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NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL VOLUME 29, NUMBER 2, 2012-2013

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP IN THE PRINCIPALSHIP: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS


Jessica Garrett-Staib University of Texas of the Permian Basin Robert M. Maninger Sam Houston State University

ABSTRACT
The contention that morality is an important characteristic among educational leaders cannot be understated. Educational leaders have a responsibility to act ethically because they are responsible for assuring the well-being of the students. Current global events dictate an even stronger responsibility for administrators to act ethically. This study, designed as a modified analytical induction, utilized qualitative data gathering techniques to investigate commonalities of three campus principals ethics. A ten item interview format with open-ended questions was used. Participants revealed that with little formal training in ethics there was at a minimum five areas of correlation between their roles as administrators and sound ethical practice.

Ethical Leadership in the Principalship: A Qualitative Analysis

thics, while an integral part of education, are not unique to the profession of education. Many large businesses have fallen into ruin because of unethical business practices employed by the leaders of the institutions. Public schools are held to higher standards than ever before with the state accountability assessment. The additional pressures placed on school administrators call many to question their personal and professional ethics. Ethics and moral fiber are important characteristics to have as a school principal, especially with regard to decision-making (Greenfield, 1991; Facshing, 1997; Campbell, 1997; and Doggett, 1988). The importance of ethics at the campus level was examined in this qualitative study to determine if they impact schools and their stakeholders as public schools prepare to meet the challenges ahead.
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Significance of the Study Competence in moral reasoning is fundamental to the ability to oversee a school in a distinctly moral manner (Greenfield, 1999). Literature indicates there is a direct correlation between ethics and success as a school administrator; however, statistical data have not been abundant (Greenfield, 1991; Facshing, 1997; Campbell, 1997; and Doggett, 1988). Public schools are under-going a tremendous transformation, including changes in accountability that could grossly impact the need for ethical campus leaders. While radical changes are being made in education, many of our nation's leaders, such as, congressman, corporate executives, clergymen, and military officials, are under fire for unethical conduct (Doggett, 1988). This alone should be enough to initiate the need for a closer look in to the ethics of our public schools. Research Questions Ethics certainly drive the success of a campus principal and of his or her direct role with the students in the building. There are areas involving ethics that must be examined for the advancement of the development of formal ethical training to insure effective educational leaders. This study will examine five research questions and will include open-ended questioning that will provide opportunity for the participants to include more. What are the individual definitions regarding ethics and the role of the principal? This question will be used as a baseline guide for the five research questions that follow. Do male and female principals look at ethical situations differently? What impact does the number of years of administrative experience a principal have on the ethical stance taken when considering ethical dilemmas at school? How do high school, middle school, and elementary school administrators differ in their view of ethics?

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Other questions in the interview process will likely bring about additional considerations. These discussions will also enter into the research of this current study. Introduction Hudson (1997) contends that ethical virtues are reflected in the way we see ourselves as well as the way we see others, and are culminated in our relation to those others in the community in which we live (p. 514). Ethics have been referred to as the science of conduct, and have provided a muse for philosophers and thinkers, social and otherwise, for centuries (Harden, 1988). Since the time of Socrates and Plato, philosophers have analyzed the issue of ethics (Robbins and Trabichet, 2010; Edmonson, Fisher and Polnick, 2003). Some contemporary definitions centralize on the impact ethical leaders have had on organizations and individuals. Pritchett (1999) defines ethics as the knowledge of right and wrong, and making the right decision. Therefore, the goal of ethics is to make decisions that are best for individuals and the organization. Integrity is rooted in identity and faith. Thats one reason that spirit and soul are at the heart of the most successful leadership (Boleman, 2001, p. 42). Ethics are based on personal value systems, which are the foundation for making decisions. School administration, in contrast to administration in other organizations, makes a unique set of ethical demands on the administrator (Greenfield, 1991, p. 2). Schools are charged with assuring the well being of their students. The campus leader has a profound influence on the stakeholders and moral fiber of the campus. Therefore, the behavior of the leader must consistently focus on moral and responsible actions, directly impacting the ethical culture of the educational institution. School administrators are duty-bound to ensure that the childs best interests are served by the school (Shapiro, Gross, and Shapiro 2008; Greenfield, 1991). Because the success of educational institutions closely hinges on the ethical conduct of the campus leader, the significance of hiring ethical campus leaders is of the utmost importance (Greenfield, 1999). While Campbell (1997) agrees with the value of ethics in school leadership, she is quick to point out that the links between theoretical reflection and practical

