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Ethical and moral decision making : praxis and hermeneutics for school leaders
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Minnis, Joan Quinn
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Critical Incidents
Dilemmas
Leadership
School Administrators
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational leadership -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT There has been a renewed interest in the inclusion of ethics as part of educators' training and interest in understanding the moral and ethical dimensions of educational practice. This research was designed to study the types of dilemmas school level leaders face, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation, professional development, and practice. In documenting the lived experiences of former school level leaders, the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry and the critical incident technique (CIT) were employed. Data collected from interview sessions, dialogs, journals and reflections were used to analyze the types of dilemmas school level leaders faced, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation, professional development, and practice. This study confirmed the prevalence of ethical dilemmas for school level leadership. The critical incidents shared by the participants revealed that school leaders were guided by district policies and experienced dissonance or tension between their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district. The data determined that school level leaders sought to act in the best interests of students. Participants acknowledged that the core of their ethical and moral fiber was developed early in their youth and was reinforced by pivotal life experiences. This acknowledgement suggested that pivotal life experiences could influence an individual's ethical and moral fiber. The findings also indicated that professional development in ethics could be effective for school level leaders. Additionally, the data revealed a dichotomy around whether ethics could be taught. The findings were inconclusive in determining how race and/or gender played a significant role in the dilemmas that school level leaders face or the resolution of the dilemmas. Further research and study of this issue may be warranted in light of the changing demographics of our schools, communities, and school level leaders. Critical reflection proved to be a process that could benefit practicing and aspiring school level leaders. Exploring how this process could be implemented in school leader preparation and professional development programs is a phenomenon worthy of further research.
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Disseration (Ed.D.)--University of South Florida, 2011.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Joan Quinn Minnis.
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Includes vita.

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Ethical and Moral Decision Making: Praxis and Hermeneutics for School Leaders b y Joan Quinn Minnis A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education Department of Educational Leadershi p and Policy Studies College of Education University of South Florida Co Major Professor: Janice Fauske, Ph.D Co Major Professor: Zorka Karanxha, Ed.D Lenford Sutton, Ph.D. Phyllis Jones, Ph.D. Date of Approval March 23, 2011 Keywords: Critical I ncidents, Dilemmas, Leadership, School Administrators Copyright 2 011, Joan Quinn Minnis

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DEDICATION To my parents, Frank and Virginia Quinn, you will forever be my moral compass.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT S I want to thank my dissertat ion committee for their support and guidance. I also want to give a special thank you to Dr. Fauske and Dr. Sutton for their support and mentoring and Dr. Bill Katzenmeyer for being a critical friend. Las t of all I want to thank my family and friends for their unconditional support.

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i TABLE OF CONTEN TS L IST OF T ABLES iv A BSTRACT v C HAPTER 1: Introduction Theoretical Framework 1 Guiding Questions 8 Statement of the Problem 1 1 Research Questions 1 2 Research Design 1 3 Key Definitions 1 4 Organization of Study 1 8 C HAPTER 2: L iterature R eview 20 Introduction 20 Overview 2 1 Review of the Literature: Right versus Right 2 3 The Study of Ethical Decision Making 3 9 Implications for Further Research 50 C HAPTER 3: M ethodology 5 7 Introduction 5 7 Research Desig n 5 9 Interviews 61 Informed Consent, Sampling and Protocols 6 2 Limitations 6 6 Validity 6 8 Role and Views of the Researcher 6 9 Incidents 72 Significance of the Study 8 4 C HAPTER 4 : F indings and R esults 8 6 Introduction 8 6 Overview 8 6 Methodology 8 7 Participant Selection and Protocols 8 8 Interview Sessions with Participants 8 9 Data Analysis 9 4

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ii Findings 9 6 Prevalence of Ethical Dilemmas 9 6 Age of Incidents 10 3 Compliance with Policy 10 4 Seeking Guidance 10 7 Support from District 1 10 Dissonance About Personal Beliefs 1 1 3 Learning to Be Ethical 11 7 Influence of Gender and Race 1 20 What Has Been Learned from the Dilemmas 1 2 4 Ethics Can B e Taught Maybe 12 7 Emergent Themes 12 9 Spirituality 1 30 Moral Purpose 1 31 Best Interests of Students 1 3 3 Pivotal Life Experiences 1 3 5 Dissonance 13 6 Summary 1 3 7 C HAPTER 5: D iscussion 1 3 9 Introduction 139 Overview of the Study 13 9 Discussion 1 4 3 Selection 1 5 1 Developing Ethics and Expectations for Ethical Behavior 1 5 2 Modeling Et hics 1 5 2 Emergent Themes for Grounded Theory 1 5 6 Spirituality 1 5 6 Moral Purpose 1 5 8 Best Interests of Students 1 5 9 Pivotal Life Events 1 60 Dissonance 1 6 2 Race and Gen der 1 6 5 Summary 1 6 8 C HAPTER 6: C onclusions and I mplications 1 72 Epilogue 1 7 6 R EFERENCES 1 7 9 A PPENDICES 1 8 9 Appendix A : The District School 1 90 Appendix B : Inform ed Consent 1 93 Appendix C : Interview Protocol 1 9 8 Appendix D : Notification to Participants 200

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iii Appendix E : PI Notes 201 Appendix F : Modified Elements of the Cranston Model 202 A BOUT THE AUTHOR END PAGE

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iv LIST OF TABLES T able 1: Demographics of the Participants 6 4 T able 2: Number of Critical Incidents by Participant 9 8 T able 3: Summary of Critical Incidents and Emergent Themes 9 9 T able 4: Themes of C ritical Incidents Shared by Participants 10 3 T able 5: Range of Dates of Critical Incidents in Five Year Increments 10 4 T able 6 : Individuals Sought for Guidance by Participants and Their Relationship to Participant 10 8 T able 7: Number of Incidents and Number of Incidents Impacted Due to Gender and/or Race 1 21 Table 8: Findings in t his Study Correlated with Literature and Research Cited in the Study 1 43

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v ABSTRACT There has been a renewed i training and interest in understanding the moral and ethical dimensions of educational practice This research was designed to study the types of dilemmas school level leaders face, the characteristi cs of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation professional development, and practice In documenting the lived experiences of former school level leaders, the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry and the critical inciden t technique (CIT) were employed. Data collected from interview sessions, dialogs, journals and reflections were used to analyze the types of dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader prepa ration professional development and practice. This study confirmed the prevalence of ethical dilemmas for school level leadership. The critical incidents shared by the participants revealed that school leaders were guided by district policies and experie nced dissonance or tension between their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district. The data determined that school level leaders sought to act in the best interests of students Participants acknowledged that the core of their e thical and moral fiber was developed early in their youth and was reinforced by pivotal life experience s. This acknowledgement suggested that pivotal life experiences could influence an The findings also indicated that professional development in ethics could be effective for

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vi school level leaders Additionally, the data revealed a dichotomy around whether ethics c ould be taught The findings were inconclusive in determining how race and/or gender played a significant ro le in the dilemmas that school level leaders face or the resolution of the dilemmas. Further research and study of this issue may be warranted in light of the changing demographics of our schools, communities, and school level leaders. Critical reflection proved to be a process that could benefit practicing and aspiring school level leaders. Exploring how this process could be implemented in school leader preparation and professional development programs is a phenomenon worthy of further research.

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1 C HAP TER 1 Introduction This chapter outlines the intent of Included in this chapter is the introduction theoretical framework a statement of the problem including literature about the problem, the purpose of the study, t he guiding research questions, and the proposed methodology and research design. Th is study evolved from one of the four questions that framed the course of study for th e Pinellas doctoral cohort: How can support for the development of ethical leadership b e extended to school leaders? This question also served as the guidepost for th is researcher study and review of the literature relating to ethics, ethical dilemmas, and the complexity of decisions school level leaders make. Theoretical Framework E thic al issues, problems, and dilemmas are present in every compartment of our Pyle, Baker, & Hopkins, 2006, p.13 ) ; f urthermore the structure of our society has shifted from an era of simpler time s to o ne that is often driven and dictated by pol icy, court decisions, and legal mandates. O ur schools have not escaped this societal shift that has escalated to the point where school leaders are faced with a myriad of dilemmas. There are dichotomies among the ethical implications of these dilemmas, the societal shift, legal requirements, and educational codes of ethics. As Torres (2004) observes, caring when social and moral (p. 253) As Cranston, Enrich, & Kimber (2003) stated emphatic ally

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2 Because school leaders are caught at the interface between the system and the school and are accountable to both bodies, they are likely to find themselves more autonomous operational milieu requires school leaders to confront and resolve conflicting interests as the y endeavour [sic] to balance a variety of values and expectations in their decision making. Not surprisingly, the result is often ethical dilemmas for the school leader, arising for example, where conflict and tension may arise as the leader struggles to decide between alternative decisions, one reflecting the immediate operational context of the school and the other a more systemically oriented choice reflecting a political imperative (p. 136). The changing role of school leadership has increased the expectation for school administrators to be expert managers and skillful instructional leaders able to balance the critical tension s between competing values in deci sion making (Holland, 2004, p. 3). E ducators are held to higher standards regarding moral and ethical behavior due to their daily interaction with children (Senge, 2000) The decision i n Adams v. State of Florida Professional Practices Council declared y virtue of their leadership and capacity, teachers are traditionally held to a high moral standard in a community. Bull and McCarthy (1991) support this declaration when they state : As employees of public schools, administrators and teachers have respons ibilities with regard to public values that go beyond what is expected of other citizens. As public employees, they are entrusted to enforce public values and to an extent not necessary for private citizens to observe those values in their work (p. 624).

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3 The myriad of dilemmas that school leaders face frequently can be described as ; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001 ). National, regional and local situations and circumstances such as the effects of hurrican e Katrina, high stakes testing with No Child Left Behind ( NCLB) compliance requirements school restructuring, federal and state mandates, zero tolerance procedures, increased use of technology, and teacher and administrative shortages add to the driving f orces impacting the changes to schools (Starratt, 2004, p. 1). Often, dissonance arises between the ethical implications of the myriad of changes and the ethical principles defined by educational codes of ethics As states continue to adopt various assessm ent instruments, identify benchmarks, and embrace strategies to ensure proper compliance by educational professionals in schools, issues of social justice, politics, and capacity arise. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (2002), Adequate Yearly Progress ( AYP) mandates and required nder 254). Thus, the context of schooling at the national, regional, and local levels reflects a plethora of moral and ethical challenges for school leaders. Do these changes justify our continuation of what Tyack and Cuban (1995) curriculum (p. 49), or as Starratt (1991) ardently stated awareness of t he ethical challenge of making social changes more responsive to

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4 the human and social rights of all citizens, to enable those affected by social arrangements to have a voice in evaluating their results and in altering them in the interests of the common go od and of fuller participation and justice for individuals? (pp. 189 190). T he political and social changes in our society ha ve had a very direct impact on schools, teaching and learning, the training of educators, and expectations of school leaders. S omew here along the way, our moral compass was lost decade of neglect in terms of leadership (Fullan, 2003). Note the corporate scandals at Enron and WorldCom the controversial treatment of prisoners at Abu Graib, sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, Martha Stewart lying about conduct in the White House, and most recently, the Madoff scandal (Pardini, 2004; Slattery, 2006). Ethi cal lapses in business [ organizations ] when they occur, are not always the result of willful intent by workers to lie, cheat, or steal, but may be manifestations of incentives unintentionally created by the formal structure of the organization which often encourages such behaviors (James, 2000, p. 45). Decision making and (English & Bolton, 2008, p. 96 ). English and Bolton (2008) also observe d that Humans are therefore almost always confronting moral issues. However, their freedom to make such choices is somehow positioned between their values and makers do n ot always make the best decisions for the organization, but they

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5 decision maker and the organization are connected in a kind of dynamic fluid tandem, whether positive or negati ve positive, if the decision maker and the organization ultimately benefit; negative, if either one is reduced in effectiveness, short or long term ( p. 101 ). Several examples illustrate situations where values were placed on leaders and citizens by organ izations or government, protecting the well being of all through laws and policies : A lthough President Carter for example, believe d abortion is always a tragedy, as president he was sworn to uphold the Constitution and to respect the Supreme ion in Roe v. Wade (1973) H has a right to choose but also did everything in his power to reduce the number of abortions by instituting policies that prevented unwanted pregnancies, promot ed adoption and encoura ge d women to choose life for their unborn children (Carter 2005 ). The Jessica Lunsford Act is the result of a heinous crime committed by John Couey but he In addition James von Br unn the gunman who opened fire at the Holocaust M useum in Washington, D.C. killing one was severely wounded when officers opened fire. Both he and the guard he shot w as rushed to same hospital and received same medical care (St. Pete Times, 2009) Under zero tolerance law, a student who may be at a school function and is in a specific area or room where there is a gun or weapon, may be considered to be in possession of the gun or weapon and could be recommended for expulsion a decision that m ust be made and upheld by the school level leader. As Cranston Ehrich, and Kimber (2003) have found

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6 There is an expectation that those who hold leadership positions will act justly, rightly, and promote good rather than evil. This entails leaders demonst rating both moral and professional accountability to those they serve Moral accountability is concerned with wanting the best for learners (whether they are students or staff) while professional accountability is concerned with upholding the standards of e management arising from economic rationalism is inconsistent with the professional and personal values of school leaders and can contradict important ethics of care and justice. When contractual accountability, that is accountability to the government or system, is a strong and competing force against other accountabilities (such as moral and professional accountabil ities), there is much potential for ethical dilemmas In this situation, a skillful administrator needs to optimize his or her most valued beliefs, responsibilities, and obligations in ways that minimi s An ethical dilemma, then, arises from a situation that necessitates a choice between competing sets of principles ( p p 136 137 ) There has been renewed interest in the training (Beck & Murphy, 1993; Starratt, 1994) and more researchers have become interested in understanding the moral and ethical dimensions of educational practice (Langlois, 2004; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001; Strike, Holler, & Soltis, 1998). Langlois (2004) also poin t ed out, con (Langlois, 2004, p. 9). Starratt (2004) suggests that

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7 l eadership preparation programs at colleges and universities may need to challenge continually, prospective educational leaders about their ethical principles and moral values The research and studies conducted by Covrig (2001) Dempster Freakley, and Parry (1998) (2002) and Pardini (2004) add support to suggestion for greater emphasis of ethics in leadership preparation. The Farquhar study (1978) (1981) t hat was replicated by Beck and Murphy (1993) is a case in point. It has been 26 years since Beck and Murphy replicat ion of this study and their predict ion of an increasing interest in the study of ethics in leadership preparation : that interest in this be replicated twenty five years hence, researchers would uncover widespread beliefs that administrators must be equipped to think and act ethically and to develop structures and policies which s upport consciously chosen, morally sound values and outcomes (p. 31). Cranston, Enrich, and Kimber (2003) found that theoretical approaches such as consequentialism, non consequentialism, virtue ethics, and institutional ethics may offer useful framework t o better understand ethics and its complexities T hey stated, categori c ally in practice ethical dilemmas faced by educational leaders, for example, are likely to be highly complex and not simply framed by one particular theoretical approach or the other ( p. 139 ). Their findings support the need for comprehensive ethics in leadership preparation programs. Holland ( 2004) posited t the expectation to be both expert manager and skillful leaders puts undue demands on them that often

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8 lead to conflicts between managerial values and instructional leadership Nevertheless, Fields, Reck, and Egley (2006) lament ed trained educational leaders has never been higher than it is tod Adding that In an era of high stakes accountability, teacher shortages, enormous external pressures, and increasingly complex role expectations, educational leaders must possess a variety of knowledge and skills to support successfully, student learn ing (p. vii). Guiding Questions One of the four questions that framed the course content and research for this doctoral cohort is How can support for the development of ethical leadership be extended to school leaders? This query segues to add itional questions: W hat are the emergent themes that support a need for continued professional development for building principals (school leaders) regarding ethical and moral leadership and decision making ? How can school leaders balance the demands place d on them as supervisors and instructional leaders to enact both managerial and professional values? Although it is not the intent of this study to answer these questions specifically, they have guided this re searcher in selecting relevant research, studie s, and literature embedded within. Many researchers have called for additional research on the morality and ethics of leaders. The following are pertinent and guiding questions posed by the researchers who are cited in this study : (1) W hat are the contemp orary challenges for leaders in frontline human service organizations? (2) H ow are leaders responding to these challenges? (3) W hat are the ethical dilemmas and underlying values involved in making these responses? (4) H ow are these challenges impacting co ntemporary leadership practice? (5)

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9 W hat are implications of these findings for the preparation and professional development of leaders? (Duignan 2006) (6) W hy is ethical leadership in the best interests of students? ( Stefkovich & Begley 2007) (7) W hat ethical issues are confronted by school principals as they perform their responsibilities ? (8) W hat is the nature of the immediate setting within which these ethical issues arise? (9) H ow and why do school principals make ethical decisions? ( Dempster, Fre akley, & Parry, 2002) (10) W hat is the meaning (11) C an ethics be taught? ( Goree, Pyle, Baker, & Hopkins 2006; Pardini, 2004) (12) H ow do administrators go about the task of conceptualizing an eth ical school? (Starratt 1991) (13) W hat training in ethics is most effective in promoting ethical behavior? (14) H ow do company managers determine, ex ante which decision making responsibilities workers should possess and what are the ethical consequence s of these processes? (James, 2000). Additionally, questions posed by Frick and Gutierrez (2008) to participants in th eir study The findings of the Frick and Gutierrez (2008) study suggested, ractitioners can articulate a unique moral practice for educational leadership The results of their study also emphasize d the importance of morals, values, and ethical bases for educational leadership decision making as well as the need to refin e the professional ethic for educational leadership (p. 32). The ir protocol included the following list of questions : In what ways do you consider your work as a school leader to be moral and ethical in nature ? Can you recall and tell me about an instance in your professional experience that obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved important moral and ethical consequences ? Are moral considerations and judgments unique to this profession ? ( p.

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10 42) Do principals [school leaders] ha inst itutional procedures and professional expectations while conversely recognizing that these structures and role expectations are, at times and in certain situations, not good or morally right ? Is ther appropriate or ethical and what an administrator believes is right and good on a personal level ? (p 55 ) Cranston, Ehrich conceptualising [si and modified elements of th eir model are shown in Appendix E. Th e original model evolved from their premise that ethical dilemmas and the decision making processes aligned to resolutions are complex undertakings. These authors also knowledge that decisions can have implications and effects on the their attempts to understand this relationship also influenced their development of the model In esse nce, this model identifies and describes the range of competing forces that may provide perspectives on the problem or situation or as in this study, the dilemma or critical incident (pp. 139 41) decisio n making school level leaders face. The elements of this model offer ed a n additional conceptual framework that inform ed th is proposed study. How school level leaders think and feel and how they develop their moral and ethical praxis are frameworks worthy o f further research and study. As Lashway (1996) 2). Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1

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11 feel when faced with ethical an d moral dilemmas These questions also form ed the conceptual framework for th is proposed study. Statement of the Problem The intent of this research was to provide insights into the complex roles of school level leaders, the dissonance between competing va lues regarding what is in the implementation, and organizational imperatives. The c omplex role of school level leaders is exacerbated by instances of dissonance in decision making with competing elements, such as what is in the best interests of students organizational and/or professional policies and personal codes ( Cranston, Enrich & Kimber, 2003; English & Bolton, 2008; Frick, 2009; Shapiro & Stefkovich 2001, 2005). Th is recurring dissonance forms the core of the ethical dilemmas that school level leaders face. Yet it would be a mistake to view all administrators as monolithic (Freire, 1970) although their professional training may be. The ethic and moral fibers of admi nistrators are as diverse as the composite of the schools and communities they serve. The quality of decisions made by school level leaders may express more of their emotional quotient than their intellectual quotient. T here should be a balance between co (Kincheloe, 2008, p. 120). Leaders should demonstrate both moral and professional accountability wanting the best for learners w hile upholding the standards of the ethics of their profe between competing sets of principles ( Cranston et al 2003).

