Education Journal

Educational Malpractice: Legal Cases and Educators’ Views

2008.第36卷第1–2期(Vol. 36 Nos. 1–2).pp. 137–152


Educational Malpractice: Legal Cases and Educators’ Views


Mui-Kim TEH(鄭美金)


The notion of being negligently and legally liable for poor teaching that results in the failure of students being able to achieve expected educational outcomes is an unimaginable prospect. However, there is an emerging trend of legal proceedings being brought against teachers, blaming them for low scores in literacy, numeracy or even the failure to pass an examination. The duty implied on educators to ensure the educational well-being of their students and the breach of such duty is what is commonly termed in the literature “educational malpractice” or “educational negligence.”

In this article, several cases relating to educational malpractice that took place in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia are reviewed, and the cases demonstrate that the courts are beginning to show a willingness to extend the tort of negligence to students’ intellectual harm. The author then conducted a small-scale investigation to ascertain the views of school principals regarding this issue, with very interesting results.