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application have yet to be established in this complex philosophical area (p. 288). Ethics and the Campus Leader The students of schools are primarily composed of individuals under the age of 18, who have no choice regarding school attendance, the quality of their education, or the content of the curriculum. Therefore, ethical leadership is critical to ensure the captive student audience receives the most beneficial services the system can provide. Calabrese (1988) describes ethical leadership at the campus level as including respect for all members of society, tolerance for alternative opinions and cultures, and equitable resource allocation. Campbell (1997) suggests that it is highly improbable that one would encounter the opinion that ethical leadership is not important for school administrators. The activities on a school campus not only have consequences for the students, faculty, and community, but for society as well (Frick and Frick, 2010; Greenfield 1991). Therefore, ethical leadership in the school also has a profound effect on the community at large. Boleman states that leadership is a relationship rooted in community. Leaders embody their groups most precious values and beliefs (2001, p. 62). All stakeholders are affected by the outcomes of the educational system. School administrators are held to an even higher standard than leaders in other fields because they are uniquely in charge of establishing citizenship as well as socializing children to the norms of society. According to Growe (1999), educational leaders of the past were considered to be noble people who consistently behaved with dignity at all times and in all situations. Beck (1994) indicates that educators of the early public school movement were likened to ministers who had received a calling. The virtues of campus leaders were all but taken for granted. Society assumed school leaders automatically embraced high moral values throughout most of the 20th century. However, this trust was misguided. We can no longer assume educational figureheads have high levels of ethical content just because they have chosen the noble field of education in which to work, nor is it evident in the preparations programs from which they are trained (Robbins and Trabichet, 2010; Edmonson and Fisher, 2008; Boleman, 2001).

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The Role of Values in Ethical Leadership Ethics in administration has become complicated by the pervasive contemporary belief that values are relative (Campbell, 1997). To further exemplify this notion, McKerrow (1997) indicates that how one thinks and what one believes regarding the concept of educational leadership are translated into the values and practices of the school. So individuals values drive their educational leadership styles; but all individuals values are relative. Some moral values naturally exist and can be upheld objectively (Shapiro, 2008; Beck 1994). These include a respect for human life, love, loyalty, justice, honesty, courage, generosity, and promise keeping. These universal principles supportive of basic human values can provide guidance to principals who seek to make moral decisions or to justify those decisions to others. Society or we do not invent principles; they are the laws of the universe that pertain to human relationships and human organizations. They are part of the human condition, consciousness, and conscience. To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principles as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other. (Covey, 1992, p. 18) Ethics emerge from the recognition that fundamental human needs are the same for everyone, so what is good or right must be the same for everyone, under any circumstance and at all times. To ignore the universality of need that must necessarily inform what is good and right is to promote an ethical relativism (McKerrow, 1997). Fasching (1997) describes ethical administrators as those who are more concerned about behaving responsibly than about always being right. They consistently do what is best for the schools and the students rather than considering personal outcomes. There are several perspectives to consider when considering campus leadership:

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One concerns the character of the administrator. What are this persons vices and virtues? Is the individual a person of integrity? Does the administrator satisfactorily represent the status of the position of principal, or superintendent? Can the individual be trusted? There are a host of personal qualities (virtues) one might identify as desirable in the character of the school administrator. (Greenfield, 1991, p. 9) Educators should fulfill their obligations in both moral and ethical ways, and leaders need to model this by standing against injustice (Clarken, 2009; Klinker and Hackmann, 2003; Campbell 1997). Moral Leadership Education is a fundamentally moral venture (Langlois, 2004; Begley, 2003; McKerrow, 1997). The public school administrator, if for no other reason than the office he/she holds, is a moral representative (Clarken, 2009; Greenfield 1991). While the consideration of right and wrong decisions regarding administrative leadership may appear to be perfectly aligned with the assessment of a school leader, one really should consider whether or not morality is actually more situational (Klinker and Hackmann, 2003). Greenfield (1999) contends that while honesty is considered to be an admirable trait in an administrator, honesty is not always the best policy in all situations. Often, normative judgments or moral values accompany and precede the decision regarding what one might consider to be the best decision regarding a particular circumstance. A major dilemma for the administrator is the necessity to act in the face of conflicting moral values regarding a particular decision or action. Relationships cannot be developed through technical expertise, but rather through moral discourse and the teaching of tolerance (Clarken, 2009; Smith, 1988). Covey (1992) contends: As dangerous as a little knowledge is, even more dangerous is much knowledge without a strong, principled character. Purely intellectual development without commensurate internal character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is high on drugs. (p. 89)

