Teacher's Oath

A Teacher's Oath is an oath taken in some countries by teachers.

Bahria College Islamabad - Oath Taking Ceremony 2009

In 1993, the German educator Hartmut von Hentig [de] designed the Socratic Oath, which is supposed to be a set of professional guidelines for educators, teachers and paedagogues. In 2022, after the COVI19 pandemic effects some dramatic changes in the world as a whole and in the education system in partial the German educator Klaus Zierer published a renewal of the Socratic oath, which is based on the research of the educator John Hattie and has not only a theoretical approach but also an empirical base.[1]

Today there are many different versions of the Teacher's Oath, for example the Comenius Oath in Finland,[2][3][4] Teachers' Oath Taking in Philippines,[5] Abdul Kalam Teachers Oath in India,[6] Teachers Pledge in Singapore[7] and Betimi i Mësuesit in Kosovo.[8]

Since 1863, nearly two-thirds of US states have adopted loyalty oaths for teachers.[9] The Massachusetts Teachers' Oath was a loyalty oath required to teach in Massachusetts from 1935 to 1967.

Socratic OathEdit

As teacher and educator I undertake,

  • to respect and to defend against anyone the uniqueness of each child;
  • to stand by for his and her physical and mental integrity;
  • to take aware of his and her emotions, to listen to him and her, to take him and her seriously;
  • to search for his consent for all I will do to this child, as I would do with an adult person;
  • to interpret the rules of his development in the most positive way and to support the child to accept these own rules;
  • to challenge and to promote his gifts and potentials;
  • to protect him, where he is weak, to support him, where it is needed, in overcoming fear and guilt, malice and falsehood, doubts and mistrust and snivelling self-help addiction;
  • not to break his desire, not even where it appears nonsensical, but to support him to take his will under the reign of his reason, to teach him so the mature use of mind and the art of negotiating understanding;
  • to prepare him to take over responsibility within and for the community;
  • to let him learn the world how it is without subjugation to the world how it is;
  • to make him feel what a good life might mean;
  • to give him a vision of a better world and the confidence that it might be achievable;
  • to teach truthfulness, not the truth because "it is with God alone".

So that I undertake,

  • to give example, as well as I can, how to deal with difficulties, challenges, opportunities of our world and with his own limited gifts and how to cope with his own always given guilt;
  • to ensure, according to my power, that the next generation will find a world worthwhile to live in, and where the inherited burdens and difficulties will not crush ideas, hopes and forces;
  • to justify publicly my beliefs and deeds, to expose myself to criticism, particularly of stakeholders and experts, and to suspend my judgements by continuous and conscientious review;
  • and to resist to all people and circumstances, interest of parts or service provision, if I believe they might hinder intentions expressed here.

~ Hartmut von Hentig - 1993[10] [11]

Other versionsEdit

As a teacher, I commit myself to directing all my feelings, thoughts and actions in my profession towards the well-being of the children entrusted to me.

I commit myself to the children,

- to challenge and support each child according to his or her potential and level of development,

- not to leave any child behind or to write them off, no matter what the reasons are,

- to take the failure of the children entrusted to me again and again as an opportunity for new ways of teaching,

- to see mistakes as an opportunity, not as a flaw,

- to set challenges in the educational process so that underachallenge and overchallenge do not occur,

- to look for, pick up and awaken motivations,

- to enter into dialogue again and again, to give and receive feedback, to ask questions and to listen,

- to attribute a serving function to subjects in the educational process,

- to address and stimulate all areas of the personality,

- to give confidence in the world and in oneself and to make it visible on a daily basis,

- to understand and shape the class and the school as a welcoming place,

- to provide for an appreciative, fear-free and educationally effective atmosphere and relationship, and

- to stand up for the physical, mental and spiritual integrity of the children entrusted to me.

I commit myself to the parents

- to communicate at eye level and to build up an educational partnership,

- to understand the educational process of the children as a common task,

- not only to be prepared to talk to them regularly, but also to actively seek contact with them, and

- to take their assessments of the children's educational success and progress seriously and to combine them with their own views.

I commit myself to my colleagues,

- to share my experiences in education and teaching and to use them as a basis for collegial professionalisation,

- to share and reflect together on the mistakes made every day,

- to reflect back on successful moments in school and to give mutual recognition, and

- to allow everyone their individual perspective on school and teaching while working towards a shared vision.

I commit myself to the educational public,

- to accept the educational mandate and to implement it at all times,

- not only to impart knowledge and skills, but to focus on and promote all areas of the personality,

- to subordinate all subjects to the well-being of the child and thus to the educational mission,

- to be loyal but not blind to official guidelines,

- to implement everything that serves the best interests of the children and to reject everything that is contrary to the best interests of the child,

- to critically question, and if necessary publicly denounce and reject, any interests and demands on school and teaching that are not primarily in the best interests of the child, and

- to give a voice to children and their right to education in public discourse.

I commit myself to society,

- to see respect for human dignity as the basis and goal of school and education,

- to teach the principles of our democracy and to defend them in school and in teaching,

- to see school as a place of reproduction and innovation of social values,

- to use my pedagogical freedom to place current issues at the centre of everyday school life, and

- to be not only reactive but also proactive towards the further development of our society.

To myself I commit myself,

- to justify my actions at all times, to discuss them critically and constructively and to reflect on them conscientiously,

- to regularly develop my professional, pedagogical and didactic competences,

- regularly reflect on my professional attitudes, and

- to always fulfil my role as a role model to the best of my knowledge and belief.

I confirm what has been said by my willingness to be measured at all times against the standards that emanate from this commitment.

~ Klaus Zierer - 2022 [12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Education Today".
  2. ^ "Comenius' Oath for teachers". www.oaj.fi.
  3. ^ International, Education (15 February 2017). "Finland: new oath for teachers introduced by union". Education International.
  4. ^ "Finland: Teachers pledge Comenius Oath at Educa fair". European Trade Union Committee for Education. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  5. ^ Navales, Arwen (19 October 2017). "2016 Oath Taking for Professional Teachers". www.teacherph.com. Teacherph. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Teacher's Day 2017: APJ Abdul Kalam's 10 Oaths For Teachers". www.ndtv.com. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Pledge by Teachers". www.comp.nus.edu.sg.
  8. ^ Mbahet ceremonia e diplomimit (betimit) të studentëve të Fakultetit të Edukimit, Universiteti i Prishtinës
  9. ^ "TEACHERS' LOYALTY OATH". Encyclopedia.com. Dictionary of American History. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  10. ^ Der Sokratische Eid auf der Homepage der Laborschule Bielefeld. (in German)
  11. ^ What is the Socratic oath?, http://www.answers.com
  12. ^ "Education Today".

Further readingEdit