Educational Leaders' Decision-Making: Presence, Influence, and Strength of Personal Values, Morals, and Ethics

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Virginia Tech


The study investigated the degree to which the personal values, morals, or ethics of educational leaders enter into their decision making processes. A review of the literature suggests that leadership preparation programs for educators do not adequately equip aspiring administrators for the ethical challenges in a global society. The scholarship of John Dewey and Donald Willower in the field of educational leadership laid the groundwork for the dual methodology pilot study conducted with high school administrators and retired superintendents. Retired division superintendents from Virginia were interviewed to yield a database of thematic strands for developing ethical construct statements. Demographic data was collected in the first portion of the survey. In the second portion of the instrument, respondents indicated strength of relevance for each of twenty valuation statements applied to each of the four ethical scenarios. The third section ended by respondents assigning one of four value labels to each of the ethical scenarios. Implications for further research include early administration to members of new leadership preparation cohorts for comparison at program completion.



Educational Leadership, Values, Decision-making, Ethics, Morals