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Ultimately, a moral leader is one who promotes and protects a richer understanding of the educational process in a very practical sense (Clarken, 2009; Smith, 1988). Ethics and Decision Making Direct or indirect use of power, as currently recognized by educational administrators, may actually inhibit ethical decision-making, and conflict with multiple ways of discerning knowledge (Reitzug, 2008; McKerrow 1997). Acknowledging the ethical complexities of school leadership is the first step for theorists and practitioners to find an avenue to connect the vision of ethical leadership with the daily dilemmas of life in schools (Campbell, 1997). Educational leaders are faced with a myriad of ethical dilemmas. Doggett (1988) asserts that many of the routine issues confronting principals each day are of an ethical nature and call for school administrators to uphold principles of honesty and integrity (p. 6). School leaders faced with ethical and moral dilemmas should reflect on inherent value principles, but even this may not be enough to translate into correct action (Campbell, 1997). Much of the attention given to ethics in school administration has arisen as a response to the prevalent awareness of the many complex issues facing educational leaders today (Reitzug, 2008; Beck, 1994). Greenfield (1991) lists some of these dilemmas as good pedagogical practices, friendships, rules and regulations, efficiency of the organization, and educational outcomes. There may be many conflicting moral issues at play when considering decisions to be made. Moral reasoning is a tool the administrator can use to identify and analyze the moral dimensions of the dilemma and arrive at a conclusion regarding what action ought to be taken . . . (Greenfield, 1991, p. 10). Beck (1994, p. 2) asserts that ethics provide principles to guide administrators toward morally sound decisions . . . Conclusions from empirical studies on the decision-making of principals reveal that ethical considerations are secondary to instrumental considerations related to policy and strategy (Campbell, 1997). However, Doggett (1988) challenges that many of the everyday issues facing principals are of an ethical nature and require school administrators to uphold principles of honesty and integrity.

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Summary Having a code of ethics instituted by professional administrator organizations or by state and national legislation does not insure that there will be adherence in any way (Edmonson and Fisher, 2008). Smith (1988) argues, The moral leader should realize that there is much more to schooling than the attainment of certain quantitatively measured goals (p. 8). Schools are ultimately about the development of human beings and how we choose to live our lives. Blanchard and Shulas (1995) book Everyones a Coach sums up the importance of strong ethics by stating that if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. The need to determine the importance of ethics on our public school system is of the essence. Ethics should be at the core of educational administration; campus principals affect peoples lives and it is their duty to make ethical decisions (Klinker and Hackmann, 2003; McKerrow 1997). Methodology The researchers/authors examined the relationship between the ethics of the campus principal and gender, race, number of years the individual has been a public school principal, and the campus level of the principal. The researcher also investigated the classes or training each participant had received in the area of ethics, the size of the school district the principal served, the perception of ethics as it relates to school achievement, and the basic definitions and fundamental beliefs regarding ethics held by the sample group. Selection of Participants The researcher contacted local school administrators to gather names of potential participants. The participants were unfamiliar to the researcher in order to limit bias. Phone calls were made to potential participants in an effort to gauge their willingness to participate in the study. The first three principals contacted agreed to participate. The participants were selected to be homogeneous with regard to their profession. Participant selection was very purposive in nature.