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12 This study was designed to examine the types of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical ethical dilemmas, and the implications fo r leader preparation and professional development This study focused on ethical dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult for school level leaders. These dilemmas included decisions and situations, shared through the recounting of critic al incidents in which the actions and decisions of school level leaders have garnered attention and responses from varying representatives. In other words, the research er assume d that school level leaders face d numerous ethical dilemmas and sought to ident ify and examine the most difficult and troubling. An ancillary purpose of this study was to explore implications for preparation and ongoing professional development of school level leaders that build expertise in handling ethical decision making s cenarios Many educational philosophers and researchers have argued the importance of including ethical study and reflection in educational preparation programs (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001; Strike & Holler, 1998) Additionally, the ethical practice of educational administration demands a multidimensional construct that offers practicing administrators a way to think about their work and work place (Starratt, 1991; Brooks & Normore, 2005). An intended outcome of this study is reflected in th ese two statements in add ition to Brooks and Normore (2002) concluding comments: Engaging in reflective practice and problems based learning activities designed to st Research Questions

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13 The four guiding research questions for this study were : 1. What types of ethical dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention ? 2. What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these types of dilemmas? 3. What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? 4. What has been learned by administrators after leaving school level leadership ? Research Design In this qualitative study, data collected from interview sessions using the critical incident technique (CIT) dialog s and journals were used to analyze the typ es of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation and professional development In essence, it would attributes of ethical decision making Dempster Freakley & Parry, 2002, p. 429 ) and their implications for practice. In documenting the lived experiences of school level leaders th is investigator followed the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry using the critical incident technique (CIT) The CIT is a structured yet flexible data collection method for producing a thematic or categorical representation of a given behavior or its components This technique can be construed as a qualitative approach used to obtain an in depth analytical desc ription of an intact cultural scene (Redmann, Lambrecht, & Stitt Golden, 2000, pp. 137 138).

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14 Constructivist grounded theory lies squarely within the interpretive approach to qualitative research with flexible guidelines Its focus is on theory develop ment that depends on the researcher's view, learning about the experience within embedded, hidden networks, situations, and relationships, and making visible hierarchies of power, communication, and opportunity A major challenge associated with constructivist grounded theory al (Creswell, 2007, p p 65 68). In this study, th is researcher has provide d comments on her past experiences, biases, prejudices, and orientations that may have shaped th e interpretation and approach to the study. The researcher has also disclosed in her story and critical reflections potential bias and her stance in relation to the phenomenon. Initially t hese biases had the potential of pos ing difficulty for the research er during the interviewing sessions with the participants Key Definitions For the purpose of this research, the following are the definitions of key and reoccurring conceptual terms referred to throughout this study. The words ethics and morals are used i nterchangeably but for consistency, principals and school based administrators are referred to generally as school level leaders except when specificity was required for clarity:

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15 Critical race : a theoretical lens used in qualitative research that focuses attention on race and how racism is deeply embedded within the framework of American society (Creswell, 2007). Dilemma : Ethics : origi nating from the Greek word ethos ; what is morally right or wrong, good or bad; how people ought to act in response to value conflict and dilemmas (Beckner, 2004; Cranston, 2005; Duignan, 2006; Goree et al., 2006 ; Langlois, 2004; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001 ; Starratt, 2004). Ethical dilemma : Cranston et al., 2006; Lashway, 1996). Ethic of critique : aimed at awakening educators to inequities in society and in particular, in the schools (Shapiro & Stefk ovich, 2001). Grammar of schooling : a cultural phenomenon; limited changes in school structure: classrooms, subjects taught, grading, etc. (Tyack & Cuban, 1995). Justice : righ t of the stronger, but effective harmony of the whole (Beckner, 2004). Legalism : codes and a supplementary collection of rules that govern behaviors (Beckner, 2004; Goree et al., 2006). Moral purpose : acting with the intention of making a difference in the lives of employees, customers, and society as a whole (Fullan, 2001).

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16 Morals : behaviors judged consistent with good ethical thinking and decision making; applying ethical beliefs and commitments ( Goree et al ., 2006; Langlois, 2004; Starratt, 2004). Paradi gm or worldview : a basic set of beliefs that guide action (Creswell, 2007). Praxis : action, reflection; involves a process of action reflection action that is central to the development of consciousness of power and how it operates (Freire, 1970; Kincheloe 2008). Religious or theological ethics : determining right or wrong based on the teachings of a religion ( Goree et al., 2006). Social constructivism : ; focus on specific context in which people liv e and work (Creswell, 2007). Situational ethics : when rules can be broken depending on the consequences of a certain act; determining what is right or good solely based on momentary context (Goree et al., 2006; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001). Spirituality : f soul; the attainment of a certain mode of being and the transformations (Foucault 1994; Duigan, 2006; Marshall & Oliva, 2006). Thoughtful noncompliance : educational decisions based on thorough assessments and available resources; focusing on need rather than compliance (Stein, 2004). Values : moral qualities such as beliefs, qualities, traditions, or standards that influence actions and are considered important (Boleman & Deal, 2003; Bu ssey, 2004; Goree et al., 2006). Virtue : character traits that make up a moral life (Goree et al., 2006).

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17 The following are the definitions of key and reoccurring methodological terms referred to in this study: Coding : a process of categorizing segments of data with a short name that simultaneously summarizes and accounts for each piece of data (Charmaz, 2006) Critical (as in theory, pedagogy, incident, reflection, etc.) : careful analysis or judgment (Kincehloe, 2008). Critical Incident Technique (CIT) : an exploratory, qualitative research method used to generate descriptive data on a variety of human activities and behaviors (Johnson & Fauske, 2000). Grounded theory : developing a theory grounded in data from the field; constructing theory rather than testi ng it (Auerbach & Silverstein, 2003; Creswell, 2007). Hermeneutics : a method of truth seeking with roots in early Greek philosophy; developing rigorous ways of understanding the world to foster change (Henderson & Kesson, 2004; Kincheloe, 2008). Heuristic : exploring methods for solving problems; strategies (Slattery, 2006). Lived experiences : a term used in phenomenological studies to emphasize the importance of individual experiences of people as conscious human beings (Creswell, 2007). Memo writing : a p rocess in which the researcher writes down ideas about the evolving theory; prompts the researcher to analyze data and codes in research process (Charmaz, 2006; Creswell, 2007). Open or initial coding : the process of breaking down responses, examining and comparing, conceptualizing, and categorizing data (Saldana, 2009).

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18 Phenomenology : the study of the nature of meaning of everyday experiences (Saldana, 2009). Purposeful sampling : the inquirer selects individuals and sites for the study because they can pur posefully inform an understanding of the research problem and central phenomenon in the study (Creswell, 2007). Responsive interviewing : and their understanding of the world in which they liv e and work (Rubin & Rubin, 2005). Selective coding : the researcher takes the central phenomenon and systemically relates it to other categories (Creswell, 2007). Organization of the Study This s tudy is comprised of six chapters : Chapter 1 outlines the int ent of this is the introduction theoretical framework a statement of the problem including literature relating to the problem, the intent of the study, the guiding research questions, and the prop osed methodology Chapter 2 provide s a review of the literature related to ethical philosophy and theory as correlated to the practice of school level leadership. Chapter 2 is also designed to demonstrate how the practical aspect of ethical and moral scho ol leadership is not always and to provide a foundation for further inquiry and add to the current body of literature. Chapter 3 introduces the proposed methodology and research design sampling and protocols the interview process, the l imitations of the study, validity, the role and views of the researcher incidents. Chapter 4 begins with a review of the study, methodology, participant

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19 selection protocols ; progresses to the interview se ssions with the participant s and data analysis and ends with the research findings. Chapter 5 is the d iscussion of the research findings and the additional emergent themes and their application to the guiding research questions and to the literature and r esearch reviewed for this study Chapter 6 is comprised of c onclusion s implications for further research and the final reflection s

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20 CHAPTER 2 Literature Review Introduction The complex role of school level leaders is exacerbated by instanc es of ( Cranston Enrich & Kimber 2003; English & Bolton, 2008; Frick, 2009; Shapir o & Stefkovich, .2001, 2005). This recurring dissonance forms the core of the ethical dilemmas that school level leaders face d The purpose of this research was to study the types of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typic al dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation and professional development. Th is study was designed to provide insights into the complex roles of school level leaders, the dissonance between competing values regarding what is in the best interes ts of students balanced with professional and personal ethics, policy implementation, and organizational imperatives. This study focus ed on th e ethical dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult for school level leaders. These dilemmas inc lude d decisions and situations, shared through recounting critical incidents, in which the actions and decisions of school level leaders have garnered attention and responses from representatives at the district level In other words, th is research er assum e d that school level leaders face d numerous ethical dilemmas and s ought to identify and examine the most difficult and troubling. The ancillary purpose of this study, then, was to explore

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21 implications for preparation and ongoing professional development of school level leaders that build expertise in handling ethical situations. The four guiding research questions developed for this study were : 1 What types of ethical dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention? 2. What ac tions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these types of dilemmas? 3. What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? 4. What has been learned by admi nistrators after leaving school level leadership ? The purpose of this chapter is to provide a review of the literature related to ethical philosophy and theory as correlated to the practice of school level leadership. Th is chapter is also designed to demon strate how the practical aspect of ethical and moral school level reconcile the disparity between school level belief systems and decision making It begins with an introductio n and description of how the ethical and moral deficits in the larger society have trickled down to school level leadership and decision making Next, the development of guiding questions that emerged from the literature review is explained in detail. The next section of this chapter contains a review of literature and research in the area of ethics and moral leadership The final section contains a discussion of the implications of this study for further research. Overview

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22 There is a core of prominent phil osophers, practitioners, authors, and researchers in the field of ethical and moral leadership. The substance of their work can be categorized into four frameworks or perspectives: historical, theoretical, empirical, practical. The philosophical framework is the historical perspective of Western philosophical ethics founded by Plato and Aristotle that progresses to Kant, Kohlberg, Piaget, and Rest. The published works of Bolman and Deal (2003) Fullan (1995) (2001) (2005) and Starratt (2004) as well as the works of other researchers referenced in this chapter all incorporate d a moral and ethical strand in their theoretical definitions of the roles of educational leaders; the review of these works represent a theoretical framework. The practical framework ad dresses the moral and ethical dilemmas that are embedded in many of the decisions (practice and social relevance) made daily by school leaders and are explored by Beck and Murphy (1993), Blase and Blase (2002), Covrig (2001), and Stefkovich and Shapiro (20 01) in their case studies, books, and research articles. While the foci of Begley (2004) is on the cognitive processing in administrative problem solving and the approach of Langlois (2004) is through applied ethics and moral theory (Stefkovich & Begley, 2 007, pp. 206 07), Greenfield (2004) questions the construct of and Tatum and Eberlein (2007) address the relationship among leadership, decision style, organizational justice and social responsibility. Bolman and Deal (2003) used the po wer of reframing an organization as the centerpiece of their book. The authors introduced the four frames political, human, political, and symbolic and explored how the complex structures of the four frames influence s an organization (p. 400). The authors recognized the importance of reframing

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23 ethics and spirit in an organization that easily segues into the practical framework. In addition in the practical framework Blase and Blase (2002) have studied the effects of the unethical treatment of teachers by their principals and br ought to light a sensitive and sometimes ignored topic Through the review of this literature, this researcher establishe d a strong correlation between ethics and morals; the treatment of staff, students and parents by school level l eaders ; the elucidation of ethics and morals in administrative decision making; and the implications of administrative ethical and moral decision making on the overall school culture. Review of Literature: Right versus Right In the first chapter of their book, Education Ethics Applied Goree et al. (2006) give a snapshot of ethics in America. The authors provided a comprehensive working ting ethics is also a part of the broader field of philosophy. They noted that Some of the earliest and most thorough writers on ethics in the Western world emphasized that the f our virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance are the ultimate principles for our universe and they apply to every aspect of community and individual life; ethics was to be the ultimate focus of the habits are still the most important aspect of his or her personal development, and the most essential element for success in life. The Aristote lian ethical

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24 environment is inclusive of every aspect of life; in the ethics environment, one Goree et al. (2006) also noted that there is a language of ethics: ethical issues, ethical pr inciples, virtues, values, and moral judgments. The y note d th at there are at least six challenges to ethics: relativism, absolutism, pluralism, materialism, legalism, and evil. The authors posited that ethical issues, problems, and concerns are present in every compartment of our lives: work life, family life, religious life, personal time, etc. (pp. 8 9). In a sub section of this chapter headed, Can Ethics Be Taught? the authors declared that There is research suggesting that ethics classes and training can help people good person has to come from within. And moral character lies still more deeply inside us. Character, like wisdom, develops slowly over time. It was in this regard We gain character by learning from our mistakes and often through the suffering we face because of our mistakes (pp. 16 17). The reference to Aristotle segues into the philosophical framework of ethics. Deontology has the Greek root deon that means duty. Deontology is widely associated with Kant who espoused the Golden Rule of respect for persons and respecting others. This philosophy is considered non consequential and autonomous and purports that princ iples, rules, and moral reasoning with no regard for consequences guide the actions of individuals ; emotions are excluded (Beck & Murphy, 1993, 1994; Covrig, 2001; Sousa, 2003; Strike, Haller, & Soltis, 2005).

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25 Applying cs, a construct of consistency for school level leaders emerges: following the rules, policies, and procedures with a balance treating staff, students, and parents as one would want to be treated, keeping staff and parents informed and not denying them relevant information doing what is right (compliance) as opposed to doing the right thing (conscience) ( Goree et al., 2006, pp. 160 162). Teleology has the Greek root teleo s which means goal or purpose. Teleology or utilitarianism is associated with the philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill ( Goree et al., 2006 ; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001 ). Utilitarianism theorizes that the welfare of individuals is last in the ov erall good of the group and espouses that people, or individuals, should act to maximize the average happiness or average utility that is seeking the good for all. Actions and behaviors associated with deontology are deemed non consequential; actions align ed to teleology or utilitarianism are deemed consequential ( Goree et al., 2006 ; Strike, Haller, & Soltis, 2005). This researcher note d that w hen school level leaders practice utilitarianism, they often have to make decisions the group could consist of staff, students, or parents. In making these decisions, it is important to weigh the final outcome will it benefit the masses at the expense of a few or just a few at the expense of the masses (critical reflection). Strike, Ha ller, and Soltis (2005) have emphasized two related principles in their book: (1) benefit maximization and (2) respect for persons. The authors stated, These two principles are central to what are probably the two most important views on ethics of

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26 the las t century Strike et al. (2005) believe that mperative (or Golden Rule) and the notion of respect for persons. Strike et al (2005) also believe that is at stake in ethical issues. Most people employ some variation of these two good results is important are both commonplace. Utilitarianism and Kantianism should be viewed as attempts by philosophers to deepen our understanding of these intui tive approaches (p. 159). both feelings and actions; virtues also emphasize the importance of judgment and emphasize rules, and a re also non 195). This researcher surmise d that implie d that school level and off the job T his is the most popular form of ethics in education. In addition that s chool level students and staff to be honest, caring, and fair by modeling these characteristics on a regular basis. Researchers portray educational leaders as ex periencing right versus right dilemmas that often force them to chose or violate a sacred value while trying to respond to another sacred value (Lashway, 1996; Sousa, 2003). These leaders, in turn, face ethical or moral issues characterized by words such a s right, ought, just, and fair (Strike, Haller,

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27 & Soltis, 2005). These statements cause d this researcher to contemplate whether using critical reflection when conflicted with right versus right dilemmas could clarify these competing values In addition, to question if th ese are skill s that could be taught. Beck and Murphy (1993) provided an overview of ethical ideals and the evolution of changes in the academic arena and ethics in educational administration programs. They noted literature that revealed valu es and behaviors considered desirable in school leaders and literature that described specific efforts to cultivate people capable of manifesting such values and behaviors from the following leading researchers in th e field of ethics: Noddings (1992) Serg iovanni (1992) (1993) Shapiro (1989) Starratt (1991) and Strike, Haller and Soltis (1988) (p. 1). Beck and Murphy (1993) cited an early study by Farquhar (1978) (1981) which concluded that little was being done in offering learning opportunities concern ed with ethics. Similar findings were made by a comprehensive overview of administrator training programs by Silver and Spuck (1978) (p. 8). In 199 3 Beck and Murphy replicated the Farquhar study (1978, 1981) From analyses of the responses to the open end ed questions in their replication of the study, they were able to identify the following as emerging conceptual themes in ethics and educational leadership: (a) Many problems facing administrators were either fundamentally ethical in nature or had ethical components; (b) There was an increased interest in ethics and trends in scholarship and policy; and (c) E ducational leadership, at its core, is an ethical endeavor (pp.11 13).

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28 Beck and Murphy (1993) contend that viewing school leadership as a moral end eavor and seeking to prepare prospective administrators to function as ethical Through their research, they were able to predict that ue to swell and that if this study were to be replicated twenty five years hence, researchers would uncover widespread beliefs that administrators must be equipped to think and act ethically and to develop structures and policies which support consciously chosen, morally sound values and outcomes (pp. 30 31). Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) also acknowledged a growing emphasis on ethics and stated that the impetus for their book came from three developments in the field of educational leadership: (1) Increas ed interest in ethics among educational leaders (2) T he use of case studies in dealing with ethical dilemmas (3) T he change in criteria used to license administrators (p. ix). The authors defined ethics using the Greek word, ethos s or posed two questions based on their definition of ethics Ethics approved by wh om? Right or wrong according to whom? (p. 10). Shapiro and Stefkovich identified four ethical viewpoints that have an impact on education in general and educational leaders in particular from these two questions the ethics of justice, critique, care, and profession.

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29 The ethic of justice focuses on rights and laws and is part of a liberal democratic tradition that h has at its heart, an 14). The ethic of care emphasizes the importance of relationships and connections that encourages administrators to down, hierarch ical model for making moral and other decisions and turn to a leadership style that employs multiple voices in the emphasize competition one another (p. 17). The ethic of professionalism relates to the professional codes of professions such as law, medicine, dentistry, and even education (p. 18). Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) stressed that ethic of justice within these professional codes. It is a paradigm shift that expects its leaders to formulate and examine their own profes sional codes of ethics in light of individual personal codes as well as standards set forth by the decision making process (pp. 10 22).

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30 Torres (2004) emphasized The ethic of prof ession provides a framework for educators and policymakers to think critically and form an appropriate code with the best interests Starratt (1991) developed a tapestry of ethical perspectives using the three themes of caring, justice, and criticism (critique). He asserted that the blending of each theme encourages a rich human response to the many uncertain ethical situations administrators face every day in their work. Each theme implies something of the other theme : ability to perceive injustice in the social order as well as some minimal level of caring about relationshi demands of community governance issues, but claims that caring is the ideal fulfillment of all social relationships even though most relationships among members of a community function according to a more remote form of attention to social order and fairness of the ethic of justice if it is to avoid an e ethic of caring if it is to avoid the cynical and depressing ravings of the habitual critique to move beyond the nave fine tuning of social arrangements in a social system with inequities built into the very structures by which justice is supposed to be measured (p. 198).

