Ethical leadership and decision making in education: applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas

Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates. Edited by Jacqueline Anne Stefkovich (2001)
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Abstract

The authors developed this textbook in response to an increasing interest in ethics, and a growing number of courses on this topic that are now being offered in educational leadership programs. It is designed to fill a gap in instructional materials for teaching the ethics component of the knowledge base that has been established for the profession. The text has several purposes: First, it demonstrates the application of different ethical paradigms (the ethics of justice, care, critique, and the profession) through discussion and analysis of real-life moral dilemmas that educational leaders face in their schools and communities. Second, it addresses some of the practical, pedagogical, and curricular issues related to the teaching of ethics for educational leaders. Third, it emphasizes the importance of ethics instruction from a variety of theoretical approaches. Finally, it provides a process that instructors might follow to develop their own ethics unit or course. * Part I provides an overview of why ethics is so important, especially for today's educational leaders, and describes a multiparadigm approach essential to practitioners as they grapple with ethical dilemmas. * Part II deals with the dilemmas themselves. Ethical dilemmas written by the authors' graduate students bring readers face-to-face with the kinds of dilemmas faced by practicing administrators in urban, suburban, and rural settings in an era full of complexities and contradictions. * Part III focuses on pedagogy and provides teaching notes for the instructor. The authors discuss the importance of self-reflection on the part of both instructors and students, and model how they thought through their own personal and professional ethical codes as well as reflected upon the critical incidents in their lives that shaped their teaching and frequently determined what they privileged in class.

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