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The study was designed as a modified analytical induction, where each participant added to the knowledge base. The research project utilized multiple sites. Site access was gained from the actual participants. The site selection was designed to be non-threatening in nature. The goal of the researcher was to not inconvenience the participants in any way. Participants elected to be interviewed in their offices. The first participant was a 46 year old, Black, female principal in a relatively small elementary school. She had 14 years of administrative experience. The second participant was a 54 year old, White, male principal in a middle/high school. He had only two years of experience as a principal in his small, rural school district. The third participant was a 37 year old, White, male principal in a high school. He had three and a half years of experience as a principal in his mid-sized school district. In addition to the research questions, a dialogue was conducted regarding specific incidents the sample group had faced where ethical decisions were a major consideration. The participants were interviewed for various periods of time lasting between 25 and 45 minutes. Each interview was tape-recorded by the researcher. The interviews were transcribed in detail. Each transcript was coded, analyzed and highlighted to locate the trends and commonalities within the responses. The constant comparison method was used to locate patterns among the findings. The interviewing process shed light on ethical considerations and issues faced by todays principals. Instrument The participants were interviewed using a ten-question questionnaire. Typed copies of the questionnaire were given to the participants. The researcher operated with an emic perspective throughout the research project. For a specific listing of interview questions please refer to the Appendix. Data Collection and Analysis Human Subjects Protection forms were completed. Each participant was supplied with an informed consent form. The informed consent forms addressed the confidentiality of the participants, voluntary consent that could be withdrawn at any time, and the reporting of the data in future publications

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or presentations. The researcher retrieved all informed consent forms in person, prior to the interviews. Prior to beginning the formal interview, an effort was made on the part of the researcher to establish a strong rapport. Information regarding the researcher and the background of the researcher was volunteered in an effort to ease any discomfort the participants may have felt. The purpose of the research project was also revealed to the subjects. Participants appeared willing, honest, and comfortable throughout the interview process. Results and Conclusions Previous research suggests that while no substantially significant data patterns emerge, there are correlations that make the study of ethics valuable (Reitzug, 2008; Clarken, 2009; Frick and Frick, 2010). The definitions of ethics presented by the participants were similar in nature. Participant A defined ethics as a sense of whats right and whats wrong. Participant B defined ethics as the guidelines you use to conduct yourself in your life, your daily life, and your interactions with others; and Participant C said, I would define ethics as kind of a framework from which you operate. It guides you to make good, moral decisions based on the norms or appropriateness. They all mentioned morality in their interviews, indicating that all three participants connect ethics with the concept of morality. Of the three participants interviewed, only cursory training in the area of ethics had been received. One participant had an undergraduate class in ethics at a South Carolina university, one had the topic addressed in university classes not specifically centered on ethics, and one participant had received no training at all. Participants B and C indicated that there were some definite differences in the ethics expected in large and small school districts. Those two participants viewed smaller school districts as more political. Both participants had been employed in both large and small school districts, and agreed that it is easier to maintain some anonymity in larger school districts. Participant C also noted that a principal is more likely to impact the overall ethical fabric of the school in a smaller district. Participant C noted, If I make

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an ethical mistake here, theyll hear about it [at the local grocery store] before sundown. And if Im inconsistent, theyll know. Participant B stated, I think the difference is if you are in a large school, youre apt to be more anonymous than you are in a small school where everybody is going to know you. So, in a small school you are more apt to be asked to compromise yourself than you are in a larger school. . . . because people get to know you and they think theyre friends with you, and once they are friends with you, then they are more apt to ask you to do something unethical. When analyzing the gender of the principal and the ethics of the principal, Participant B indicated, . . . some of the females may tend to use their sexuality to gain something as opposed to a male who doesnt have that asset. Participant C noted, I would guess that a female administrator would or a minority would have to be more careful. I think I could get away with some stuff. And I think youre going to be judged on a higher standard than I will be. Participant A did not see any connection between gender and ethics. The subjects perceived only a few basic differences with regard to ethics and veteran and novice principals. Participant A didnt see any connection because, It doesnt matter if the person has one year or twenty years of experience. If you have strong morals at twenty, then youre going to have strong morals at 40. Nobody waits until you get old to develop ethics. Participant B posited, Probably a veteran principal would be more apt to do something that is unethical than a novice. Because a novice wants to keep his job and the veteran would feel pretty secure and figure that he or she would get away with whatever they were doing. Participant C said, I think the veteran principals, there may be a perception that they have higher ethics or morals simply because theyve been in the business longer. And people kind of tend to connect that with being a better principal. All three participants identified their belief that there was no difference between a principal that was employed in an elementary school, a middle school, or a high school when considering ethics. They believed there could be just as much ethical or unethical behavior on any campus. The issue of race and ethical behavior presented some different findings. Participant A, who is Black, said, I dont think race plays any part in ethics. It is all about how you have been raised. Participant B noted, I