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31 Starratt (1991) summarized In the field of education, talk about ethics an d morality tends to divide between administration is to establish an ethical school environment in which ed ucation to be proactive about creating an ethical environment for the conduct of education (pp. 188 200). Gross and Shapiro (2004) referred to the ethics of care, justice, crit ique and acknowledged that the works of Beck and Murphy (1994), Shapiro and Stefkovich educationa added that the ethic of the profession has been developed by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders : Standard 5 : A school admin istrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner (ISLLC, 1996, p.18) (p. 48). Stefkovich and Begley (2007) reflected on the notion of acting in the best interests of stu dents and best interests of students, is conceptualized in the educational leadership literature from several foundational perspectives which include philosophy, psychology, critical theory

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32 and In earlier work, Begley and Johansson (1998) and Leithwood and Steinbach (1995) theorized that in situations of high stakes urgency, when consensus is imposs ible, when responding to unprecedented situations, and for certain hot button social issues which tend to quickly escalate debate to a point where people seek refuge within an ethical posture (p. 209). Building on this notion, Stefkovich and Begley (2007) concluded Educational leaders frequently justify their actions as in the best interests of the organizational or policy related rhetoric than a genuine regard for student well leadership in the b est interest of students? (p. 220). The guiding premise for the book, Ethical Leadership (Starratt, 2004) is based on the disturbing picture of educational leadership. Starratt introduced Al Arthur as his arify the moral dilemmas he faced which in turn are symbolic of what many leaders are facing in our state, federal, and local plethora of mandates (p. 9). He acknowledged the struggles of Al Arthur and the administrators Al Arthur represented when he state d Educational leaders are challenged as never before with the expectations increasing just as rapidly as the demographic changes in our school communities.

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33 High stakes testing, school restructuring, increased use of technology, and teacher and administrati ve shortages are external factors that also impact the changing culture of schools (p. 1). Starratt (2004) also acknowledged that challenges without considering whether making the se adjustments will address the moral vacuum of the school that robs the work of students and teachers of its authenticity and significance (p. 1). The moral challenges that schools confront form the nexus of Starratt (2004) book and he outlined a frame work that deals with foundational ethics that is focused particularly on the work of educational leaders when they attempt to lead. He defined Starratt (2004) provided an ethical analysis of the virtues needed to infuse and energize the work of schools and that of the leaders in schools. He identifie d these virtues as responsibility, authenticity, and presence (p. 9). Starratt also declared that : Educational leaders must be morally responsible, not only in preventing and alleviating harm, but also in a proactive sense of who the leader is, what the l eader is responsible as, whom the leader is responsible to, and what the leader is responsible for (p. 49). Starratt used this statement as a platform to introduce his concept of critical presence and defined it as a twofold encounter critical appraisal of oneself as the cause of the

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34 presence that blocks our mutual ability to communicate authentically (p. 97). Starratt then suggested that the journey of Al Arthur and his pee 145). Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1998) also investigated the ethical decision resulted from a confluence of social, cultural and economic imperatives common in our (p. 1). For their project, four key questions were asked in face to face interviews with principals who were drawn from a representative sample of Queensland state schools: (1) W hat ethical issues are confronted by school principals as they perform their responsibilities ? (2) W hat is the nature of the immediate setting within which these ethical issues arise ? (3) H ow and why do school principals make ethical decisions ? (4) H ow might the answers to these questions best inform professional development pro grams? (p. 4) From the responses to the four questions by the principals who were interviewed in this study 164 ethical issues were identified; these ethical issues were divided into the following categories: students, staff, finance and resources, extern al relations, and big picture. Most of the issues identified involved matters related to students and staff and the

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35 least identified were issues involving external relations. The principals who were interviewed reported that most of the student centered et hical issues they faced were connected with behavior (i.e., enrollment, suspension/expulsion/exclusion, decision making, behavior management, family, cross culture issues, and special students). The staff centered ethical issues were: human resources, maki ng decisions with staff, seeking support from staff, taking disciplinary action in relations to staff, and special school issues (p. 8). Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (2002) argued that learning about ethical decision These researchers surveyed the participants (again, school principals) and asked them to indicate whether they had any professional development or training specifically related to ethical decision making and, if so, to ind icate the format of the training. Participation rates in six categories of programmes [sic] were provided by the survey data. For all school principals, the participation rates in each of the categories, in order from highest to lowest, were as follows: ( a) 15.8% had undertaken departmental professional development programmes [sic] on ethical decision making targeted at school principals; (b) 9.7% claimed to have undertaken postgraduate studies in which ethical decision making was specifically addressed; (c) 3.4% indicated that their pre service teacher education had included training in ethical decision making; (d) 2.5% had undertaken departmental professional development programmes [sic] on ethical decision making targeted at middle managers;

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36 (e) 1.6% had undertaken departmental professional development programmes [sic] on ethical decision making targeted to teachers; and (f) 1.1% indicated that they had undertaken other undergraduate studies that had incorporated such training (Dempster, Freakley, & Parry, 2002, p. 428). Langlois (2004) noted that since the 1990s more researchers have become empirical studies on ethical dimensions have been conducted on school (p. 98) and added One of the ironies of school administration is that despite the numerous rules, regulations, laws and policies that have been established to channel decision making democratically, it is precisely because of this legal an d administrative continues to be codified (p. 78). Just as Langlois (2004) posed a similar query : In spi te of all the rationalities of which our educational institutions abound, it seems necessary to train future educational administrators in moral judgment and in ethics to render them capable of managing according to a renewed and responsible form of leader ship (p. 89). Echoing the argument that learning ethics should be through face to face interaction ( Dempster Freakley & Parry 2002 ) Fullan (2001) introduced the premise that relationships are the core of a successful endeavor Fullan posited moral pu rpose,

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37 Fulla He referred to sustainability, which comes from the Latin word, sustineo to keep us Fullan (2 005) identified eight elements of sustainability: public service with a moral purpose, commitment to changing context at all levels, lateral capacity building through networks, intelligent accountability and vertical relationships (encompassing both capaci ty building and accountability), deep learning, dual commitment to short term and long term results, cyclical energizing, and the long lever of leadership (p. 14). Of the eight elements identified by Fullan (2005), two are reoccurring strands in the resear ch and theories reviewed moral purpose and relationships. Fullan (2001) suggested that moral purpose, relationships, and organization success are closely (pp. 71 76). Bolman and Deal (2003) noted the importance of the spirit and soul of an organization and the instilling of caring and love (p. 400). These theories could be the cornerstone of the initial guiding question of this study : How can w e sustain ethical leaders hip ? Similarly, Von Krough, Ichijo and Nonaka (2001) emphasized the importance of relationships: Good relationships purge a knowledge creation process of distrust, fear, and dissatisfaction, and allow organizational members to feel safe enough to explore the unknown territories of new markets, new customers, new products, and new manufacturing technologies (p. 82).

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38 Goleman (1995) has laid the foundation work on the topic of emotional intelligence (Fullan, 2001, p. 71). According to Goleman (1995), psycho logists use the term metacognition to refer to an awareness of thought processes and metamood to mean awareness, in self aw areness means being explained that people tend to fall into three distinctive styles for attending to and dealing aware of their moods as t hey are having them; engulfed being swamped by emotions and helpless to escape them; and accepting awareness can have a powerful impact on how we perceive and react; even though we have no idea that they 55) and provided his futuristic perspective: emotional intelligence can be an inoculation that preserves health and encourages gr owth. If a company has the competencies that flow from self awareness and self regulation, motivation and empathy, leadership skills and open communication, it should prove more resilient, not matter what the future rs in the next century will differ radically from those valued today ( Goleman, 1998, p. 312) behaviors and actions when facing ethical dilemmas. Bolman and Deal (2003) als o explore d the power of relationships as a means of reframing an organization. Using their four frames political, human, political, and

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39 symbolic, the authors expl ained in detail how the complex structures of the frames impact an organization. The chapter importance of reframing ethics and spirit in an organization. In continuing with their use of metaphor and case studies, the authors presented four images of ethics and spirit: excellence and authorship, caring and love, justice and power, and faith and significance (pp. 400 believe that ethics must be rooted in soul which is an organization s understanding of its deeply held Also, i n this chapter Solomon (1993) viewed justice as the ultimate virtue in to Furthermore, Bolman and Deal (2003) determined that leading is giving and leadership is an ethic, a gift of oneself (p. 399). The Study of Ethical Decision Making Greenfield ( 1991) asserted, Principals experience ethical dilemmas on a daily Lashway (1996) Lashway (1996) then following guidelines suggested by a number of thinkers:

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40 First, leaders should have and be willing to act on a definite sense of ethical standards; second, leaders can examine dilemm as from different perspectives; third, leaders can often reframe ethical issues; and finally, leaders should have a habit of conscious reflection, wherever it may lead them (p. 3). Sergiovanni (1992) similarly noted, Truly effective schools are those wit h a shared (1996) concluded that message they a dvocate; they teach, not just through words, but through actions. This aligns with the virtues of honesty, power with restraint, and stewardship and that whichever virtue is desired, moral philosophers who date back to Aristotle have emphasized that it mu st become a habit (p. 3). esearch on the subject of ethics, some of which stretches back 36 years, found that school superintendents confronted with ethical dilemmas could be expected to make decisions consistent with the AASA Code of Et hics less than 50 percent of the time ( Dexheimer 1968 ; Fensternmaker 1994) The first study was conducted in 1968 and replicated in 1994. In both studies, superintendents were asked to choose one of several suggested responses to what was referred to as compared to current AASA ethics codes. A total of 47.3 percent of the superintendents polled in 1968 and 48.1 percent of superintendents polled in 199 4 chose the responses superintendents and those working in larger school districts were more likely to make

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41 decisions in line with the code adopted by association members in 1962 The Pardini research also addressed the issue between principle or problem focused ethics the way one responds to specific ethical dilemmas and narrative ethics life and surmised that there should be more focus on narrative et hics, social justice, and the inadequacy of the level of ethics training ( (Pardini, 2004, pp. 1 3 ). The question posed by Goree, Pyle, Baker, and Hopkins (2006) and Langlois (2004) Can ethics actually be taught? work. Another di mension of leader action related to ethics and acting for the good of the whole is building social capital. Pastoriza, Arino, and Ricart (2007) introduced the concept of Organizational Social Capital (OSC) and the benefits of this concept to an organizatio go al orientation associability and shared trust ( Pastoriza, Arino, & Ricart, 2007, p. 3) Additionally, a n OSC can be created and managed based on the following: (1) Implementing human resource practices that promote stability in the ships; this addresses employment practices related to training, group compensation, and job security. (2) Installing organizational norms of generalized reciprocity that supports the organizations ideology and goals. (3) Developing rules and procedures t hat define the organization in terms of positions rather than people ( Pastoriza et al., 2007, p p 3 4 ).

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42 Pastoriza, Arino, and Ricart (2007) stressed that only when all of the aforementioned processes are in place is the employee ready to make an emotional of the organization (utilitarianism), the manager also develops what is referred to as lational closeness is defined as : with the employee. And, as this trust and identification relationship develops between the manager and employee, each thinks in terms of th e consequences of his actions for the other individual rather than himself (p. 6). This align ed endeavor (p. 51). Senge (2002) reflected on the dilemmas faced when educators become aware of conflicting values: A doctoral student approached me with frustration as he was completing our teacher and a good administrator. But I realize now after all this time that I am part of the organizational structures in his school had created problems for some of the ch ildren. But he had seldom questioned those practices; he had accepted them as to raise these kinds of questions earlier in my professional life. Now I feel like I

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43 have conspir ed to maintain the present schools by not asking difficult questions of Senge (200 2 ) further promotes reflective questioning: important for teachi ng because teaching is a moral undertaking. Yet the idea of moral r esponsibility typically is not raised in most educational preparation programs. Nor is it discussed when one enters the teaching field (pp. 276 277). s (1990) philosophy of schooling as a moral endeavor encompassing four dimensions consisting of enculturation into a political and social democracy, access to knowledge, nurturing pedagogy, and responsible stewardship of schools. Goodlad sees the first two dimensions, enculturation and access to knowledge as primarily the responsibility of schools while nurturing pedagogy and stewardship represent where teachers must excel in their individual practice. These dimensions prompt reflective questions about how educators go about changing embedded practices and the moral and ethic issues that arise from change ( Senge, 2002, p. 281 ) : We created schools primarily out of concern for the welfare of our culture, particularly in regard to the preservation of our religi ous and political values. We broadened the purposes over time until they included the whole process of developing effective citizens, parents, workers, and individuals; these are now the educational goals of our school districts as well as our nation. Scho ols are major players in developing educated persons who acquire an understanding of truth,

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44 Senge, 2002, p. 279 ). Covrig (2001) identified multiple ethics components that principals face when dealing with teacher competency: human resources, supervision, moral and ethical noted that during the teacher transfer period, a newly hired principal received a 17 year personal (substance abuse, divorce) and professional (verbal abuse to students, falling asleep in class) issues that forced the principal to begin the documentation process. As the documentation continued, the multiple components of this dilemma began to take a responsibility to the students and staff (ethical judgment and relationships) and having to use unconventional methods to get rid of the teacher (moral dilemma and due process). Covrig (2001) pointed out that this case study raised both simple and complex issues about admi nistrator loyalty in an atmosphere of increased emphasis on accountability. Principals must nurture and help their teachers, even ineffective ones, but they must do so while responding to the needs of students, boards, unions, and the wider community (pp. 6 10). deontology (duty or rights based ethics) and utilitarianism (outcome or good based ethics) were defined at the onset of this paper. School leaders consider whether they should do the right thing or get the right results (moral and ethical dilemmas) or they weigh their

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45 (Pastoriza, Arino & Ricart, of the four frames from Bolman and Deal (2003): human resources, political, and structural Reviewing these studies of dilemmas while reflecting on the related analyses reinforce d the importance of the initial guiding research question for this study : How can we sustain ethical leadership? Blase and Blase (2003) noted, until recently, little attention was paid to the 72). They conducted in depth interviews with 50 teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools who experienced long unfair evaluations listed under what they have designated as Level III Principal Mistreatment Behaviors and is classified as direct, severely aggressive behavior (as opposed to their Level I designations indi rect, moderately aggressive behavior and their Level II designation direct, severely aggressive behavior). Their data revealed that teachers who were victimized by principals worked in a constant state of fear about unfair evaluations. Blase and Blase (2 003) pointed out that in all cases teachers stated that of unfair evaluations were exacerbated by their belief that no viable recourse existed to overturn such evalu ations. The data also revealed that teachers often believed that principals failed to give legitimate reasons, or any reasons whatsoever, when requiring them to submit to extended or special evaluations. Several teachers interviewed reported that unfair ev aluations intensified even when their administrators were aware that they were experiencing personal life tragedies (pp. 686 97). Ethical leadership in schools means providing an environment where ethical principals are encouraged, honored, and modeled. At the very least, it means that

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46 pr incipals must ensure that their teachers are not mistreated due to their behavior or th e behaviors of other administrators in the building ( Sousa, 2003, pp. 192 93) supposition is in stark contrast to the findings in the Blase and Blase (2003) study. Begley (2004) strongly believe d 4). Making this distinction highlights the linkage betwe en motivation and action and facilitates authentic leadership practices by school leaders. Begley provided his thoughts on leadership by adding Authentic leadership may be thought of as a metaphor for ethically sound, professionally effective, and consciou sly reflective practices in educational administration. It is leadership that is knowledge based, valued informed, and skillfully executed. These notions generate the following propositions: Authentic leadership is a function of self knowledge, sensitivity to the orientations of others, and a technical sophistication that lead to a synergy of leadership action. Sophisticated administrators wisely and consciously distinguish among the multiple arenas of personal, professional, organizational, and social valu es in their work environments (pp. 4 5). Begley (2004) also emphasized that consensus cannot be achieved, rendering obsolete the traditional rational notions of problem solving Administrators must now often be satisfied with responding to a situation since there may be no solution possible that will satisfy all (p. 11).

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47 important distinctio n that added to inform ing th is study. In another recent study of administrative decision making English and Bolton (2008) explored administrative heuristics in the United States and United Kingdom. They alled the sine qua non of Humans are therefore almost always confronting moral issues. However, their freedom to mak e such choices is somehow positioned between their values and makers do not always make the best decisions for the organization, but they almost always attempt to make the best d decision maker and the organization are connected in a kind of dynamic fluid tandem, whether positive or negative positive, if the decision maker and the organization ultimately benefit; negative, if either one is reduced in effectiveness, short or long term (p. 101). A study by Frick (2009) also contributed to the understanding of moral conflict in school leadership as an intrapersonal moral phenomenon, and how the conflict is resolved in practice, while providing insights into a more recently defined and theorized This leadership life of principals by exploring, in greater depth than previous research, the reality of intrapersonal mor found that

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48 There is an increasing recognition that putatively value free administrative laden, even value saturated nderstanding of what Greenfield (1985 ) ( 1999), and others (Green, 1990) have articulated in more precise terms as the Additionally, Frick and Gutierrez (2008) studied the moral aspects unique to the like moral activity in relati on to a specific ethical perspective: the ethic of the profession and that principals: (a) O verwhelmingly indicated a commitment for assuming particular responsibilit ies to children and youth; (b) I dentified themselves as persons entrusted with acting on behalf of students for their benefit; (c) S aw their moral obligation as pushing people into areas beyond their comfort zone; (d) B elieved that the business of educa tion is about teaching and learning and that the enterprise has profound moral implications; and (e) E xpressed a moral requirement to negotiate compromise and manage intractable competing moral values from a range of stakeholders (pp. 44 47). This study

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49 w as foundational to the development of the conceptual framework for this study because it provide d a basic framework for approaching the interviews and critical incident data. as applied to sc hool leaders experience, the personal qualities and sensitivities brought to the moment of reflecti on, study, Greenfield offered convincing empirical evidence of the importance of the personal and socio cultural dimensions of leading in schools, and the interrelat edness of gain an understanding of the perspectives, the lived experiences and subje ctive meanings, In their book and from a national perspective, Lieven and Hulsman (2006) stated evil are summarized the ethical issues and moral dilemmas that school leaders face daily as part of humanity : We need to bring morality in American statecraft down from the absolutist heights to which it has been carried, an d return it to the everyday world where Americans and others do their best to lead ethical lives while facing all the hard choices and ambiguous problems which are the common stuff of our daily talk the loudest about their own morality are not always those who practice it the best; and that

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50 people are judged not only by what they say they are doing or will do in future, but what they have said and then done in the past (pp. 53 54). Implications for Further Research P olitical and social changes in our society ha ve had a very direct impact on schools, teaching and learning, the training of educators, and expectations of building leaders. Thus school level leaders face dilemmas that test their moral and ethical fibers. Moreover educators are held to higher moral and ethical standards because of their daily interactions with children (Senge, 2000). However, somewhere along the way there was a n era of neglect in terms of leadership development (Fullan, 2003) and is continuing into the 21 st century. Ethical lapses that occur in organizations are not always the result of willful intent by workers to lie, cheat, or steal, but are generally manifestations of incentives unintentionally created by the formal structure of the organization which often encourages such behaviors (James, 2000, p. 45). Lipman (2004) extended this premise when reflect ing that our educational policies and practices contributed to a s hift in our political culture legitimizing the suppression of critical thought and action Tatum and Eberlin (2007) identified in their article the relationship among leadership, decision style, organizational justice and social responsibility and reported that Managers do unethical things, companies cover up their mistakes, and business executives line their pockets. These ethical lapses, illegal actions, or greedy decisions have unintended consequences. What may seem like expediency now could turn a once loyal staff into a suspicious and cynical group (p. 303). Tatum and Eberlin (2007) concluded that

