Building Ethical School Climates

Background: What makes an ethical leader? In the realms of education we look to our leaders and demand that they not only be expert as leaders, but also lead the school in school improvement efforts as well as meet the demands of state, local, and national policies that effect our schools. We also demand that they possess integrity and honesty. They are held to a higher standard than we do other school and district stakeholders.” Is there one set of moral constraints on leaders and one on followers? What does this have to do with our sense of virtue, of democracy, and of justice?  Particularly for those who will enter the education world, it is vital to understand what is expected of a moral leader and how the moral qualities of a leader play into his or her effectiveness or ability to lead. Given the hierarchical nature of schools, we are often simultaneously in the position of a leader and a follower. What tensions does this create, and how do we try to think these roles in a moral sense? How can leaders learn by looking at those who are unethical? Ethical behavior rarely continues in a vacuum.  How can “followership” dynamics contribute to unethical behavior?
Assignment: Building Ethical School Climates

Discuss the strategies needed in schools and districts to build ethical climates, while at the same time improving teaching and learning?  Align and analyze some of the Leader’s Shadows that are discussed on pages 7 – 25 in the Johnson textbook in your narrative. Reflect on the challenges of followership that may hinder or impede the building of ethical climates and optimum learning environments (see pgs. 8 and 9 in Johnson) Use your assigned textbooks for this Module and at least five other sources.

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