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think someone who is a minority, specifically someone who is AfricanAmerican, if he or she is in a community where the makeup of the school is minority, then the Black community is going to lean on him to show favoritism. And if he doesnt then they are going to call him an Uncle Tom. Participant C stated, They have to operate at a higher standard than I do. The male participants perceived that minorities of any type had to behave even more ethically because they are constantly under scrutiny. The female, Black participant indicated that there was really no difference in the ethics of minority race or gender individuals, it was more a factor of background and upbringing. The White males felt that White men have the liberty to make a few unethical decisions, while minority individuals do not. The same trends in the research emerged regardless of whether the administrators were minorities based on their race or gender. All minorities were generally perceived as not having the same liberties afforded White, male principals. Participants A and B viewed ethics as being absolute, while Participant C believed ethics were relative. However, Participant C did indicate that there are some ethical considerations that simply have no leeway. It is relative, but it has some constraints. Participant B stated, And it has to be absolute. If you start making it relative you can get yourself into trouble because people will you cant fool everybody all the time and people will pick up on the fact that you can be swayed or gotten to or whatever you want to call it. Participant A was strong in her belief. The ethics in this school are absolute. Its going to be absolute as long as Im here. The participants were extremely responsive in the dialogue regarding major ethical dilemmas they have faced. Participants presented very different scenarios in their background. Participant A recalled a time when she would have broken the law to prevent a child from returning to a home where the child had been sexually molested. CPS showed up just in time to prevent the principal from breaking the law, but she would have. Participant B discussed an experience where he was asked to rescind a punishment given to an important persons daughter. He stuck by his guns. He cited policy as his support throughout the ordeal. He refused to bend to the desire of the district and the girl received the same punishment as the other offenders. Participant C posited that his biggest ethical dilemmas came when determining at what point a teacher should be removed from his or her livelihood. I never thought

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I would be one of those principals who came in and fired people. I think your ethics are that youre going to defend the kid. School achievement is a topic close to the hearts of most campus administrators. The sample group had varying views on whether or not ethics actually impact the success of a school. Participant A noted that ethics really has less to do with the success of a school than the economics of the area. Money can buy things. Money is a better determining factor in the success of a school than the ethics of the principal. Participant B was adamant that ethics are directly related to the success of a campus. Because if your leader is ethical and everybody knows he is ethical and he is a stand up guy, then they are going to want to please him and achieve, and make the school a good place. Participant C indicated that the ethics of the campus principal perhaps had more direct impact on the school environment than the achievement. However, this did translate into a lower dropout rate and better attendance. So, while the ethics of the campus leader may not directly impact achievement, it had an indirect effect on the success of the school. Implications Our country is entering a time in history where morals and ethics will be a major consideration. Current global events indicate a great need for schools to produce highly capable citizens. Schools are a direct reflection of the constituency they represent, and the leadership of a campus has considerable direct impact on the entire community. Education has grown to involve more of the stakeholders than ever before. With the onset of sitebased decision-making, public school clientele are now asked to assist on a more regular basis with the daily functioning of the schools. Some very clear patterns emerged as a result of the current study. All participants had well developed definitions of what ethics involve. However, there was little evidence of formal training in ethics for educational administration. Our study suggested that smaller school districts may be more political in nature. There was agreement that the difference in size of a school district did in fact impact ethical behavior.

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There was also a strong consensus that any minority indicator, whether it is female, Black, or Hispanic, can be perceived as raising the ethical standard. Minority individuals simply are not allowed to make mistakes with regard to ethics. The white males in this study were clear about the doublestandard that presents itself with regard to the acceptable ethical behavior of a principal. They posit that white men can get away with making unethical mistakes, while minority individuals cannot. However, the lack of concern presented by the black female principal may be a result of her high ethical standards. She does not feel the added pressure to perform at a higher ethical standard simply because she represents the higher measure in a more instinctive manner. Veteran principals have experienced more and are perhaps better at gauging their communities. Their comfort level may make them more likely to make unethical decisions. It was clear throughout this study that the ethical content of the administrator was not affected by whether they represented an elementary, middle, or high school. School achievement was a loosely-used term throughout this study. Achievement could be defined as good test scores or as producing successful, productive citizens. The ethics of principals have a more direct tie to the production of successful, productive members of society. By modeling strong ethical behavior, a principal sets a standard in the school that should be immolated by the students. There was no consensus between participants that ethical behavior by the campus leader translated into higher achievement. The research also supported the reporting of the myriad of ethical dilemmas faced by campus administrators; there is really no limit to the issues a principal can face (Clarken, 2009; Shapiro, 2008; Beck, 1994; Greenfield, 1991). One of the difficulties in this genre of research is that the dilemmas themselves rarely appear for an administrator the same way twice. There is no doubt that ethics impact the daily functioning of all campus principals. Educational leaders have a distinctive responsibility to act ethically because they are responsible for assuring the well-being of the students. The decisions that administrators make are based on the value system held by the individuals. The challenges of everyday issues facing

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principals are of an ethical nature and require school administrators to uphold basic principles of honesty and integrity.

