Educational Leadership Article

it is important that our schools educational staffs practice wise and ethical educational leadership.

The concept of ethics in leadership centers on not only the moral character of the leader, but also on the ethical values inscribed in the leader's personal portfolio of goals, perceptions, expressions and actions. A superior leader, in the end, is not only able to maintain integrity within himself, but is adept at influencing others to act ethically as well. Furthermore, the more ethical a leader is, the more likely he is to exhibit superior job performance, exhibit a high level of concern for the students and set a positive example.

Ethics is an essentially communicative action that progresses through an intricate methodology arbitrated through a deliberate dissemination of ethical values Educational leadership is especially concerned with the integrity of the processes of ethical decision-making and achievement that leaders and followers collectively put into practice. Such ethical dimensions of leadership have been broadly examined in educational capacities relating to the positions of school administrators, but many experts, such as American Association of School Administrators (AASA) director, Paul D. Houston, are still not satisfied with the results. Houston recently offered the following statement in the School Administrator journal: "Character education and the teaching of values has been an ongoing discussion for some time. We have seen schools introduce programs to teach it, school boards veer sharply away from dealing with it, acrimonious debates around it, and politicians on both sides demand it. Yet it always has been central to what we are about, and we have hurt ourselves by losing sight of the centrality of character in our work".

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find any evidence that conclusively tells us whether the American educational system is effective at promoting ethical behavior or not. While the meaning of education has broadened due to Americans' increasing access to an expanding world of information, the methods necessary towards helping students succeed in contemporary society with well-developed academic skills as well as the capacity for adequate ethical decision-making, has not evolved according to modern needs. This is of great concern in many respects, especially considering the expanding need in contemporary society for increasingly serious moral instruction.

The ethical issues that school leaders must deal with on a daily basis vary considerably with the times. Yet schools have consistently been viewed throughout history as a "moral institution" designed to propagate and endorse issues of high morality and appropriate ethical decision-making. Educational leaders are frequently forced to make decisions that place more value on some morals than on others. Because of this, and because of the limited power of the student voice in the overall conduct of educational leaders, the leader's conduct must be consciously moral and ethical. Hence to truly maintain status as an ethical educational leader, the responsibility to promote ethical conduct must be rooted not so much in technical expertise, but in basic human understanding.

Communities continually claim to want stronger school leaders with visions for change that do not rest comfortably amid the status quo. They want leaders who are not afraid of change and who understand that the ethical dilemmas today's youth are far more extreme than in the past. The educational leader's personal ethical standards are therefore paramount in facilitating the creation of a thriving, well-adjusted and morally grounded new millennium generation.

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