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51 L eaders are expected to create organizational systems that members perceive as fair, caring and open. In a just and ethical organization, the decisions tha t leaders make should reflect fair treatment of people, concern for employee welfare, and a responsibility to the environment and larger community outside the organization (p. 305). values and beliefs in effective leadership, most institutions responsible for preparing school leaders do little to explicitly cultivate instructional leadership values and beliefs in pre Nevertheless, ca n be countered by the descriptions and visions of the ideal ethical organization culture provided by Verbos Gerard, Forshey, Harding and Miller (2007 ) : A positive ethical organization becomes a magnet attracting individuals with the right type of moral mettle through externalizing the ethical organizational identity select organizations that they believe reflect the corporate image of high moral character in the marketplace should automatically the living code of ethics becomes a way of lif e ( pp. 10 12) In addition, that of Marshall and Gerstl Pepin (2005) : Moral and ethical leadership recognizes schools as organizations for nurturing and of education and school

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52 sense of self worth and community connections among faculty, staff, and students ( pp. 269 70). Leadership preparation progr ams at colleges and universities may need to challenge continually prospective educational leaders about their ethical principles and moral values (Starratt, 2004). The research and studies conducted by Covrig (2001) Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1998) (2002) and Pardini (2004) add ed support to and research reviewed in this study also support ed the understanding the ethical dimensions of educa (p. 9). It is interesting to note that in the research data cited in the Pardini (2004) article, Ethics in the Superintendency 1994, 26 years later and the results from both were alarming and not significantly different. This researcher hyp othesize d that if the poll were replicated for a third time (and only 14 years after the second poll) that there still would not be much difference in the results. The replication of the Farquhar study (1978) (1981) by Beck and Murphy (1993) is a case in p oint. It has been 1 6 years since the Beck and Murphy study and the But, should there be an additional 10 year lapse to validate the second half of their predict five years hence, researchers

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53 would uncover widespread beliefs that administrators must be equipped to think and act ethically and to develop structures and policies which support consciously chosen, mo Noremore (2004) wrote Leadership in any endeavor is a moral task, but even more so for educational leaders whether at the school or the university level. Accordingly, one goal that should be incorporated as part o f a leadership preparation program is the opportunity for aspiring leaders to examine beliefs, traditions, and experiences that have shaped their lives. This is critical activity because prospective and practicing educational leaders are not only responsib le for the success of their particular institution; their work can have an impact on various other institutions now and in the future (p. 1). Bolman and Deal (2003), Fullan (2001) (2005), and Starratt (2007) also stressed the importance of sound moral lea major players in developing educated persons who acquire an understanding of truth, 48). the expectation to be both expert manager and skillful leaders puts undue demands on them that often lead to conflicts between managerial values and instructional lea His statement is countered by Fields, Reck, and Egley (2006) who qualified, well published work addressed the required skills and know ledge of educational leaders in

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54 areas identified by the national standards for educational leadership that were developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (pp. vii viii) also rec ognizes these standards. Torres (2004) describes the use of ethical standards to create a framework for decision making : ating genuine ethical awareness among practitioners demands a modicum of pragmatism not commonly evidenced in forms of ethics training emphasizing justice through abiding by laws, edicts, and res for determining what actions reflect the best interests of the student (p. 251 252). Armstrong (2004) practice: dministrative contributed invaluable insights into the importance of ethical leadership, it has concentrated primarily on the external aspects of leadership behaviour [ leaders should do without an in depth exploration of the internal how newcomers develop moral praxis in the transition from teaching to administration (p. 1). Fullan (2004) Goleman (1995) Lashway (1 996) and Pastoriza, Arino and Ricart (2007) alluded to the balance between intellectual intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) Goleman (1995) referred to metacognition, which he stated

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55 suggested 5). Additionally, metacognition has b een viewed as an essential component of skilled learning since it allows the learner to control a host of other cognitive skills. Likened to of extensive knowledge and many separate strategies to accomplish learning goals. Ann Brown (1980, 1987) described metacogniton as having two dimensions knowledge of cognition or what we know about our own knowledge and regulation of cognition or how we regulate or control cog nition (Bruning, Schraw, Norby, & Ronning, 2004, pp. 81 82). ethical dilemmas and the decision making proces ses aligned to resolutions are complex undertakings. Cranston et al. ( 2003) d that decisions can have implications and effects on the individual, the organisation [sic] and the community either directly or stand this relationship also influenced their development of the model (pp. 139 41). How school level leaders think and feel and how they develop moral and ethical praxis are frameworks worthy of further research and study. As Lashway (1996) stated,

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56 dynamics of l school level leaders think and feel when faced with ethical and moral dilemmas and the implications for practice.

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57 C HAPTER 3 Methodology Introduction The purpose of this researc h was to study the types of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional develo pment. Th is research was designed to provide insights into the complex roles of school level leaders, the dissonance between competing values regarding what is in the best interests of students balanced with professional and personal ethics, policy impleme ntation, and organizational imperatives. This study focused on ethical dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult by school level leaders. These dilemmas include d decisions and situations shared through recounting critical incidents in whi ch the actions and decisions of school level leaders have garnered attention and resolutions In other words, the research er assume d that school level leaders face d many ethical dilemmas and s ought to identify and examine the most difficult and troubling. The ancillary purpose of this study, then, was to explore implications for preparation and ongoing professional development of school level leaders that build expertise in handling ethical situations. The four guiding research questions that framed this st udy were : 1. What types of ethical dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention?

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58 2. What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these types dilemmas? 3. What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? 4. What has been learned by administrators after leaving school level leadership ? In documenting the lived experiences of the participants in this study this researcher followed the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry using the critical incident technique (CIT) Data collected from interview sessions dialog s journals and reflections were used to analyze the types of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the ch aracteristics of these typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional development; attributes of ethical decision making Dempster, Freakley, & Parry, 2002, p. 429 ) and their implication s for practice. about an instance in your professional experience that obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved important moral and ethical cons Gutierrez, 2008, p. 42) and their responses to follow up questions and probes that were developed by this researcher and any related conversations were recorded and transcribed. The differences between qualitative and quantitative resea rch can be summarized as follows: Quantitative research uses statistics to analyze data that a nswers questions about who, where, why, how many, and how much and also investigates the relationships between specific variables It starts with a clearly stated hypothesis, narrows the scope of

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59 the research as a way of controlling which variable s are studied and tests the hypothesis using data gathering instruments such as surveys and questionnaires to determine the relationships between the variables Q ualitati ve research is more holistic, relies on the researcher as a research instrument. Qualitative researchers are often immersed in their study rely on deductive thinking, approach data as iterative and consider participants as co researchers ( Permuth 2006; J anesick, 2004). The research design of this study call ed for qualitative methods that allow ed for broad stroke data collection with emergent coding and analysis. Research Design Qualitative research is based on small, nonrandom samples suggesting that qual itative research findings are not often much generalized beyond the local research participants (Permuth, 2006, p. 100). According to Creswell (2007), Janesick (2004), and Permuth (2006), qualitative research can be conducted in several ways. In documentin g the lived experiences of selected administrators, th is researcher follow ed the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry using the critical incident technique. c ritical incident technique (CIT) is an exploratory, qualitative rese arch method used to generate descriptive data on a variety of human activities and behaviors The CIT represents a structured yet flexible data collection method for producing a thematic or categorical representation of a given behavior or its components This technique can be construed as a qualitative approach used to obtain an in depth analytical description of an intact cultural scene (Redmann, Lambrecht, & Stitt Golden, 2000, pp. 137 138).

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60 The critical incident technique has five distinct components each modified to meet the needs of a given situation: (a) defining the specific tasks or behavior to be described; (b) identifying incidents which provide examples of this behavior f rom which a description can be induced ; (c) articulating a data collectio n protocol that delimits the subjects of da t a, sample size, and data collection methods such as interviews, questionnaires, document analysis and others ; (d) articulating the rules and logic of data collection ; and (e) data analysis ( Johnson & Fauske, 200 2, p. 5). The CIT necessitate d a thorough review of existing empirical and theoretical literature that sensitize d th is researcher to the data without predefining codes, themes, and findings. Data reduction and related analysis reveal ed descriptive pattern s and themes that ultimately led to an emergent grounded theory about the phenomenon under study in this ca s e, the confounding ethical dilemmas faced by school leaders Creswell (2007) point ed ed theory is to move Conceptually, the theory is 63). According to Charmaz (2006) : C onstructivist grounded theory l ies squarely within the interpretive approach to qualitative research with flexible guidelines, a focus on theory developed that depends on the researcher's view, learning about the experience within embedded, hidden networks, situations, and relationships and making visible hierarchies of power, communication, and opportunity. Charmaz places more emphasis on the views, beliefs, values, feelings, assumptions, and ideologies of individuals than on the methods of research (Creswell, 2007, p 65 ).

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61 This resear cher was fully cognizant of the challenge associated with constructivist grounded theory Thus, b y doing emerge d Subsequently, this researcher acknowledge d tha t the primary outcome of this study was a theory with specific components: a central phenomenon, casual conditions, strategies, conditions, and context, and consequences p 68 ). Interviews Th is researcher supplement ed the CIT by us ing Ru bin and (2005) responsive interviewing model. The following are c haracteristics of the responsive interviewing mode l : 1. their experiences and their understanding of the world in which they live and work. 2. The personality, style, and beliefs of the interviewer matter. Responsive interviewing is an exchange, not a one way street; the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee is meaningful, even if temporary. Becaus e the interviewer contributes actively to the conversation, he or she must be aware of his or her own opinions, experiences, cultural definitions, and even prejudices. 3. Because responsive interviews depend on a personal relationship between interviewer and interviewee and because that relationship may result in the exchange of private information or information dangerous to the interviewee, the interviewer incurs serious ethical obligations to protect the interviewee.

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62 Moreover, the interviewer is imposing on the time, energy, emotion, and creativity of the interviewee and therefore owes loyalty and protection in return. 4. Interviewers should not impose their views on interviewees. They should ask broad enough questions to avoid limiting what interviewees can an swer, listen to what interviewees tell them, and modify their questions to explore what they are hearing, not what they thought before they began the interview. 5. Responsive interviewing design is flexible and adaptive. Because the interviewer must listen a nd intently follow up insights and new points during the interview, the interviewer must be able to change course based on what he or she learns. Interviewers may need to change whom they plan to talk to or where they plan to conduct an interview as they f ind out more about their research questions (p. 36). Informed Consent, Sampling and Protocols Approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at USF and this researcher complete d the Human Participants Protection Education for Research Tea ms online course Additionally, permission to use district employees in th is study was This researcher use d a non random and purposeful selection process to identify participants for the study. Since the purpose of this qualitative study was to analyze data gathered from the stories, narratives, and lived experiences of practicing administrators and their reflections on how these experiences influence them in their current roles of supervising school leaders in their practice there was

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63 participants. As Rubin and Rubin (2005) have experienced and knowledgeable in the area (p. 64). The participants ha d been school level leaders and are currently in district level positions in a large, southeastern school district in the United States. A description of the district demographics, structure, and context is included in Appendix A. The qualit ative research model encourage d the careful selection of each participant. The sample was purposefully selected based on access of this researcher to the participants who had rich experiences and were willing to participate in the study. Their gender, race and ethnicity; length of time as school principals (a minimum of five years) and district administrators (a minimum of three years) ; and their management of struc ture was additional criteria used in their selection. In the selected school district, there were seven district administrators meeting the criteria listed who were formally invited to participate in this study; five of the seven invitees agreed to partici pate in the study. Table 1 displays the demographics of the participants.

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64 Table 1 Demographic s of the Participants Participant Gender Race Years of Experience as an Educator Years of Experience as a School Principal School Level Years of Experience as a District Leader Participant 1 B F 23 11 Elementary 5 Participant 2 B F 23 11 Middle and High 3 Participant 3 B M 42 12 Elementary 16 Participant 4 H F 33 6.5 ESE K 12 4 Participant 5 W M 36 18 ESE K 12 and Middle 9 The selected participants also ha d shared common experiences among themselves and with the researcher Their willingness to participate and accessibility was in part due to the professional rapport and relationship with th e researcher. The name s and exact titles of all of the participants remained confidential and the participants had an opportunity to review the findings to be assured that the ir anonymity was protected. Qualitative research questions are often open ended, evolving and non direc tional. There is usually a central question with issue sub questions that address the major concerns and perplexities to be studied and analyzed (Creswell, 2007, p. 109). Charmaz t the combinations of follow up, probing, specifying, or direct and indirect questions. Th ese

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65 questions should be m o re reflective than interrogatory and elicit dialog, conversation, and narrative responses (pp. 135 136). The participants were asked this introductory question: Can you recall and tell me about an instance in your professional ex perience that obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved important moral and ethical consequences ? (Frick & Gutierrez, 2008, p. 42). In the tradition of effective interviewing, the protocols were semi structured, allowing for rich responses and for additional probing (Spradley, 1989). Below are the direct indirect, probing, and follow up questions that were developed by this researcher and asked of the participants: What was the date of this incident? What helped or hindered y ou most in responding to the dilemma? As the dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guidance from anyone? If so, what was the relationship between you and the parties at the time? Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident(s)? Have you experienced dissonance between personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your administrative role? If so, give an example. How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resolution of it?

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66 As you reflect upon your experiences as a school lea der, what have you learned that specifically relates to ethical and moral decision making? The participants were given copies of the questions prior to each of their interview sessions. The interview sessions were w ere transcribed, analyzed, and coded based on themes, patterns, and trends. The researcher approached the data through open coding and constant comparative analysis. Additionally, the researcher search ed for non examples or conflicting data and account ed f or all of the data through coding. The researcher took field notes during the sessions and these notes became as well as provid ed a means for triangulating data The participants were provided copies of the findings and conclu sions that served as a form of member checking and assure d rigor in the data analysis Participants also receive d a copy of their taped interview upon request. The characteristics of the responsive interviewing w ere embedded throughout the interview proces ses t hat ensure d was first hand for t hose who have thoroughly immersed themselves in a critical incident; observing and describing it in narrative form with a reflective analysis Limitations As defined earlier, q ualit ative research is typically based on small, nonrandom samples and qualitative research findings are often not very generali zed beyond the local research participants (Permuth 2005, p. 100) Additionally, q ualitative researchers often engage in which leads critics to claim that qualitative research is largely intuitive, soft, and relativistic or that qualitative data analysts fall back

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67 insight, intuition, and impression Q ualitative researchers are known t o preserve the unusual and serendipitous, and writers craft each study differently, using analytic procedures that evolve in the field (Creswell, 2007, p. 180 ). Th is researcher bec ame the instrument and this require d the utmost diligence and ethics during the data gathering phase The selected participants ha d shared common experiences among themselves and with this researcher. Their willingness to participate and accessibility was in part due to the professional rapport and relationship with this research er. Although these two criteria used in the selection of the participants did not pose any significant limitations in this study, the relationship between this researcher and the proposed participants could be challenged and construed as researcher bias. A nother limitation of the study could be the number of participants although Weiss (1994) states, study to consider is the structure of th e protocol questions. The questions were standardized and designed to investigate specifically, the overarching goal of this research that was to study the types of dilemmas school leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implicatio ns for leader preparation and professional development The questions were not open ended and did not provide for participant reflection beyond their context. Furthermore, t his research employ ed the Critical Incident Technique and the participants were ask ed to recall incidents from their experiences as school level leaders. The reconstruction of the incidents shared by the participants during their interview sessions may also be construed as a limitation. Finally, the dates of the incidents shared by the p articipants occurred between 1970 through 2010; the

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68 that occurr ed more than ten years ago could also be construed as a limitation. Validity To ensure the validity, authentication, and trustworthiness in qualitativ e studies Creswell (2007) has identified eight strategies that are frequently used by qualitative researchers: ( a) building trust with participants; ( b) triangulation; ( c) peer review or debriefing; ( d) negative case analysis; ( e) clarifying researcher bias; (f ) m ember checking; ( g ) rich, thick description allowing for transferability; ( h) external audits. Creswell also suggests that qualitative researcher engage in at least two of these strategies in a given study (pp. 207 09). The following are four of the eight listed strategies that this researcher employed in this study: Triangulation : the use of multiple and different sources methods, investigators, and theories to provide corroborating evidence (Creswell, 2007, p. 208). This researcher used the taped and tra nscribed responses of the participants in addition to her own recorded notes and reflections. The researcher employed within and cross data analys es processes to ensure authentic coding, theme s patterns, and identification of relevant text. Peer review or debriefing : provides an external check of the research process; this researcher honest (Creswell, 2007, p. 208). Th is ed in this role in addi tion to a trusted expert who was not part of the study or committee.

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69 Clarifying researcher bias : the researcher provides comments on past experiences, biases, prejudices, and orientations that may have shaped the interpretation and approach to the study ( Creswell, 2007, p. 208). This researcher disclosed in her story and critical incident reflections potential bias and her stance in relation to the phenomenon. This researcher also had a professional rapport with the participants; was employed in similar p rofessional roles as the participants; and had some familiarity with several of the critical incidents shared by the participants. These biases did not pose difficulty for the researcher during the interview sessions nor did they significantly influence th e outcome of this study Member checking : the findings and interpretations (Creswell, 2007, p. 208). Each participant was mailed a copy of their transcribed interview and was asked to review the transcript for credibility, clarity and accuracy of the responses provided during the interview session Each participant was also asked if there was a need to edit or omit any of the responses ; there were no edits sent to this researcher by the parti cipants. The findings of this study were also shared with each participant to assess accuracy, possible breeches of confidentiality, and to solicit their agreement and any additional views Role and Views of the Researcher Two underlying themes in this qua litative study were critical pedagogy and the ethic of critique In critical pedagogy, the theoretical domain interacts with the lived domain, producing a synergy that elevates both scholarship and transformative action C ritical pedagogy mandates that sch ools do not hurt students nor blame students for their

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70 failures (Kincheloe, 2008, pp. 12 make sound, ethical decisions that are truly in the best interests of students. Kincheloe further stated that Ad vocates of critical pedagogy are aware that every minute of every hour that teachers teach [school leaders lead] they are faced with complex decisions concurrently deal with what John G oodlad (1994) calls the surrounding institutional morality. A central tenet of critical pedagogy maintains that the classroom, curricular, and school structures teachers enter are not neutral sites waiting to be shaped by educational professionals ( p. 2 ). Additionally, s cholars who espouse d the ethic of critique (e.g. Apple, 1998; Bakhtin, 1981; Bowles & Gintis, 1988; Foucault; 1993; Freire, 1970; Giroux, 1994; Greene, 1988; Purpel & Shapiro, 1995) as applied to this study, ound tension between the ethic of justice, rights, laws, and the concept of democracy In responding to this tension these scholars and this researcher raise d difficult questions by critiquing both the laws themselves and the process used to determine if the laws were just (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001, p. 13) The se scholars and in practice this researcher, also challenge d the status quo by seeking an ethic that dealt with inconsistencies, formulate d the hard questions, and debate d and challenge d the issues W ith the intent to awake n us to our own unstated values and make us realize how frequently our own morals may have been modified and possibly even corrupted over time (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001, p. 13). The researche r embrace d these themes in professional practice as well as in this research study.