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REFERENCES Beck, L., & Murphy, J. (1994). Ethics in educational leadership programs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Begley, P. (2003) In Pursuit of Authentic School Leadership Practices, in P. Begley and O. Johansson (eds) The Ethical Dimensions of School Leadership. London: Kluwer Academic. Blanchard, K., & Shula, D. (1994). Everyones a coach. New York: Harper Collins. Boleman, L., & Deal, T. (2001). Leading with soul: An uncommon journey. San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Calabrese, R.L. (1988). Ethical leadership: A prerequisite for effective schools. NASSP Bulletin, 72(512), 1-4. Campbell, E. (1997). Ethical school leadership: Problems of an elusive role. Journal of School Leadership, 7(4), 287-300. Clarken, R. H. (2009, March). Morale intelligence in the schools. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Covey, S. (1992). Principle-Centered Leadership. New York: Fireside. Doggett, M. (1988). Ethical excellence for school-based administrators. NASSP Bulletin, 72(512), 6-8. Edmonson, S., & Fisher, A. (2008, Feb). Creating ethical administrators: A challenge for both professor and practitioner. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of School Administrators, San Diego, CA. Edmonson, S., Fisher, A., & Polnick, B. (2003, Feb). Portrait of an ethical administrator. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of School Administrators, New Orleans, LA. Frick, J. E., & Frick, W. C. (2010). An ethic of connectedness: Enacting moral school leadership through people and programs. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 5(2), 117-130. Greenfield, W.D. (1999, April). Moral leadership in schools: Fact or fancy? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Greenfield, W.D. (1991, April). Rationale and methods to articulate ethics and administrator training. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

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Growe, R. (1999). Educational leaders as moral leaders: The value of virtue. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED455570). Hudson, J. (1997) Ethical leadership: The soul of policy making. Journal of School Leadership, 7(2), 506-520. Klinker, J. F., & Hackmann, D. G. (2003, April). An analysis of principals ethical decision making using Rests Four Component Model of Moral Behavior. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Langlois, L. (2004) Responding Ethically: Complex Decisionmaking by School District Superintendents, International Studies in Educational Administration 32(2): 7893. McKerrow, K. (1997). Ethical administration: An oxymoron? Journal of School Leadership, 7(2), 210-225. Pritchett, P. (1999). The ethics of excellence. Retrieved June 26, 2002, from http://www.pritchettonline.com/library/ethics. Reitzug, U. C. (2008). Diversity, power and influence: Multiple perspectives on the ethics of school leadership. Journal of School Leadership, 4(2), 396-420. Robbins, S., & Trabichet, L. (2010). Ethical decision-making by educational leaders: Its foundations, culture, and more recent perspectives. Management in Education, 23(2), 51-56. Shapiro, J. P., Gross S.J., & Shapiro, S.H. (2008). Ethical decisions in turbulent times. School Administrator, 65(5), 18-21. Smith, J., & Blase, J. (1988). Educational leadership: A moral and practical activity. NASSP Bulletin, 72(513), 1-10.

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About the Authors Jessica Garrett-Staib, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Texas Permian Basin. Dr. Garrett-Staibs areas of research and current projects involve rural school administration; leadership, decision-making, and ethics; gender issues in educational leadership; and case studies in educational administration. She spent over fifteen years in teaching elementary education and special education and in administrative positions at the elementary and intermediate levels. Robert M. Maninger, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Sam Houston State University. His research and writing focus on educational technology integration and educational administration. Dr. Maninger teaches a wide variety of courses in the College of Education. He spent over fifteen years in teaching and administrative positions PK-12.

Permission is granted to reprint this article for distribution as long as it is used for academic purposes. Credit must be given to NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, 17603 Bending Post Drive, Houston, Texas 77095 Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, editor-in-chief