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Jsl Vol 18-N4

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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Guest Editor’s Introduction: Revisiting the Scope and Nature of Values- and Ethics-Based Educational Leadership

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Anthony H. Normore

Guest Editor’s Introduction: Revisiting the Scope and Nature of Values- and Ethics-Based Educational Leadership

I am pleased to serve as guest editor for this special issue of Journal of School Leadership titled “Revisiting the Scope and Nature of Values- and Ethics-Based Educational Leadership.” To trace suitable articles for this special issue, it was necessary to situate the articles in the context of values, ethics, and educational leadership. As such, the issue features a diverse group of scholars who have produced significant scholarship on these issues. Although other highly commendable articles in this area of research have been published in the Journal of School Leadership since its inception (in 1991), four articles were chosen because of their powerful connection to the topic. Furthermore, these articles were published over a 15-year period, between 1991 and 2006.

More than ever, educational leaders face challenges and expectations, both external and internal, that make considerable demands on their time, expertise, energies, and emotional well-being. These leaders being increasingly held accountable for their performance and for their compliance with ethical and moral standards in their relationships and practices (Duigan, 2007; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2005; Starrat, 2004). Many are faced with tensions between the demands of efficiency, productivity, and accountability and the expectations created within a values-based school community (Fullan, 2003; Nucci, 2001; Strike, 2008). Consequently, this perception of excessive managerialism (Duigan, 2007) has led to a call for “the transformation of managers and administrators into leaders who focus more on people-related issues in school organizations” (p. 1). Discussions about the role of ethics and values in the field of education have typically framed the concept around several issues—including democratic schooling, dilemmas and tensions around decision making, personal and professional codes of ethics, hidden curriculum, social justice, values and valuation, morality, character education, and diversity, to name a few.

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Editor’s Introduction: Research Revisited—Looking Back to Learn Lessons for the Future in School Leadership

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Jeffrey S. Brooks

Editor’s Introduction: Research Revisited—Looking Back to Learn Lessons for the Future in School Leadership

The Journal of School Leadership was first published in 1991. During that time, the journal has served as a forum for scholarly conversations and cutting-edge research that advances our understanding of many issues related to educational leadership. In August 2008, the current editorial team—which includes myself, Cynthia J. Reed of Auburn University, Anthony H. Normore of California State University–Dominguez Hills, Gaetane Jean-Marie of University of Oklahoma–Tulsa, Autumn K. Tooms of Kent State University, and Sydney Freeman of Auburn University—began its work with the journal. One of our first endeavors was to review previous volumes of JSL in an effort to become familiar with the various lines of inquiry that have appeared on these pages over the years. In doing so, we found rich veins of inquiry on disparate topics and a variety of innovative theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that give us insight into the many aspects of leadership practice and preparation. As we made these discoveries, the team developed a plan to collect sets of articles for special issues, which we titled the Research Revisited series. These issues are at once devoted to surveying the journal’s past and suggesting how looking back might allow us to meet the present and future with a clear view, as advised by lessons gleaned from some 18 years of high-quality educational leadership research. This issue is one in the Research Revisited series. We invite you to explore the past with us, and we entreat you to join, extend, challenge, and refine the conversations on these pages by publishing your work in upcoming issues of the Journal of School Leadership that will help us to understand your unique point of view on the topics explored on these pages.

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Values Perception and Future Educational Leaders

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Robert P. Craig

Cynthia J. Norris

Values Perception and Future Educational Leaders

ABSTRACT: This article describes a process of incorporating future school administrators’ value clusters into a university preparation program. The university’s role in integrating a values dimension in school administrators’ preparation programs is elucidated. The “Principal’s Reflective Experiential Preparation Program” is described, with an emphasis on the use of the “Hall Tonna Inventory of Values” to ascertain the future administrators’ value clusters as they relate to the individual’s leadership classification. It is noted that this process of values and leadership articulation affords clarity regarding the future administrator’s philosophical foundations as they relate to educational practice and to the determination of future career decisions. Finally, reflections are given regarding future directions to enhance values integration in administrative preparation programs; such programs are challenged to integrate the candidates’ value clusters—those that energize humans, within programmatic development.

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Diversity, Power and Influence: Multiple Perspectives on the Ethics of School Leadership

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Ulrich C. Reitzug

Diversity, Power and Influence: Multiple Perspectives on the Ethics of School Leadership

ABSTRACT: The intersection and clash between prevailing norms of schooling and increasing sensitivity to diversity raises a host of previously ignored ethical considerations for school administrators. These ethical issues remain largely invisible to many school leaders and thus are addressed only minimally or inadequately. This paper explores ethical issues of diversity, power and influence that are embedded in leadership and school practices. Ethical criteria suggested by various perspectives are examined and an argument is presented that ethical issues can be more thoroughly addressed by using criteria from multiple perspectives. It is only when ethical issues of diversity are explicitly addressed that leadership and schools can become moral and empowering.

In today’s schools, there is an increased sensitivity to diversity. Sensitivity to diversity recognizes cultural differences due to race, ethnicity, gender, and class, as well as opinion differences due to varying beliefs concerning appropriate educational practice. Evidence of sensitivity to cultural diversity is found in practices such as multicultural curricula, while evidence of sensitivity to diversity of belief is found in shared decision-making interventions such as site-based management. In many ways, however, schools continue to operate in the same manner they always have. Cultural norms of school policies and practices remain those of the white, middle-class culture, and empirical data on site-based management implementation points to a continuation of top-down principal leadership (see Reitzug and Capper, 1992).

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The Values of School Administration: Preferences, Ethics, and Conflicts

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Paul T. Begley

Olof Johansson

The Values of School Administration: Preferences, Ethics, and Conflicts

ABSTRACT: This article reports the findings of two studies focused on the personal and professional values of school administrators. Two themes were employed as general organizers for the research: the influence of personal preference and trans-rational principles on the problem solving actions of school administrators and the value conflicts that administrators experience in their work. One study was conducted in Umea (Sweden), the other in Toronto (Canada). The conceptual framework integrates Hodgkinson’s (1991) values theory with information processing theory. Action research methods were adopted as a way of overcoming the special problems associated with conducting research on values. Findings suggest that administrators’ personal values are significant influences on problem solving. Specifically, the rational value types of consensus and consequences predominate in the valuation processes of school principals, personal preferences are infrequently articulated, and trans-rational principles are employed under particular circumstances.

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Beyond Relativism to Ethical Decision Making

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Keith D. Walker

J. Kent Donlevy

Beyond Relativism to Ethical Decision Making

ABSTRACT: This article examines the ethical conundrum of educational decision makers when faced with a plethora of conflicting value-based decisions. It offers an analysis of a well-known fable as the foil to demonstrate the problematic nature of ethical relativism and postmodern ethics in resolving that conundrum, while advocating the use of five core commitments that enable reasonable, consistent, and justifiable warrants for ethical choices.

In North American postmodern society, schools are increasingly called to respond to meet the needs and demands of the multiple voices in their communities, not just to listen to those of the powerful and the ordinary classes but to listen and empower those who have been muted by time and circumstances beyond their control. That response is to seek social justice, equity in its various forms, and fundamental fairness for all. Yet, at the same time, educational funding issues are inevitably tied to local, provincial, or state politics, which seem to demand that administrative decision making be based on pragmatism, financial expedience, and the political spin of the day. The issue for educational administrators is how to adjudicate among the various desires of constituents and how to defend that adjudication in the public forum. We assume that all administrators hope to be referred to as having acted ethically in deciding priorities subsequent courses of action, but is there sufficient consensus about constitutes ethical conduct in today’s social world?

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