrounds Sven's scenario. Read the general overview below!

Ethical Dilemma – TEAM COMPETITION 


Sven was feeling both nervous and confident as he was close to completing his teacher preparation program in mathematics. His sixteen-week assigned student teaching placement could not have been more perfect! The 6th – 8th grade middle school has a great reputation, is close to his apartment and he was placed with a cooperating teacher who is a seasoned veteran – Ms. Norton. Sven noticed on Ms. Norton’s social media pages that she appears to be very involved in school activities, leads a youth group outside of school, and is a personal friend of the principal. Considering that Sven was hoping to get a teaching position at the school in which he was assigned to student teach, he couldn’t have been happier to be placed in Ms. Norton’s classroom.  

After just a few weeks into his student teaching semester, Sven was getting ready to begin taking over more teaching responsibilities and discovered Ms. Norton has not been following the district’s math curriculum. Not only is she way behind in what she should be teaching, she uses, in Sven’s opinion, outdated teaching methods. She tells Sven she has taught math her way for years and sees no reason to change. Sven can tell many students do not understand the concepts, and others are bored and seem to have given up. He is concerned about Ms. Norton’s reaction when he uses more engaging, innovative teaching methods he learned in his teacher preparation program.  

Sven also notices Ms. Norton seemingly treats a handful of students differently from other students by bantering and joking with them. They are connected to the youth group she leads outside of school. Additionally, Sven has become aware that Ms. Norton participates in group text messaging with the youth group members during and outside the school day.  

Sven is very concerned about the students who are struggling in Ms. Norton’s math classes. Yet, he also knows Ms. Norton must evaluate his performance as a student teacher so he can successfully complete his preparation program. In addition, Sven still desires to teach at the school after he graduates from college and becomes a certified educator.  

Sven wants to mention his concerns to his university-based professor who is supervising his student teaching, but is concerned any resulting action might still impact his ability to get a job at that school, especially since the teacher and principal seem to be friends.

  • Team Competition 2-4 students 

  • In this competition, the Educators Rising school program must debate an ethical education- related dilemma. This competition requires students to think deeply about an ethical issue, employ critical-thinking skills, and use persuasive communication techniques to collaboratively debate an ethical dilemma.  

  • To participate, each member of the school program must first thoroughly consider the ethical issue and begin to form an individual position on the topic. Then the students must debate the topic together, listening carefully to each other’s opinions. Through the discussion, the students must come to a consensus on the topic and then prepare a 10-minute live presentation stating their team’s view.  

  • The students must work together to develop the live, 10-minute presentation and then select at least two and no more than four students from the school to present the group’s opinion and how it was reached to a panel of judges. 

  • After the 10 minute presentation, the judges will have 5 minutes to ask questions. 


Ethical Dilemma Training Video with Rubric
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