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71 Social constructivism is defined as a worldview in which individuals seek an understanding of the world in which they live and work (Creswell, 2007, p. 20). This view align ed to the philosophical approach of this researcher and support ed another focus of this qualitative study : and experiences in order to identify and characterize the types of dilemmas school level leaders face (Creswell, 2007). In addition, this researcher acknowle dge d that one knows and sees the wor ld from a situated stance that is grounded in lived experience s This researcher has shared her story to enable readers to become more attuned to that lived experience, situated stance, and potential bias. Foucault (1994 ) define s of being and the transformations that the subject must carry out on itself to attain that Marshall and Oliva (2006 ) state d, nchoring spirituality are feelings of peace, care, and commitment 42). Bolman and Deal (2003) add ed that being a spiritual leader genuine concern for the human spirit the meaning and faith in work and help them answer fundam ental questions that have confronted humans of every time and place: Who am I as an individual? Who are we as a people? What is the purpose of my life, of our collective life? What ethical principles should we follow? What legacy will we leave? (p 406)

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72 A s I begin to share my reflections and critical incidents, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that spirituality forms the core of my personal and professional ethical codes. There is a connectedness in my work and my relations with others. I value h onesty, trust, social conscience, and justice in all my interactions. I strive to help others mak ing a difference and that I am leaving a legacy for others praxis and hermeneutics. Below is my : Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day: I shall not fear anyone on earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering. and Critical Incidents There was a family, a mother, father, and three daughters, who lived in an urban community with a neighborhood school that was within walking distance of their home ; two of the daughters were of school age. Every morning, after the f ather made preparations and left to go work, the mother began her daily task that was to walk two of her three daughters, one in kindergarten and the other second grade, one mile to catch the city bus to attend another school. Two bus transfers and an hou r later, the two sisters would arrive at their designated school. They would repeat this ritual in the afternoon and

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73 their mother would meet them at the bus stop for the mile walk home. Although the family lived in a community with a neighborhood elementar y school that they could see the family drove by that elementary school on their way to church, to run errands and to do all the other things that a family would do together, the two sisters could not attend the school. The sisters could see the school with its magnificent white steeple, the wonderful playground, the pretty green lawn, and could watch the other children in the neighborhood walk to the school up the hill T hey never questioned their parents about why they could not attend that school because at that time, that is just the way it was. The family was the wrong color; the school was for white children only. The school that they did attend did not have a pretty green lawn, magnificent white steeple, or a wond erful playground ; it was for black students. But a strange thing happened the following year For some reason unknown to the two sisters at that time, they were allowed to attend the school up the hill. They finally were able to enter that school at top of the hill with the magnificent steeple, the pretty green lawn, and all schools were integrated. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court made it clear that Seg children of the minority group equal education opportunities. To separate black children from others of similar age and qualifications generates a feeling of ay affect their hearts and minds in ways unlikely ever to be undone.

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74 This story notes a historical political and social event in our society that had a tension between the ethic of justice, r ights, laws, and the concept of democracy p. 13 ). This story was also shared at the dedication of Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School on October 14, 2004, fifty years after Brown v the Board of Education (1954) by thi s researcher, the founding principal of that middle school When the district was granted unitary status one of the stipulations of the agreement was that the district builds three new south county schools. This was an attempt to replace pupil stations tha t were lost This lost was due to many of the south school, Thurgood Marshall would be the first middle school in the district to implement a 4x4/block schedule. Another debated issue was whether the school would open servicing all grades or begin with just a sixth grade class; it was decided that Marshall would accommodate all grade levels. Designed to for a student enrollment of 1400 students, Thurgood Marshall is situat ed on 20 acres in an inner city community of the school district It was built on the site of a former elementary s chool and additional acreage was purchased through eminent domain. Th is community borders on another inner city community of the district and according to the 2000 Census information, the zip code and census tract where Marshall is located has one of the highest crime rates in the incorporated area of the city. Thurgood Marshall was staffed for 400 students its first year and projected for incr emental growth until it reached a program capacity of 1000 students. However, only middle school in attendance Area A with open seats. By the ten day count, the

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75 enrollment swelled to 630 students and 53% were from families who did not choose Marshall because it was a fundamental school. During that initial year, I struggled with multiple dilemmas: keeping in addition to hiring and maintaining a q uality staff as the enrollment increased. Th entailed dismissing students who were not in compliance with the strict discipline and dress codes, daily homework, and demerit system or due to their parents not attending the required pa rent conferences or mandatory monthly PTSA/SAC meeting This was a community of parents and students either who did not want to be there or who were there but had difficulties adjusting to the fundamental way In a career in education that spans over th irty five years, I have been a classroom teacher, middle school dean, middle school and elementary school assistant principal, elementary and middle school principal, and district administrator. I have faced numerous enge the status quo while seeking an ethic to deal with inconsistencies, formulate hard questions, debate and confront issues, and Stefkovich, 2001). I began my educational career as a preschool teacher in an inner city school in Washington, D.C. My classroom, located on the second floor of a three story brick school, consisted of 15 three and four year old students who lived in the housing hool was not designed to accommodate preschoolers T he classrooms were small, the hallways were dark and the older students often wandered around unsupervised the bathrooms and cafeteria were located in the basement the playground was used as the staff p arking lot because it was fenced in and

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76 the entry gate would be chained and locked after the start of school. All of the students in my class lived in single parent settings N one of the mothers had completed high school and the majority were unemployed, r goal of the program was to encourage the mothers to become more engaged with their to improve their own literacy and parenting skills. The preschool teachers were require the visits were very structured, focused on the academic and social development of the students and reinforcing positive parenting skills. All home visits had to be approved by the program director and documented. Over a period of several weeks, one of the students Concerned about both, I deci the school and one afternoon, during naptime, I walked to the complex where the student lived. A teenaged male answ stopped by; I then left. The student was absent for about a week after my visit but this was not an unusual pattern for this student nor the other students in my class. The teacher neighborhood and asked about the student. The mother nonchalantly replied that her that her daughter had contracted from the teenaged male who answered the door when I

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77 had been sexually abusing the four year old student for several months. This was my first a lso my first act of what Stein ( 2004) refer s focusing Little did I know that I was also beginning to formulate my own personal and profession codes of ethics. While conti education and soon after relocated to Florida. Because the state of Florida did not have ce rtification requirements. I managed a Head Start Center and worked as a college counselor while completing the required certification courses. I was eventually hired as a early childhood center. The center housed six kindergarten classes, six Head Start classes, and a parent outreach center. The school was located in the middle of a housi ng project and all of the students lived within walking distance of the school. The student population Brown v. Board of Ed ucation (1954) I had personal conflicts with this in light of what I had experienced as a kindergartner and being fully aware that the Brown decision was the impetus for me to attend an integrated school I continued to take cl asses and earned my Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree; I also took classes for administrative certification. My first administrative position was in

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78 1979 at a middle school I transitioned from a kindergarten teacher to a middle school dean. The school w as located in a middle class community and coincidentally, the black students bused to this middle school lived in the housing projects surrounding the Each grade level, sixth, seventh, and eighth, at t his middle school was designated th grade house. The Sixth Grade Pool Party was an annual end of the year tradition, a rite of passage that all of the sixth graders looked forward to this yearly event The 6 th grade administrator coordinated this event that was always scheduled during the last week before summer break. The pool was within walking distance of the school and adequately staffed with lifeguards I asked the principal if I could take a few minute s from my duties to walk over to the pool to observe the festivities th grade administrator, a female student who was exiting the pool in a two piece bathing suit caught my attention. I asked the 6 th grade a dministrator if he knew that the student was pregnant. He looked at me and then at the student and stated that she did not look pregnant to him and maybe she just has put on some weight. He added that she was a very good student from a good family and she did not the principal and 8 th grade administrator and their responses were the same as the 6 th grade administrator. I boldly asked if I should talk with the student or call the parents and wa the parent that she have a talk with her daughter and take her to her physician for a pregnancy test. A week later the mother called to thank me and to let me know that her

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79 daughter was six months pregnant and that the family would be sending her to an out of state home for unwed pregnant teenagers. I asked the parent if her daughter knew who the father of the baby was and she replied that it was a student at the school. This was another situation in which I w advice of my immediate supervisor and peers; I also delved into the pe rsonal life of the student. Again my concern was in the best interests of this student. I also questioned if my race and gender had any bearing on my administrative peers reticence in addressing this issue: I was the lone female administrator on team with three white males; I was the administrator; the student was white. My first principalship, in 1986, was at a former black inner city school that had been converted into a magnet school. Magnets were established in schools in the in ner population at this school was 450 students: 420 white student and 30 bla and the efforts of the district to integrate the school by choice were declared a success. A bout that same time, a high school student in my district was suspended from school for using profanity towards a teacher. Th e morning of February 11, 1988, he broke into a County Sheriff Deputy home and stole two .38 caliber revolvers School officials saw the student on campus and called the police for a ssistance with issuing a trespassing charge. The two a ssistant principals then confronted the stu dent about being on campus when he should not be. It was about 11:50 a.m. and nearly 500 students were eating lunch in the cafeteria when things went bad : shots were fired from one of the stolen revolvers. A student, teacher, and three administrators had b een wounded. A week later, one of the

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80 assistant principals would die from wounds inflicted by the student with the gun. The district was one of the first in the nation to experience this type of tragedy and immediately established a zero tolerance gun poli cy: As a result, a ny student possessing a gun, real, toy, or facsimile and regardless of the intent, would be automatically suspended from school for ten days, recommended for expulsion, and reassigned to an alternative school. At the time of this incident I was in my second principalship at another inner city elementary school; this particular school was not a magnet. During that time, schools were still under court ordered bussing for desegregation location, the white students w ere on a two year bussing rotation to the school and the black students who lived within walking distance attended the school. In addition to English for Speaker of ot her Languages (ESOL), Even Start, Pre K Early Intervention, a primary and an intermediate Educable Mentally Handicapped ( EMH ) class, and an Early Success Program (ESP). One morning, the primary EMH teacher came into my office with a look of fear on her fac e and immediately shut the office door. One of the students in her classroom had a toy gun in his backpack. The teacher was aware of the consequences for this but was more concerned about how the consequence would affect the student. About six months later a third grade student b r school; it was loaded. He showed the gun to several students on his bus ride home. I debated about invoking the zero tolerance policy and weighed the situation and consequences for these students.

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81 Another challenge arose when it come to my attention that two male staff members were engaged in activities that many of the staff members construed as professionally and ethically inappropriate. One of the offending parties was a classroom teacher; the other was the night foreman. Both were African American, worked at the school. She also added that the former principal was afraid of the night foreman and that she had witnessed the night foreman verbally and physically threatening him. She shared that the head plant operator had tried on numerous occasions to get support and assistance fro behavior and job performance, but to no avail. She added that the principal prior to my predecessor had taken the building keys from the night foreman and were returned a week documented incidents of insubordination with the former principal, two letters of caut ion and one formal reprimand. Annual evaluations were very inconsistent and did not reflect the issues of the alleged staff harassment, poor job performance, and insubordination. A behavior that was a frequent complaint of the teachers was the long convers ations the night foreman engaged them in when they were working late in their classrooms or leaving to go home If the teachers did not entertain him he often retaliated by not cleaning their classrooms. The night foreman also learned my work schedule and w ould often show up just as I was leaving work to talk. In addition to these long conversations with me and the classroom teachers, he and the classroom teacher, who

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82 was his friend, would meet after school, in the evening, or at night in the custodian the day and during his planning and lunch, the classroom teacher would go to the break room to read the Bible. That in itself was not an issue, but he would then put Bible verses on the chalkboard for his discussions with the night foreman later in the day. Staff members who would use the room began to complain about this activity. Meetings with the night foreman, the school based union representative, and me were always cou nterproductive and the night foreman would balk at any suggestions for improvement. He continued to write accusatory letters and I continued to respond to in writing as required. This generated additional paper work for me and the school secretary. His eva luations began to reflect his true work performance. One afternoon the night foreman walked into my office stating that he wanted to talk with me. He sat down and began to recap what led to where we were. He then backtracked to his difficult and dysfunctio nal upbringing and shared how he had risen above that situation to become a productive citizen, raise a family, etc. He even shared with me that his sister, who was a teacher, helped him with his reading and writing. I was aware of all that he was sharing with me and I listened intently. He continued to plead his case and asked why I would not just let things remain as they were. I began to respond but before I could finish my first sentence, he jumped out of the chair, lunged toward me with a raised fist, mumbled something about making some contacts and then stormed out of my office. employment is often contingent on the type of environment they work in. It was very

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83 evident that there w as a conflict between the night foreman, his friend, the classroom teachers, and me as to what we valued in the workplace. Good work habits and work ethics, a humane work environment, detecting and resolving human problems, and discerning co ive and negative motives lead to creating a work environment for the good of the group: this was my dilemma. In 2007, the superintendent appointed me to a district level position Another major transition and this one was from a school based leadership ro le to district based leadership role. The position was newly established and was designed to support the middle school reform initiatives and mandates stemming from recently passed state statutes. The primary function of this position was managing the dist schools; specific tasks include d goal setting, planning, controlling, directing, staffing, coordinating, decision making communicating, and evaluation the funct ion of all middle school operations. It also required that I work directly wit h the Deputy Superintendents to develop systematic approaches to evaluate and improve teaching and learning to determine the most effective means of closing the achievement gaps and to increas e the level of achievement for every student in a safe learnin g environment As with teachers, principals often share confidential and personal information with their immediate supervisors and confidentiality is respected when this occurs. I The author of the letter was alleging that the principal created a hostile work environment, misappropriated PTSA funds, used her position for personal gains, and used the school for her The district does not require any official response to anonymous complaints but because

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84 the school leader in question was a neophyte, I shared the letter with the principal in question. This principal had experienced a personal tragedy a nd had shared some events relating to the tragedy with me. A month after the anonymous letter incident, I received a very startling phone call. The caller identified himself and his position and began to provide me with detailed information that would subs information that would verify who he was his call could not be classified as an anonymous complaint. In addition principal in question was the same one referred to in the anonymous letter; the issues were the same and included some events related to the s personal tragedy was, I had a moral and ethical obligation to the students and staff. Initially, there was also doubt in the of the investigation because the princ administrator, and I were of the same race. system and the school and are accountable to both bodies and are likely to find oursel ves Cranston, Enrich & Kimber 2003, p. 136). Significance of the Study

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85 Because of her considerable experience in education, this researcher is cognizant of the realization that school level leaders face d a myriad of ethical and moral dilemmas that may be si milar to those shared in her story. The data accrued will either affirm or disaffirm this realization and allow for an exploration of the decision s consequences and patterns of response gleamed from the data shared by the administrators selected to partic ipate in this study This data will also inform future directions in research leader preparation and practice In addition, exploring the dimension of race and its interrelationship with ethical and moral dilemmas will contribute to a full immersion in an d analysis of the data collected around these important research questions. The methods used in this study offer a research paradigm for probing and understanding how school level leaders process and interpret their world and how they assign meaning t o the ir lived experiences and the resulting actions T h is researcher ultimate goal therefore was to design a significant study, collect and analyze pertinent and relevant data, and then use deductive thinking and reasoning to present her findings from the s The story is paramount for qualitative researchers and nothing is as important to this study and this researcher as the words and stories of the participants An additional intent of this study was to when dealing with critical incidents and to researcher both learning and knowing it transform s lived experiences into knowledge and uses the already acquired to unveil new (p. 17) for future practice.

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86 C HAPTER 4 Findings and Results Introduction The underlining purpose of this chapter is to share the findings resulting from this qualitative study of the types of ethical dilemmas s chool level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional development. This chapter is presented in the following segments: an overview of the study, the methodology, parti cipant selection and protocols, interview sessions, data analysis, and the research findings. Overview This study was designed to provide insights into the complex roles of school level leaders, the dissonance between competing values regarding what is in organizational imperatives. This study focused on ethical dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult by school level leaders These dilemmas included decisions and situations, shared through recounting critical incidents, in which the actions and decisions of the selected administrators garnered attention and action Based on a review of previous studies as well as personal experience the research er assumed that school level leaders face d numerous ethical dilemmas and sought to identify and examine the most difficult and troubling shared by participants in this study An ancillary purpose of this study was to explore implications for preparation and ongoing professional development of school level leaders that build expertise in handling ethical situations.

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87 The four guiding research questions that framed this study were : 5. What types of ethical dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention? 6. What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these types of dilemmas? 7. What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level l eaders? 8. What has been learned by administrators after leaving school level leadership? Methodology In documenting the lived experiences of the selected administrators, this researcher followed the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry using the c ritical incident technique. Data collected from interview sessions, dialogs, journals and reflections were used to analyze the types of dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level lead er preparation professional development and practice. The semi structured interviews were the main data collection instrument due to the large amounts of data that could be generated about the participants lived experiences using the interview process. Th e interview process also allowed for immediate follow up and clarification by this researcher when needed (Cranston, 2005, p. 109). about an instance in your professional expe rience that obliged you to reflect on a situation

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88 Gutierrez, 2008, p. 42) additional follow up question s and probes that were developed by this researcher, and related c onversations explicit to the school level dilemmas that were shared were recorded and transcribed. As Weiss (1994) pointed out recorder made it easier to attend to the participants and just relying on hand written notes tend to simplify Participant Selection and Protocols This researcher used a non random and purposeful selection process to identify participants for the stu dy. Rubin and Rubin (2005) stated, interviewees should be experienced and knowledgeable in the area (p. 64). The selected participants had been school level leaders (principals) and are currently in district level pos itions in a large, southeastern school district that is located in the United States. Qualitative research encourages the careful selection of each participant. The study sample was selected purposefully based on access by this researcher to the participa nts w ho had rich experiences and were willing to participate in the study. Additional selection criteria included gender, race, and ethnicity; length of time as school principals (a minimum of five years) and district administrators (a minimum of three yea rs) ; and their management of the size, scale and level of dilemmas associated with the In the selected school district, seven district administrators met the criteria listed The seven were formally invited to p articipate in this study; five of the seven invitees agreed to participate in the study ( see Table 1 ).

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89 The selected participants also ha d shared common experiences among themselves and with th is researcher. Their willingness to participate and accessibili ty was in part due to the professional rapport and relationship with th is researcher. Charmaz (2004) with their studied phenomenon. This also align ed (2004) first principle in the practice of qualitative research: Intimate Familiarity with the Phenomenon Forms the F oundation of Qualitative Inquiry that translate d to gaining a level of knowledge and understanding that penetrate d the experience (p. 984). Interview Sessions with Participants This researcher scheduled the interview sessions with each of the five participants. The interview sessions were directed by the researcher and scheduled between April and June 2010. Sessions were scheduled at a time a nd location amenable to each participant. Two of the participants scheduled their interview sessions at their place of work but after their scheduled workday Another participant also scheduled the session at his place of work late in the afternoon prior to attending an evening school board meeting. The participants scheduled the remaining two sessions on Saturdays that each felt w as more convenient and less of a time conflict with professional and personal responsibilities. One scheduled the session as a located in close proximity to his residence. The other participant scheduled the session on a Saturday afternoon at his residence. All participants were provided a copy of the informed consent form ( see Appendix B) that outlined the purpose of the study, the study procedures, risks (which were minimal), and benefits in participating in this study. The consent form emphasized

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90 the confidential components of this study with assurances that no information would identify the participants. The participants were given copies of the nine protocol questions prior to each of their scheduled interview sessions. The participants were also Reflective Story and Critical Incidents in Chapter 3 of this study. in providing the participants with this information was twofold: to serve as a form of reciprocal sharing of lived experiences and to further broaden the participan ts of the understanding of the significance, importance, and impact of sharing their lived experiences (critical incidents) with this researcher for this study The participants received no compensation for their participation in the study. Because of this participants, no formal or professional introductions were required prior to the start of the interview sessions. What was potentially researcher bias due to this relationship became an asset during the intervie w sessions. The existing comfort level established between this researcher and the participants stemming from our professional interactions as well as mutual respect and trust forged with this researcher through these interactions and the reassurances of c onfidentiality outlined within the consent form contributed to the openness and frankness of their responses. Additionally, this researcher had broad background knowledge and understanding of the lived experiences that the participants shared which allowed her to be in a position to note, as Goffman (1989) described empathetic enough

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91 taking to sense what it is they observation (pp. 125 126). Weiss (1994) confirmed the advantages of the researcher as an insider when he stated: it is better to be an insider to the milieu in which the respondent lives, because it is easier t also beneficial to be an outsider who may milieu (p. 137). Qualitative research questions are often open ended, evolving and emergent. There is usua lly a central question with issue sub questions that address the major concerns and perplexities to be studied and analyzed (Creswell, 2007, p 109). Charmaz (2006) emphasized and Brinkmann (2009) suggest ed that the combinations of follow up, probing, specifying, or direct and indirect questions. These questions should be more reflective than interrogatory and should elicit dialog, conversation, and narrative responses (pp. 134 36). The participants were asked this introductory question Can you recall and tell me about an instance in your professional experience that obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved Additional direct and indirect probing and follow up questions developed by this researcher that were also part of the protocol were : What was the date of this incident? What helped or hindered you most in responding to the dilemma?

