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Phyllis Greenspan -
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Great Teachers Never Stop Learning Ways to Teach
A Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers

In 1990 Ken Goodman published “A Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers” as a front piece of the book The Whole Language Catalog, edited with Yetta Goodman and Lois Bridges.  Two decades later we encouraged Ken to take another look at the Declaration and to add an addendum. The work of teachers remains crucial in the lives of learners, but the political environment typically fails to acknowledge teachers for their professional commitment and their professional competence.

In 2010, the “Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action” adopted Ken’s Declaration as the statement of beliefs of teachers regarding basic principles of good teaching.  Our hope is that teachers everywhere will take to heart the message in the document. It deserves to be read aloud whenever teachers gather. Read it together. Listen to your colleagues.  Your voices need to be heard.

Please click here for a PDF of the Declaration

Kenneth Goodman’s document, A Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers, details the ethical responsibilities of teachers and provides a comprehensive view of education as a human enterprise.  It should be studied by every teacher and those preparing to be teachers.  This document reminds us that the first duty of teachers is to our students, not political or corporate interests.

Yvonne Siu-Runyan, Ph.D.
President, National Council Teachers of English (2010-2011)
Professor Emerita, University of Northern Colorado

Download and print “A Declaration
Of Professional Conscience for Teachers

Please click here for a PDF of the Declaration. It is formatted for 11 X 17, but can be reduced to 8 ˝ X 11.

The Declaration is also available for
purchase in packages of 25 copies, 
printed on 11 X 17 parchment, that
sell for
$10.00 per package
plus standard shipping charges.


  Please endorse A Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers at



and join the cause.


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