A 30-Year Systematic Review of Professional Ethics and Teacher Preparation

Dawn M. Decker, Jordan L. Wolfe, Chelsey K. Belcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Professional ethics in teacher preparation is an area that has received minimal attention in the special education literature. In this systematic review, 18 journals affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) were examined for their coverage of professional ethics over a 30-year period (1988–2018). Results showed that an average of about two articles were published each year on professional ethics and that the majority of the articles were nonempirical academic papers. Only 14% of the articles referenced the CEC’s Code of Ethics and/or Standards for Professional Practice. More than 40% of the articles addressing professional ethics acknowledged ethical issues related to teacher preparation, yet there were no empirical studies conducted with preservice special education teachers. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • professional ethics
  • special education ethics
  • teacher preparation


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