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92 As the dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guidance from anyone? If so, what was the relationship between you and the parties at the time? Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident(s)? Have you experienced dissonance between personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or ex pectations in your administrative role? If so, give an example. How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? What role, if any, did gender or race play in t he incident or your resolution of it? As you reflect upon your experiences as a school leader, what have you learned that specifically relates to ethical and moral decision making? All of the participants were asked these nine questions although there were some variations in how the questions were introduced due to the length and content of their responses to each question. The questions were designed to investigate specifically the overarching goal of this research that was to study the types of dilemmas school level leaders face, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional development. Although the questions were not open ended and did not provide for participant reflection beyond the context of the questions, their design allowed the participants to remain focused on the responses to each question.

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93 shared provided the opportunity to ask, if needed, addi tional probing, direct, and indirect questions that were deemed pertinent to the intent of this study Each participant was asked to provide additional demographic information that was specific to the participant selection criteria ( see Table 1 ) : years of experience as a district employee, years of experience as a school level leader, school level, and years of experience as a district administrator Although it was not part of the protocol each participant was asked if there was anything else that he would like to share This allowed this researcher to transition the session to a close. This also provided an opening for the participants to give additional information (Janesick, 2004, pp. 73 77). Each interview session conducted with the participants was one on one, face to face; semi structured, and averaged an hour in length. Each participant consented to have the session recorded. The participants responded to the nine questions during their interview sessions. Some provided more detail and supporting scen arios than others did Four of the participants shared two incidents that accounts for more incidents than participants in the study This researcher recorded the interview sessions Prior to and after each session, this researcher checked the tape recorde r to ensure that it was operating and that the dialog was properly recorded. This researcher also transcribed the ; the tapes and transcripts are secured at the residence of this researcher. During the transcription phase, this resea rcher discovered, as pointed out by Kvale and Brinkman (2009), that Researchers who transcribe their own interviews will learn much about their own interviewing styles; to some extent they will have the social and emotional aspects

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94 of the interview situat ion present or awakened during the transcription, and will already have the analysis of the meaning of what was said (p. 180). Each participant was mailed a copy of the transcribed interview and was asked to review the transcript for clarity and accuracy o f the responses during the interview session Each participant was also asked if there was a need to edit or omit any of the responses. Each participant was provided with a self addressed stamped envelope personal email address to use to provide this researcher with any additional, edited, or corrected data (see Appendix D). The participants were provided copies of the findings and conclusions that served as a form of member checking and assure d rigor in the data analysis. None of the participants expressed any concerns about the content or confidentiality. The participants also received a copy of the taped interviews upon their request. Data Analysis Initially, this researcher used open or initial coding which is defined as the process of breaking down responses, examining and comparing, conceptualizing, and categorizing data (Saldana, 2009, p. 81). Additionally, this researcher looked for non examples or conflicting data and accounted for all of the data through coding and cataloging. This researcher took field and reflective notes during and after the each interview session, while transcribing the interviews, and during replays of the memo writing writing down id eas about the evolving theory. This process, which is highly suggested by Charmaz (2006), helped to clarify and direct the coding processes and made the writing

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95 process more concrete and manageable (pp. 72 82). These multiple data formats became a part of Within and c ross case analys es w as also applied to the critical incidents by looking at each incident individually and then comparing patterns across incidents. This process allow ed fo r additional coding and for identify ing emerging themes and patterns in the experiences that shaped the participants lived experiences (critical incidents). The interview tapes were replayed several times during the data analyses phases to again gain insig 54). The data were organized in a matrix around each protocol question and each critical incident. Open coding was used to identify patterns that emerged within each incident as well as across incidents and participants. Thus the primary data source was the transcribed interviews of the participants with cross case and within case analyses of each critical incident and the protocol questions. Central themes and patterns were teased from these a nalyses. This researcher also identified relevant texts and repeating ideas (emergent themes) which were used to respond to the nine protocol and four guiding questions. The analysis of the data was constant comparative (Creswell, 2007, pp. 45 47) with th e researcher coding and categorizing over time through several lenses: the critical incidents themselves, the individual protocol questions, patterns across incidents, patterns across protocol questions, and finally, overarching themes in answer to the gui ding questions As Weiss (1994) stated The kind of story the investigator can tell must be consistent with the kind of data The investigator will develop insights, speculations, and small scale theories beginning with the first pi

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96 likely to be only after interviewing has ended that the investigator can give full attention to analysis and writing (p p 151 153). This researcher ended the interviews when no new codes were emerging when patterns became redundant, and when the data were deemed sufficient to answer the research questions. Findings The findings are presented by nine descriptive coded themes: prevalence of dilemmas, age of incidents, compliance with policy, seeking guidance, support from di strict, dissonance with personal beliefs, learning to be ethical, learning from dilemmas, and can ethics be taught. Individual questions and critical incidents are discussed within the context of each theme. Prevalence of Ethical Dilemmas The immediate res ponses to I nterview Q uestion 1 showed that these participants were no strangers to ethical dilemmas in the workplace. Interview Question 1 was Can you recall and tell me about an instance in your professional experience that obliged you to reflect on a si tuation and make a decision that involved important moral and ethical consequences? primary themes of the critical incidents that were shared. Additionally, their responses provid ed data that answered the guiding research Question 1 What types of ethical dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or interventions? All participants were able to identify at least one ethical dilemma they identified as the most tro ubling. Two participants, P1 and P3, shared dilemmas that occurred early in their

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97 administrative careers and stated during their interview sessions that the resolutions of the dilemmas were still disconcerting to them. Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1998) investigated the ethical decision making of school leaders and found that the dilemmas shared by the participants in their study centered on human resources, taking disciplinary action in relations to staff and students (behavior), and special school issue s (p. 8). Research into the ethical dilemmas faced by school leaders conducted by Cranston, Ehrich, and Kimber (2006) found similar multi themed dilemmas: supervisor misbehavior, accountability, student welfare/behavior, and professional ethics. The foci a nd themes of the nine critical incidents that the participants identified as the most troubling to them were also very similar to the themes identified in the Dempster et al. (1998) and Cranston et al. (2006) studies. Table 2 indicates the specific number of incidents shared by each participant Table 3 provides a summary and the foci of the nine most challenging critical incidents shared by the participants and the emergent themes of each incident Table 4 shows the grouping of the critical incidents into three primary coding categories: Personnel, Policy and Process. Beyond these initial categories, all of the incidents shared by the participants had multiple recurring themes All incidents are true but specific elements have been omitted to protect the confidentiality of the participants

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98 Table 2 Number of Critical Incidents by Participant Participant Number of Incidents Shared Participant 1 2 Participant 2 1 Participant 3 2 Participant 4 2 Participant 5 2

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99 Table 3 Summary of Critical Incidents and Emergent Themes Participant Critical Incidents Emergent Themes Participant 1 Incident 1: A black male kindergarten student brought a gun to school Wh en the student went to p.e. he hea ds and pulled the trigger each time Zero tolerance and compliance with school board policy ; student behavior and welfare (gun brought to school by student) Incident 2: P1 had been promoted to a district level position. I ndividuals she supervis ed an d her two counterparts were being paid more than she was P1 is a black female and her counterparts were males Inconsistencies with following human resources processes ; personnel; accountability (salary dispute) Participant 2 Incident 3: P2 was ch ecking messages on the computer of the assistant principal, when she hit the mouse pad to recall his last email, several pictures that were inappropriate popped up on the screen. P2 was the newly appointed principal the assistant principal Conduct unbecoming a school board employee ; personnel; professional ethics (inappropriate use of electronic device)

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100 was a seasoned, veteran administrator scheduled to retire in three months. Participant 3 Incident 4: As a first year teacher, P3 was assigned to an all black inner city school. A newspaper reporter was writing a series of articles about the inadequate education a budding athlete received due to segregated schools and the student had attended that elementary school. P3 had interned in several all whit e schools and had taught the is black and the reporter and his family were white. Racial tensions at the onset of desegregation in district schools; personnel; professional ethics; personnel conflicts (internal conflicts between white and black staff members) assistant principal, a black male student was sent to his office for allegedly hitting a white female student The female student admitted to kicking the male student first. P3 wanted to give both students the same consequence but he principal told P3 to suspend the male student for ten days. Violation of student's due process ; student behavior and welfare; justice (punishing wrong student)

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101 Participant 4 Incident 6: P4 was asked to work with a cross functional team tasked with identifying schools and then finding alternative placements for the students. A majority of those identified were ESE students. P3 was then informed that the cross functional team which she knew was illegal and non compliant. Inconsistencies with following school board policies ; accountability; student welfare (compliance with ESE policy and proced ures re: IEPs) Incident 7: The district was facing significant budget reductions and was reviewing numerous services provided including transportation. Three magnet schools in the district traditionally housed full time ESE programs. Removing transpo rtation for students would significantly control the opportunity for ESE students to attend these magnet schools ; P4 knew that moving th e ESE programs to non magnet schools would be discriminatory. Inconsistencies with following school board policies and processes ; student welfare; accountability (compliance with ESE policy and procedures re: equal access to programs) Participant 5

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102 Incident 8: A director and assistant director, work ing with in the same department were having an affair. P5 was newly appointed in a position that required him to uphold ethical standards in the district and had to resolve a situation with serious political and ethical implications. Conduct unbecoming a school board employee ; personnel; professional ethics (inappropriate relationship between district administrators) Incident 9: A school district construction manager was falsifying work hours Daily he would drop his daughter off at school visit a few of his project sites until about noon; go to a park neighboring p ark until dismissal time for his daughter pick her up and then go home. After tracking him for several weeks, he was confronted with what was found Falsifying information ; professional ethics; personnel; accountability (employee reporting incorrect work hours)

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103 Table 4 Themes of the Critical Incidents Shared by Participants Participant and Incident Personnel Policy Process Participant 1 Incident 1 x x Incident 2 x Participant 2 Incident 3 x x Participant 3 Incident 4 x Incident 5 x x x Participant 4 Incident 6 x x Incident 7 x x Participant 5 Incident 8 x x Incident 9 x x Age of the Incidents Participants were asked to give the date of each incident in Intervie w Question 2 of the protocol. The incidents shared by the participants occurred between 1970 and 2010. The reconstruction of the incidents shared by the participants during their interview sessions could be construed as a limitation and particularly the in cidents that occurr ed that occurr ed more than ten years ago may be an indication that they were still troubled by either the incidents, how the incidents were resolved or both. This w as directly alluded to by P1 and P3 in their narratives. In addition, any interview data is constructed by the respondent

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104 and interviews about lived experience is always retrospective Table 5 shows the wide range in the dates of the occurrences of the cri tical incidents shared by each participant. Table 5 Range of Dates of Critical Incidents in Five Year Increments Participant and Incident 0 to 5 Years 5 to 10 Years 10 to 15 Years 15 Years + Participant 1 Incident 1 x Incident 2 x Participant 2 Incident 3 x Participant 3 Incident 4 x Incident 5 x Participant 4 Incident 6 x Incident 7 x Participant 5 Incident 8 x Incident 9 x Compliance with Policy In respon ding to Interview Question 3 What helped or hindered you most in responding to the dilemma ? the participants revealed that following district and school policy guided their responses to the critical incidents. responses to this question indicated that what helped the most was that they felt bound to act prudently in order to address the policies and procedures that were being violated. Some degree of hesitancy was experienced when they were initially confronted with their dilemma s

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105 (which are addressed with more specificity in Interview Question 6 ) However, the participants indicated that they relied on following and/or complying with policy and procedures and striking a balance and flexibility between doing the right thing and right vs. right decisions (Cranston, Ehrich, & Kimber, 2006, p p 111 116) Two emergent themes from the analyses of the responses to this question were moral purpose and Question 3 al so provided relevant data to address guiding research Question 2 What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school leaders with facing these types of dilemmas? P1: and like I said, the thing that a lmost hindered me is my personal experiences with some of my family members. But I knew I had to do the right thing But when the teacher did not want me to do ...because she is a great teacher and had worked really hard with this child. But I knew I had to do the right thing. I had to go back and really search myself about my morals and values and what I really, truly stood for and believed in. And I knew at that point that I had no choice but to follo w policy But it also reflected back on some incidences that had happened in my family being in trouble with the law and I did not want to see a k indergartener arrested P2: I had seen was totally inappropr iate ; what hindered me again was here is a veteran person who has been that storied or

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106 stellar was still the end of his career. And I did not want to do anything that would impact that. So that was what hindered me. Again, what helped me was the policy P3: Again, I think past experiences, knowing different people, um, that helped quite a bit. Some of the things that may have hindered was the fa ct that I did not have a close relationship with some of the African American staff as I would have liked to have had. P4: you in responding to the dilemma? And if I was he aring you correctly, what helped you was not being in compliance with IEP regulations and least restrictive environment and all of that. What hindered you was the committee was not also seeing what they were doing that was supplanting or usurping what norm ally goes on. Do you want to expound on that a little bit more or did I kind of capture ; that no matter how I tried to explain it and they tried to tell me ok t they did not understand, is that we are required to implement interventions to help a child be intervention It had to be something with a positive behavior support that they really

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107 parents with concerns. The other piece is being able to guide the decision makers of some of the potential implications and dissatisfaction that families would P5: you know, whether to continue forward or not. I am sure publicity played into matter you know, nothing else can do that. I mean everybody knew about this. The whole morale of the department was, Seeking Guidance Interview Question 4 asked As the dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guidance from anyone? If so, wh at was the relationship between you and the parties at the time? Table 6 displays by incident the individuals each participant sought for guidance. The individuals sought out and their relationships with the participants varied. Based on the data collected the resolutions of their dilemmas were not directly or quasi mentor I nterview Question 4 also pro duced relev ant data to address guiding research Question 2 What

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108 actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these dilemmas? Table 6 Individuals Sought for Guidance by Participants and T heir Relationship to Participant Participant and Incident Individual Sought Relationship Participant 1 Incident 1 Assistant principal Subordinate Incident 2 HR Representative Peer Superintendent Supervisor Participant 2 Incident 3 Area Superintendent Supervisor Office of Professiona l Standards Support service Participant 3 Incident 4 N/A Incident 5 Principal Superior Participant 4 Incident 6 School board attorney Peer Incident 7 N/A Participant 5 Incident 8 Partner Peer School board attorney Peer Incide nt 9 N/A The following are data relevant to I nterview Question 4 : P1

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109 shared with her about my personal experiences with dealing with the la w. And she that time and I shared with her my concerns. And I guess maybe a month went by and nothing had occurred P2 What I did was I called my superintendent, my area superintendent through. Having done that, talking to him, I called the Office of Professional P3 ministers t getting along and working together. But, at that point I was like a new teacher, who did not have a lot of credibility. And I remember in staff meetings when it would get heated at one time I raised my hand and said, Can I, um, said, can I say something? and one of my here at this place. And the principal called me in and he said he wanted that child to have te n days.

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110 P4 Incident 6: school board P5 when we Support from District Interview Question 5 explored what people, policies or processes influenced the d the critical incident and asked Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident? As with I nterview Question 3 four of Question 5 indicated that they felt bound to act prude ntly or to do what they perceived as ethically moral in order to address the policies and procedures that were being violated per the dilemmas shared As Starratt (1991) stated, educational administrators have a moral responsibility to be proactive about creating an ethical environment for the conduct of education (pp. 188 200) Senge (2002) referred to this as a moral responsibility (p. 279). P3 did not receive support from peers with the dilemma experienced in I ncident 4 Furthermore, P3 did not receive support from the immediate supervisor for the initial resolution of the dilemma in I ncident 5 although P3 indicated that the resolution was in compliance with policy. P2 sought reassurance from the immediate supervisor that the response to and resolution of the dilemma was Interview Question

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111 5 also provided relevant data that answer ed guiding research Question 3 What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these dil emmas? P1 are out on a limb by yourself. You can always go back to policy and you are going to be supported by the district. But when you stray, it is almost like you are I told her that my morals and values would not allow me to do that. P2 Incident 3: I spoke to the representatives, and even before that, I knew I had to talk to someone because that was something that I had never experienced, but I was compelled by policy and just needed to have some confirmation that what I was doing was what I should be doing and that I P3 spok district level coming in and doing anything. And I remember in staff meetings when it would get heated at o ne time I raised my hand and said, Can I, um, said,

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112 P4 Incident 6: did not know that until later. And they asked him and he confirmed what I had said And so he explained the differences. But the rules are significantly different for a student that h that the attorney and I were in the correct wave length. And so I knew before I went in what the parameters som e of the parents with concerns. The other piece is being able to guide the decision makers of some of the potential implications and dissatisfaction that P5 policy had been violated, that was clear. W hether or not we pursued the violation of the policy is where the people in the district get involved. I was the only one wanting to go forward. I said you cannot convinced them, We tracked him, he was followed, did all of the staff and when we

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113 Dissonance About Personal Beliefs Interview Question 6 asked Have you experienced dissonance between personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your administrative role? If so, give an example. All of the participants experienced some level of d issonance between their personal beliefs, values, or morals and what ha d been required of them in policy, practice, or expectations. Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) stressed that educators may experience clashes between the ethic of care, the ethic of criti que, and the ethic of justice within these professional codes. Also, that i t is a paradigm shift that expects its leaders to formulate and examine their own professional codes of ethics in light of individual personal codes as well as standards set forth b y the profession (pp. 10 22). Each participant provided an example other than the critical incidents shared in I nterview Question 1 and with each example, the underlying inner conflict was how their actions impacted students. P1: ally search myself about my morals and values and what I really, truly stood for and believed in. And I knew at that point that I had no choice but to follow policy. But it also reflected back on some incidences that had happened in my family being in trou ble with the law. Because to see someone so young being arrested it just really brought back memories that I never want to live again...knowing that family members had gone through an incident of being arrested, but not with a gun. It's just the mere fact, really, of an African American male being arrested. And when they took him away, they told me that they had to

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114 handcuff him and I broke down in tears because I did not want him, a P2: yes and no In this case, I think it was a clear case so the conflict was internal and So that was the conflict but not really a personal belief or value I have had incidences of dissonance wh en in different situations you are called upon to mete out some circumstances that the Code of Conduct dictates that you ought to do. For instance, if there is a weapon or something that commands that the student be expelled. In the investigating process, sometimes we find out things that would extenuate or mitigate the circumstances. While my heart bleeds for that situation and had I had any other choice, perhaps I would have chosen not to the route expulsion, reassignment, but because of code and policy and law, I am compelled to do something else. Those are the instances in where I have conflict. Like the student has done something that requires him or her to be dismissed from a program, a magnet or fundamental, or whatever program that is. And I think t hat the program where he or she is will better serve that student to be successful, but P3: I really struggle sometimes with the idea about zero tolerance that has been a struggle for me especially at the elementary level. So I have seen that and I have

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115 to be honest when at times, I have not been as consistent with the policies as I should h book bags, when no one really found out about it, these toy guns. The first time I campus police and they were here and everything and they were having this threaten anybody, he did not use it in any way and I am not going to do anything. do, we give these kids ten are going to throw it in the trash. What he did was stupid. I contacted his parents and did all those kinds of things. So I struggle with those kind of things from time to time. P4: district is facing significant budget reductions. They are looking at all o f the transportation concerns. We have a couple of schools in the district that have traditionally housed full time ESE programs that are fundamental schools; a high school, and a middle school. And as transportation is being reviewed, they are considering removing that as an option. children should have any and all options available to them. When they remove the transportation mode, then that significantly controls the opportunity for ESE students to attend these fine p

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116 personal view of wanting to have those full experiences and really look at what we are required to do. And when I look at it from a r equirement perspective, putting those programs would mean that we are discriminating against those ESE children because technically we have allowed them not to access those I h P5: whe ther it was a principal in ESE, whether it was an expectation that we, you Whether it was with kids, because we owe the ESE kids, you know a certain level of service and to not provide it was not acceptable. W were not supposed to be locked. We had people that would prop boards under the doors and go off and leave them. And those types of things we unacceptable. C oming into that one specific case that I talked about, policy was there saying, no you cannot do it. The practice was there that we disciplined people that had done important to us. So, those were all of the things we

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117 Learning to Be Ethical Participants uniformly described learning to be ethical in childhood, reinforced by family expectations and events over time. Interview Question 7 asked How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions. What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? This researche r n oted that Greenfield mpelling evidence of moral leadership in action, providing insight into complex connections sensitivities brought to the moment of reflection, and the valuing and intention re vealed of this study, Greenfield offered convincing empirical evidence of the importance of the personal and socio cultural dimensions of nd beliefs, perspectives, the lived experiences and subjective meanings, of the participant s in the In reviewing and analyzing the responses to Interview Question 7 there were emergent and repeating themes, characteristics, and similarities in the stories that each participant shared: their views and approache s to ethical and moral decision making were shaped early their childhood by some form of adversity, family, faith and beliefs, or their immediate community This was in close alignment to the P1:

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118 my childhood When I started out I was I think back to the times in the classroom, the kids would tease me because I would not read a s well as they. The teachers in all the classes would allow them to what color, to treat a child or an adult the way I was treated growing up. I think my morals and values bega n to develop then because it gave me the opportunity to see that some people are very mean, cruel, had no morals or values because if Because I often think, what if I had not had that experience as well as my parents You know, because they were always in church being treated that way, I expect for you to respect the teach er. I expect for you to treat the other kids right. It was always instilled in me from a child that you must g through P2: I think that how I have learned it is by living, by believing As far as relation to values and morals, I believe in the law of divine reciprocity, what you give out you are going to get it back. I believe that yo u ought to treat folk, someone said the Golden Rule is to treat people how you want to be treated, but I think the Silver Rule is to treat people how you think they want to be treated. That even

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119 goes beyond. So just treating people the way that you would w ant to be treated and giving them respect. But the sense of faith that I have, From watching more by what people do than what people say, and so ourselves and we say you have all kinds of leaders and you can learn all kinds of things from leaders. Some things you learn that you ought not do and some things are things that you want to do. So you take all kinds of learning nugge ts from examples and non examples. P3: faith... I think again, it started with my upbringing but continued to grow is my faith in God...there are certain things that like treating people right and doing things the right way. I had my grandparents who were really strong in my life about what things to value, principles, and things like that. They also held me responsible for my own behavior. So as a child growing up, I am the oldest in my family, my mother had nine children and I am the oldest; so I was always given a lot of responsibility. But the best experience I had was at Tuskegee Institute What was critical for me about that is that it was like an oasis he students and pretty soon you knew everybody. There was a lot of collaboration, but the biggest thing they brought in was some very high expectations in terms of principles and

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120 P4: of my adult, disabled sister. She has very significant disabilities and she is in the adult system. She went through the school system in Illinois. So, as a f amily member, I know the challenges that my family experienced and now there are no that there were some decisions that were not ethical. For example, when my sister was six my family, my mother, wanted to get her into school. And the school said she is not toilet trained, she cannot come to school. And my mother said what if she never gets toilet trained? At that time, there were no Federal laws, now there are Federal laws and I have learned those very, very well. And I make a point of knowing the most current changes in the regulations and its implementation and P5: my grandfather. He was fine, was killed when I was ten, he was a police officer and so my grandfather is who I taken after him His beliefs never wanted to disappoint that man, never wanted to. And if I did, I felt worse Influence of Gender and Race

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121 The response to Interview Question 8 w as mixed. Interview Question 8 asked What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resolution of it? P1 and P3 indicated that both race and gender influenced their incidents and their resolutions; P2 stated that gender might have initi ally affected the reaction to the incident shared but not the resolution of it. P4 and P5 strongly expressed that neither their race nor gender played a role in their incidents or their resolutions. It was interesting to note that the three participants wh o felt that either their race and/or gender played a role in the incident of resolution of it were black and two of the three were female. The two participants who expressed that neither their race nor gender had an impact were non black; one was female an d the other male. Table 7 provides a graphic of this data. All participants provided additional dialog that support ed their statements Table 7 Number of Incidents and Number of Incidents Impacted Due to Gender and/or Race Participant Gender Race Number o f Incidents Number Impacted Due to Race and/or Gender Participant 1 F B 2 2 Participant 2 F B 1 1 Participant 3 M B 2 2 Participant 4 F H 2 0 Participant 5 M W 2 0

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122 P1: you that every one of them played a key role when I think about it. I reflect back, even with the student, because if they are in my family, of course, it is an African American child and it was an African American with the gun. And knowing that African A merican boys sometimes have it so difficult in society, I was just trying to really weigh that and Cauca three of those. Even with the student, with me growing up and going to an all P2: say this, I may sound gender biased; I think that not necessarily race in this particular case, but gender, yes. Because had I been of a male persuasion, I probably would biased. S o, it all depends on if the background of the person, the purpose for doing the investigation, for seeing it. If I say a blanket yes, then I would be biased myself, but I will tell you that, depending upon the circumstances, and the individual person, that yes, race and gender do play a part. But, in the particular situation, yeah, I think it did play a part, not race but just gender. I was appalled P3:

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123 a little differently. I definitely think that race still plays a part. It plays a part even beh ave in certain ways and so we keep putting them back in that same mold, over the next incident they are already back to that role. And pretty soon, that is the only way anybody ev prejudice your thoughts with what you see sitting in front of you. And a lot of times, it has to do with the skin co P4: played a role in any of those scenarios. In never been an issue to me. And I think race P5: anything because what I did was not dependent on my race or gender or anybody

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124 black or Hispanic, or some other viewpoint. It What Was Learned from the Dilemmas? Participants were forthcoming and introspective on what they believed themselves to have learned from encountering these ethical dilemmas. Interview Question 9 asked As you reflect upon your experiences as a school level leader, what have you learned that specifically relates to ethical and moral decision making? notion of respect for persons and Strike, Haller and Soltis (2005) beliefs that these principles continue to provide useful len ses for trying to understand what is at stake in ethical issues (p. 159) are both reflected in the participants responses to this question. All of the participants were extremely introspective and retrospective and the responses went well beyond their loc self knowledge honesty, and respect. These finding reinforce d that educatio nal leadership has a strong moral purpose (p. 51). Their responses also provided relevant data to answer guiding research Question 4: What has been learned by administrators after leaving the school level leadership? P1: right, so with people their morals and values and their ethical behaviors are not in line. So they find it very difficult to believe that it is a person that can be morally and ethically sound. And I believe there are

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125 some out there but they are few and i n between. It was always instilled in me from a child that you must always do the right thing, regardless. I just always err on American, you have to tow the line. We have to give 250 percent, not 100 percent. Whereas, other races, they only give 100 percent. And I know when to P2: others, people may not understand it, they may not like it, but they will learn to respect it and expect it. So just try to treat folk like I know they want to be treated. And respecting them, we may differ, but we can share the same respect. But, just doing what is right and what is just, fair, and doing it consistently. The answer may not be what they want it to be, but they can respect it because it is done in a P3: successful as a leader a s well as a person. That if the other people respond to you when they look at you from your core they know whether you have made ethical you can have conversations with them beyond that. If they think that it is driven by going to look to your core to find out. I really do appreciate it when somebody

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126 P4: you need to know that you are going to be strong enough, regardless of what happens, to do the right thing. And particularly be driven by the student, for me, that disabled stu you have to be very clear about how you are going to approach this. You professionalism. Because for me emotional piece. But rationale/conflict resolution manner. I think my biggest piece that has helped me is that I have had so much training in behavior, conflict resolution; my background has been very behavioral and so I approach everything in a behavioral manner. And I can even catch myself getting caught up in power struggles and it is that little voice inside that says, you know, is this the hill you want to be on P5: and never waiver from them your decisions are I was a principal

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127 probably early workshop...it was no guts, no glory. And that was like if you were afraid to make Ethics Can be Taught May be During the course of the study, a question that was central to the findings Can ethics be taught ? (Goree et al., 2006; Langlois 2004) was posed to the participants. Interview Question 7 explored this aspect of the study: How did you learn to make eth ically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? This question was asked during the first interview session conducted by this researcher T he s response focused on how adversity family, faith and beliefs, and the immediate community influenced this development. This response prompted this researcher to probe further and ask if the participant felt ethics could be taught and if individuals could be trained to be ethically and mor ally sound. Subsequently, this question was asked of the other four participants after each responded to Interview Question 7. The other participants also stated that, in their own lived experiences, ethics were learned early on. None of the participants s tated directly that ethics could not be taught but data analysis revealed that all of participants believed that ethics can be developed in the early stages of childhood and that it can be continually modeled, practiced and refined throughout adulthood. Th e r esponses to this inquiry provided data to address guiding research Question 3 What are the implications

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128 of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? P1: ut once you get to adulthood, if it is not ingrained in you, no. You can disguise being ethical and moral, but not P2: in childhood and seeing e you can read about it believe it. I can give you great examples of it, but I believe from broad levels, as you grow up, it is kind of innate. People get brainwashed all the time and they e they can be taught. But what makes them morals and into beliefs and what becomes an innate part the strategies, the tools for making ethical decisions, but the practice of making P3: I think they were taught situational ethics and situational morals. That this may

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129 I do think you can. I think our attempts with I t hink P4: training helps you understand what i t should be I think internally, you P5: r ethical makeup is formed very, very young, you know What you stood for and compromise, and righ t or wrong to others, or the situation, if you have to compromise Emergent Themes The nine protocol questions posed by this researcher were designed to elicit responses specific to the intent of the study. In addition to providing sufficient relevant dat a to address the nine protocol and four guiding research questions this researcher made

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130 note of additional repeating ideas or emergent themes across incidents that inform ed this study as well: spirituality, moral purpose, best interests of students, pivota l life events and personal dissonance. These emergent themes were embedded in the responses given by participants during their interview sessions and provided the basis for developing grounded theory surrounding school to ethical dilemm as. The six overarching themes are introduced here, and further discussion of t hese themes will be provided in Chapter 5 Spirituality Foucault (1994) define d of being and the transformations tha t the subject must carry out on itself to attain that responded to the questions posed to them ; consistently doing what is fair, right, and just. The crux of their d ialog s P1: Because I often think what if I had not had that experience as well as my parents. You know, because they were always in church, as well. Always t eaching me for you to respect the teacher. I expect for you to treat the other kids right. It was always instilled in me from a child that you must always do the right thing, P2:

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131 faith that I have, ours elves and we say you have all kinds of leaders and you can learn all kinds of things from leaders. But, just doing what is right and what is just, fair, and doing it consistently. P3: faith ...I think, again, it started with my upbringing but continued to grow is my faith in God...there are certain things that like P5: Moral purpose Fullan (2001) defined moral purpose as acting with the intention of making a dif ference in the lives of employees, customers, and society as a whole and posited All of the participants tried to keep this balance in responding to their dilemmas, their moral purpose P1:

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132 and their ethical behaviors are not in line. So they find it very difficult to believe that it is a person that can be morally and ethically sound. I just always err the P2: not like it, but they will learn to respect it and expect it. So just try to treat folk like I know they want to be treated. And respecting them, we may differ, but we can share the same respect. But, just doing what is right and what is just, fair, and doing it consistently. P3: know whet that people see you that way. Then, you can have conversations with them beyond that. If they think that it is driven by something else, you kind of like the star for the day P4: you need to know that you are going to be strong enough, regardless of what happens, to do the right thing. And particularly be driven by the student, for me, that disabled student th have to do it, because there is not anyone else who is going to do it for them Y ou

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133 professionalism P5: set your standards and never waiver from them your decisions are do. Best interests of students Torres (2004) emphasized, the ethic of profession provides a framework for educators and policymakers to think critically and form an appropriate code with the best In their responses to Interview Question 6, issues and its impact on students; all participants stated that their ultimate responsibility was to act in the best interests of stud ents. P1: have sympathy, empathy with the teacher because I knew she was a great centage of free and reduced lunch was one of the P2:

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134 get ting paid, providing services to students and to staff and to the whole school district, then you still ought to give it your all as opposed to being lax and lackadaisical and just so you can draw a paycheck P3: things like that where you listen to the whole situation, the child had been having kids attacking him over long periods of time and nobody really stepping up to say a thing about it, and then, one day they fought back and then they got expelled And I thought that was not in the best me. And, it also teaches me that one of the things that I have always practiced that of a child says that he is having a problem with something, you have to address P4: o really make sure did the right thing by the child and by my responsibilities to the job. And when I went home that day, I thought this is why I do this job...to make oppor tunities P5:

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135 will work on anything yo u want Pivotal life events critic al incidents. Each one of them, through dialog and reflection on the critical incidents acknowledged that the core of their ethical and moral fiber was developed during their youth and was ultimately reinforced by a significant event during that time. P1 : times in the classroom, the kids would tease me because I would not read as well as they. The teachers in all the classes would allow them to do that. Going through that exper P3: I had my grandparents who were really strong in my life about what things to value, principles, and things like that. So as a ch ild growing up, I am the oldest in my family, my mother had nine children and I am the oldest; so I was always given a lot of responsibility. But the best experience I had was at Tuskegee Institute What was critical for me about that is that it was like a n oasis in the delta P4:

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136 I am the legal guardian of my adult, disabled sister. She has very significant disabilities and she is in the adult system. She went through the school system in Illinois. So, as a family member, I know the challenges that my fa mily not ethical. P5: grand Dissonance All of the incidents revealed that school level leaders experienced dissonance in addressing their ethical dilemmas justice, rights, laws, and the also referenced in the work of scholars such as: Apple ( 1998 ), Bakhtin ( 1981 ), Bowles and Gintis ( 1988 ), Foucault ( 1993 ), Freire, ( 1970 ), Giroux ( 1994 ), Greene ( 1988 ), and Purpel and Shapiro ( 1995 ). P1: d to go back and really search myself about my morals and values and what I really, truly stood for and believed in. And I knew at that point that I had P2: yes and no In this case, I think it was a clear case so the conflict was internal and So that was the conflict but not really a personal belief or value I have had

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137 incidences of dissonance when in different situations you are called upo n to mete out some circumstances that the Code of Conduct dictates that you ought to do P3: I really struggle sometimes with the idea about zero tolerance that has been a struggle for me especially at the elementary level. P4: of wanting to have those full experiences and really look at what we are required to do. So, I have to remember to keep my personal feelings out of it P5: d with these policy type decisions; whether it was a principal in ESE, whether it was an expectation that we, you Whether it was with kids, because we owe the ESE kids a certain level of service and to not pro vide it was not acceptable. And those types of things we unacceptable. Summary As posited by this researcher at the onset of this study, e thical issues, problems, (Goree, Pyle, Baker, & Hopkins, 2006, p. 13) and the structure of our society has shifted from an era of simpler times to one that is often driven and dictated by policy, court decisions, and legal mandates. Our schools have not escaped this societal shift, which has escalated to the po int where school level leaders are faced with a myriad of dilemmas. This study confirm ed the prevalence of ethical dilemmas for school level leadership The changing

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138 role of school leadership has increased the expectation for school administrators to be ex pert managers and skillful instructional leaders able to balance the critical tension s between competing values in decision making (Holland, 2004, p. 3) The findings and results of this study were indicative of these statements. The incidents here reveal ed that school leaders are guided by district policies and s ought guidance from other district administrators, either supervisor or peers, when working through a dilemma. These data also show ed that school leaders often experience d dissonance or tension be tween their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district The incidents exemplif ied the tension around right versus right ( Cranston, Enrich, & Kimber, 2003). Clearly, these incidents support ed the notion that school level leaders so ught to act in the best interests of students. Finally, the data reveal ed a dichotomy around whether ethics can be taught. On the one hand, examining ethics in professional development and leader preparation was strongly encouraged. Yet, all participants s uggest ed that, in their own lived experiences, ethics were learned early on. In Chapter 5, the implications of these findings are explored further.

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139 C HAPTER 5 Discussion Introduction This chapter includes a discussion of findings of this study and the application of the findings to the guiding research questions literature, and research that was reviewed in Chapter 2. The emergent themes and their characteristics in addition to the repeating ideas generated from the analyses of the data from this study are also explicated in t his chapter Overview of the Study This study was designed to analyze the types of ethical dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional development. This study focused on dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult for school level leaders and evolved from one of the four questions that framed the course of study for th e Pinellas doctoral cohort: How can suppor t for the development of ethical leadership be extended to school leaders? This question also served as the guidepost for th is researcher study and review of the literature relating to ethics, ethical dilemmas, and the complexity of decisions school leve l leaders make. This initial query segue d to the following probing questions: W hat are the emergent themes that support a need for continued professional development for building principals (school level leaders) regarding ethical and moral leadership and decision

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140 making? and How can school leaders balance the demands placed on them as supervisors and instructional leaders to enact both managerial and professional values? Although it was not the intent of this study to specifically answer these questions t hey guided this re searcher in selecting relevant research, studies, and literature embedded within this study. In addition, t hrough the review of th e literature in this study this researcher establishe d a strong correlation between ethics and morals the ethical treatment of staff, students and parents by school level leaders, the elucidation of ethics and morals in administrative decision making and the implications of administrative ethical and moral decision making on the overall school culture. The f our guiding research questions that evolved from the theoretical frameworks and research, studies, and literature reviewed for this study were: 1. What types of dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention? 2. What actions, deci sions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these dilemmas? 3. What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? 4. What has been learned by administrators after leaving s chool level leadership ? This researcher used a non random and purposeful selection process to identify participants for the study. The selected participants had been school level leaders and are currently in district administrative positions in a large, sc hool district located in the southeastern region of the United States. The qualitative research model encourage d the

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141 careful selection of each participant. The sample was selected purposefully based on access of this researcher to the participants w ho had rich experiences and who were also willing to participate in the study. Seven district level administrators were formally invited to participate in this study; five of the seven invitees agreed to participate in the study As suggested by Creswell (2007), this researcher used a central question with issue sub questions that address ed the major concerns and perplexities that were both reviewed and analyzed (p. 109). Charmaz (2006) emphasized ) Kvale and Brinkmann (2009) suggest ed include an introductory question with combinations of follow up, probing, specifying, or direct and indirect questions. The parti cipants were asked this introductory question: you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved important moral and tierrez, 2008, p. 42). Additional direct and indirect probing and follow up questions developed by this researcher and asked of the participants were : What was the date of this incident? What helped or hindered you most in responding to the dilemma? As t he dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guidance from anyone? If so, what was the relationship between you and the parties at the time?

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142 Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident(s)? Have you e xperienced dissonance between personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your administrative role? If so, give an example. How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? Wha t has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resolution of it? As you reflect upon your experiences as a school leader, what have you learned that specifical ly relates to ethical and moral decision making? The data were organized in a matrix around each protocol question and each critical incident. Open coding was used to identify patterns that emerged within each incident as well as across incidents and parti cipants. Thus, the primary data source was the transcribed interviews of the participants with cross case and within case analyses of each critical incident and the protocol questions. Central themes and patterns were teased from these analyses. This resea rcher also identified relevant data and repeating ideas (emergent themes) which were used to respond to the nine protocol and four guiding questions. The analysis of the data was constant comparative (Creswell, 2007, pp. 45 47), with the researcher coding and categorizing over time through several lenses: the critical incidents themselves, the individual protocol questions, patterns across incidents, patterns across protocol questions, and finally, overarching themes in answer to the guiding

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143 research questi ons This researcher also identified via relevant data repeating ideas and emergent themes that became rich data This data were used to respond to the nine protocol and four guiding research questions. Discussion M any of the findings in the study reflec t findings and theoretical frameworks offered in previous studies. A summary of the similarities is offer ed in Table 8. Table 8 Findings i n t his Study Correlated with Literature and Research Cited in the Study Finding s Identified by Researcher for This Stu dy Research Cited in Study Relevant to F i ndings School level leaders faced, on a daily basis, a myriad of ethical dilemmas Cranston, Ehrich, and Kimber (2003) (2006), Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1991), Greenfield (2004), Holland (2004) School l evel leaders dilemmas were guided by district policies Cranston, Ehrich, and Kimber (2003), Starratt (1991) School level leaders experienced dissonance or tension between their beliefs and policies or expectations of the district Shapir o and Stefkovich (2001) Pivotal life experiences occurring during Green ((2004), Pardini (2004)

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144 their youth formed the core of the school level leaders School level leaders strived to strike a balance with their conscience, cu stomers, and compliance moral purpose Fullan (2001) (2005), Kincehloe (2008), Lashway (1996), Senge (2002), Starratt (1991) School level leaders expressed a commitment of caring and in consistently doing what is right, just, and fair spirituality B olman and Deal (2003), Foucault (1994), Marshall and Oliva (2006) School level leaders acted in the best interests of students Frick and Gutierrez (2008), Stefkovich and Begley (2007), Torres (2004) School level leaders believed that ethics could b e taught and should be consistently modeled Goree, Pyle, Baker, and Hopkins (2006), Langlois (2004), Pardini (2004) The discussion here highlights those similarities and is organized around the four guiding research questions. The first question was What types of dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention? Cranston, Ehrich, and Kimber (2003) stated that Because school leaders are caught at the interface between the system and the school and are accountable to both bodie s they are likely to find themselves

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145 more autonomous operational milieu requires school leaders to confront and resolve conflicting interests as they endeavour [sic] to balance a variety of values for the school leader, arising, for example, where conflict and tension may arise as operational context of the school and the other reflecting a political imperative (p. 136). Additionally, Greenfield (1991) asserted, Cranston, Ehrich, and Kimber theor y and Green assertion were applicable to the critical incidents as told by the five participants in this study. The five participants shared a total of nine critical incidents or dilemmas during their interview sessions. Although each incident was uniqu e in and of itself, analys es of the relevant data indicated that the major themes of the incidents shared by the participants were personnel, policy, and process. Personnel issues seemed easier to resolve than those impacting students did T he participant s struggled with zero tolerance issues and issues that conflicted with decisions they felt made the balance between best interests of students and policy more difficult. The ethic of professionalism relates to the professional codes of professions such as law, medicine, dentistry, and even education; Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) stressed that ethic of justice within these professional codes. It is a paradigm shift that expects

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146 its leaders to formulate and examine their own professional codes of ethics in light of individual personal codes as well as standards set forth by the profession then calls on them to place students at the center of the decision making process (pp. 10 22). This h eld true for the participants in this study. However with staff and personnel issues the participants had less empathy The participants felt that these individuals should have know n better, that the se individuals that their behaviors had negative ly affected overall staff morale. The second guiding research question was What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these dilemmas? The critical incident s showed that the participants were cognizant of the steps that had to be taken to resolve their dilemmas and that their actions would cause some level of dissonance or inner conflict between their personal beliefs and what was required of them by policy a nd/or procedures. Although the participants sought dilemmas with and the relationship between them varied ( see Table 5 ) the se individuals did not directly influence or impact the final resolutions of the dilemmas. Furthermore none of the dilemmas required assistance or interventions from additional staff or personnel. Any additional assistance that the participants sought out was primarily to follow up on policy and/or procedures via other departments within or outside of the school district Finally the dilemmas shared were not because of inappropriate actions or decision s made by the participants The dilemmas were mainly due to the inappropriate actions or poor decision choices of others. This researcher determined from th e data Interview Question 3 that P3 did not receive support from

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147 his peers with the dilemma experienced with Incident 4 The analysis also determined that P3 did not receive support from the immediate supervisor for what was in itially determined as the correct resolution of the dilemma in Incident 5 Reliance on district policy and procedures helped to resolv e a majority of the dilemmas. The participants stated that what helped them the most was that they felt bound to act prude ntly in order to address the policies and procedures that were being violated. Although some level of hesitancy was experienced when they were initially confronted with their dilemmas the participants including P3 with Incident 5 indicated that they rel ied on following and/or being in compliance with policy and procedures and in their responses to Interview Question 3 The critical incidents revealed this tension between policies or expectations and doing what the participants tho This recurring dissonance in decision making with the added competing elements such as the best interests of students, organizational and/or professional policies, and personal codes as alluded to by Cranston Enrich and Kimber ( 2003 ) English and Bolton, ( 2008 ) Frick, ( 2009 ) and Shapiro and Stefkovich, ( 2001 ) ( 2005 ) formed the core of the ethical dilemmas th e school leaders face d This researcher posed the following to P2: the conversat ion you are sharing with me leads me to ask this question: Do you believe Th e response and rational ization were also characteri stic in the responses, actions and d ecisions of the other participants in this study: P2:

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148 they remind us that we have to be prudent in our decisions. That we need to follow the policy, and follow the practice, that the gu and I think this is true, we go to schools, we go to meetings, we go to professional development, but nothing will ever train us like the personal experience we have The third guiding r esearch question was What are the implications of the research findings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? A goal of this researcher was to design a significant study, collect and analyze pertinent and relevant data, and then use deductive thinking and reasoning to present her findings from statemen Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (2002) argued that learning about ethical decision suggested Begley (2004) alluded to the use o 5) Greenfield (2004) noted perspectives, the lived experiences and subjective meanings, of the participants in the leadership re Brooks and Normore (2002) concluded

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149 Engaging in reflective practice and problems based learning activities designed to st century (p. 7). This study was an exercise in face to face reflecti ve dialog for the participants. It afforded each with the opportunity to set aside time dedicated f rom their busy schedules and reflect upon incidences in their professional careers that they identified as especially confounding and difficult. The study f ound that the use of reflective practice and dialog could be a means of supporting and developing so und ethical decision making practices. Thus, the interview itself provided a learning opportunity for both the participants and the researcher The following statements voiced by the participants stress ed the importance of this premise : P1: policy, knowing that my job could be on the line really, if I did not really do the right thing, and it did not feel right. I certainly enjoy your sitting here and having this conversation. It just helps me to P2: A principal right now that I am working with, I believe that principal is, has a some decisions have been made that were not quite judgmentally sound. Had that

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150 person had the opportunity to go back knowing what he or she knows right now, I think the decision would be made. Y ou just made me think about some things that I had not thought about in a P3: try to better picture about where the district was going. See...because I think that was Starratt (2004) recommend ed that leadersh ip preparation programs at colleges and universities may need to challenge continually prospective educational leaders about their ethical principles and moral values. Also, t he research and studies conducted by Covrig (2001) Dempster, Freakley, and Parry (1998) (2002) and Pardini (2004 ) support ed trained educational leaders has never been addressed the required skills and knowledge of educational leaders in areas identified by the national standards for educational leadership that were developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (pp. vii viii) also recognized these standards Finally, Goree, Baker, and Hopkins (2006) declared that ethics could be developed over time : There is research suggesting that ethics classes and training can help people

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151 good person has to come from within. And moral character lies still more deeply inside us. Character, like wisdom, develops slowly over time (pp. 16 17). Further Noremore (2004) highlights the importance of ethics for educational leaders : Leadership in any endeavor is a moral task, but even more so for educational leaders whether at the school or the university level. Accordingly, one goal that should be incorporated as part of a leadership preparation program is the opportunity for aspiring leaders to examine beliefs, traditions, and experiences that have shaped their lives. This is critical activity because prospective and practicing educational leaders are not only responsible for the success of their particular institution; their work can have an impact on various other institutions now and in the future (p. 1). The data accrued from this study strongly support ed what these researchers have either recom mended or stated regarding training and professional development for school level leaders. Based on these two sources, this researcher identified the following implications for practice : Selection In meeting the increased demands for highly qualified and w ell trained school level leaders screen ing potential candidates is important Through their critical incidents, participants described learning to be ethical at an early age. This highlights the need for careful screening both in the admission process for leadership preparation programs and in the selection for leadership positions in schools. Developing Ethics and Expectations for Ethical Behavior

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152 Although the critical incidents showed that ethics are learned early, the findings also indicated that ethics could be refined and strengthened over time. As discovered in this study, pivotal life 'experiences can and do can ensure that the professional development training for school leaders emb eds the required skills and knowledge of educational leaders in ethics. One source of guidelines in this area is the national standards for educational leadership developed by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders This training can also reinforce the local and state professional ethics standards and expectations Modeling Ethics All participants perceived that ethics were developed in the early stages of childhood ; they also implied that it could be contin ually modeled, practiced and refined throughout adulthood. Therefore the training in ethics should be delivered by individuals familiar with the standards developed by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leader s as well as the ethical and moral culture of the school district Critical incidents showed that modeling ethics and setting high expectations is important to the ongoing development of ethical frameworks. The finding inferred that those who teach in prep aration programs or conduct professional also practice and model these attributes on a continuing basis. Sharing pertinent and related

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153 research with students in educational leadership programs enhances their awareness of the high standards placed on school leaders and the varying levels of dissonance they will face. Both district and university school level leader preparation and training could benefit from simulations ( role playing ) using ethical dilemmas. Additionally, both preparation programs would bene fit from inviting practicing school leaders as well as former school to participate in forums designed for them to shared experiences (critical incidents) that would elicit the appropriate dialog and reflection. The final guiding research question was Wha t has been learned by administrators after leaving school level leadership? Interview Question 9 elicited data on this topic As you reflect upon your experiences as a school leader, what have you learned that specifically relates to ethical and moral deci sion making? this question provided relevant data to answer this guiding research question. All of the participants were extremely retrospective when responding to Interview Question 9 This question also gave the participant s an opportunity to reflect on their practice, which was not separate d r professional practice a reflection of their lived experiences learning through dialogue and reflection. In reviewing and analyzing the responses to Interview Question 7 How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? there were repeating themes,

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154 characteristics, and similarities in the stories that each participant shared: their views and approaches t o ethical and moral decision making were shaped early their childhood by some form of adversity, family, faith and beliefs, or their immediate community. The participants did not refer to participation in courses or training during their undergradu ate, graduate, or leadership preparation programs P4 did indicate other forms of training that may have helped make ethically and morally sound decisions : biggest piece that has helped me is that I have had so much training in behavior, confli ct resolution; my background has been very behavioral and so I approach everything in a P1: always do the right thing, regardless. I just always err on th e caution of doing the line. We have to give 250 percent, not 100 percent. Whereas, other races, they P2: not like it, but they will learn to respect it and expect it. So just try to treat folk like I know they want to be treated. And respecting them, we may differ, but we can shar e the same respect. But, just doing what is right and what is just, fair, and P3:

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155 successful as a leader as well as a person. That, if the other people res pond to you when they look at from your core, they know whether you have made ethical or P4: you need to know that you are going to be strong enough, regardless of what happens, to do the right thing. And particularly be driven by the student, for me, that disabled student you have to be very clear about how you are going to approach this. P5: waiver from them your decisions are affects In retrospect, much of what has been learned by these participants critical incidents has been explored, researched, or addressed by scholars in this field (see Table 8). ol leaders and the

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156 ( p. 3). philosophical approach to ethics, a construct of consistency for school level leaders emerge d Similarl y, the findings here school level leaders often experienced dissonance or tension between their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district po licies Additionally, the findings revealed that school level leaders sought to act in the best interests of students; and that school level leaders sought guidance when working through a dilemma. Emergent Themes for Grounded Theory This researcher made n ote of several repeating ideas or emergent themes that inform ed this study ; these emergent themes were gleamed from the critical incidents provided by participants during their interview sessions: spirituality, moral purpose, best interests of students, pi votal life events, and personal dissonance These themes are the basis for development of grounded theory that synthesizes previous research findings with those from this study. A statement of grounded theory in italics heads the discussion of each of the themes. Spirituality School leaders acknowledge spirituality in responding to ethical dilemmas. critical incidents. The crux of their dialog s was what Bolman and Deal (200 3)

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157 of a certain mode of being and the transformations that the subject must carry out on itself to Bolman and Deal (20 P1: thing, regar P2: are talk among ourselves and we say you have all kinds of leaders and you can just, P3: faith... there are certain things that like treating P4: you need to know that you are going to be strong enough, regardless of what happens, to do the right thing P5:

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158 co Moral Purpose School leaders act with moral purpose and intent in responding to ethical dilemmas Fullan (2001) defined m oral purpose as a cting with the intention of making a difference in the lives of employees, customers, and society as a whole and also posited that The ethic and moral fibers of adm inistrators are as diverse as the composite of the schools and communities they serve. The quality of decisions made by school leaders may express more of their emotional quotient nce 2008, p. 120). All of the incidents showed that participants strived to keep this balance, their moral purpose, as they responded to their dilemmas. The data relevant to this findi ng follows: P1: P2: I had seen was totally inappropriate ; what hindered me again was here is a veteran person who has been in the system much longer than I, er that storied or stellar was still the end of his career.

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159 And I did not want to do anything that would impact that. So that was what hindered me. Again, what helped me was the policy that it was wrong and you P3: That, if the ot her people respond to you when they look at from your core, they that people see you that way. Then, you can have conversations with them beyond that. If they think that it is driven by something else, you kind of like the star for P4: you need to know that you are going to be strong enough, regardless of what happens, to do the right thing P5: you know, nothing else can do that. The whole morale of the department was, was that right to al Best Interests of Students School leader focus on what is best for students when responding to ethical dilemmas. The critical incidents in this study revealed a pattern of ethical decision making that cen tered on doing what was in the best interests of students. This finding correlated with findings in other studies. Stefkovich and Begley (2007) reflected on the notion of acting in the best interests of students and Torres (2004)

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160 emphasized the ethic of profession provides a framework for educators and policymakers to think critically and form an appropriate code with the best responses were references to making decisions that had a positive impact on students In their responses to Interview Question 6 th ree participants expressed some level of dissonance or tension with zero tolerance issues and its impact on students. Additionally, Frick and Gutierrez (2008) studied the moral aspects unique to the profession of educational leadership. Their research foun d that principals overwhelmingly indicated a commitment for assuming particular responsibilities to children and youth and identified themselves as persons entrusted with acting on behalf of students for their benefit (pp. 44 47). Pivotal Life Events Scho ol leaders cited pivotal life events that developed their code of ethics. The incidents. Each participant, through dialog and reflection, acknowledged that the core of their ethical and moral fiber was developed during their youth and was ultimately reinforced by a significant event during that time. The story is paramount for qualitative researchers and nothing was as important to this study and this researcher as the words a nd stories of the participants. This study provided this researcher the vehicle to capture the dynamics of leadership choices when school level leaders are faced with critical incidents. It has also provided the

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161 transforms lived experiences into knowledge and uses the already acquired to so addressed the issue between principle or problem focused ethics the way one responds to specific ethical dilemmas and narrative ethics surmised that there should be more focus on narrative ethics, social justice, an d the inadequacy of the level of ethics training (p. 3). P1: at an all black school. In fourth grade, my mom moved would tease me because I would not read as well as they. The teachers in all the classes would allow them to do that. Going through that experience, I vowed to P3: I had my grandparent s who were really strong in my life about what things to value, principles, and things like that. They also held me responsible for my own behavior. I am the oldest in my family, my mother had nine children and I am the oldest; so I was always given a lot of responsibility. But the best experience I had was at Tuskegee Institute What was critical for me about that is that it was like an oasis in the delta P4:

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162 am the legal guardian of my adult, disabled sister. She has very significant disabilities and she is in the adult system. She went through the school system in Illinois. I know the challenges that my family experienced not ethical. P5: r was killed when I was ten, he was a police officer and so my Dissonance All of the incidents revealed that school level leaders experienced dissonance in addressing their ethical dilemmas Dissonance also referenced in the work of scholars such as: Apple ( 1998 ), Bakhtin ( 1981 ), Bowles and Gintis ( 1988 ), Foucault ( 1993 ), Freire, ( 1970 ), Gi roux ( 1994 ), Greene ( 1988 ), and Purpel and Shapiro ( 1995 ). In essence, it did foster the realization of (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001). Interview Question 6 Have you experienced dissonance be tween personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your administrative role? w as asked of the participants. It was evident from their responses that they all faced instances of dissonance that tested their morals and ethics. Most notably were the conflicts between the right versus right decisions, zero tolerance, and resolutions in which they felt were not really in the best interests of students. That the participants

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163 experienced varying levels of dissonance was not unique to them but to all school level leaders as pointed out the by the researchers and scholars that were cited in this study. It must also be noted, as was also emphasized by Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) adigm shift that expects its leaders to formulate and examine their own professional codes of ethics in light of individual personal codes as well as standards set forth by the 22). Additionally, in reflecting on critical incidents, pa rticipants voiced concerns about the use of selective or situation ethics, attitudes of entitlement, bouts of immaturity, and a lack of workplace ethics by individuals who fell under their direct supervision. The participants were acutely aware that as edu cators, they were h eld to higher moral standards ; that t he public views perceptions, and expectations of educator s were not at the same level of what was accepted of others (Bull & McCarthy, 1991; Senge, 2000 ) They kn ew that these expectations were prima rily due to their daily interaction with children and acting in the best interests of students (Stefkovich & Begley, 2007; Torres, 2004) which they observed was not an awareness exhibited by some of the individuals they supervised. Therefore, an implied fi nding of this study was to stress in the preparation and professional development components the common occurrence of unethical and thoughtless behaviors that school level leaders face A summary of the responses to Interview Question 6 follo ws: P1: what I really, truly stood for and believed in. And I knew at that point that I had

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164 P2: yes and no In this case I think it was a clear case so the conflict was internal and So that was the conflict but not really a personal belief or value I have had incidences of dissonance when in different situations you ar e called upon to mete out some circumstances that the Code of Conduct dictates that you ought to do. For instance, if there is a weapon or something that commands that the student be expelled. In the investigating process, sometimes we find out things tha t would P3: I really struggle sometimes with the idea about zero tolerance that has been a struggle for me especially at the elementary level. So I have seen that and I have to be honest when at times, I have no t been as consistent with the policies as I P4: of wanting to have those full experiences and really look at what we are required to do. And when I look at it from a requirement perspective, putting those programs would mean that we are discriminating against those ESE children because technically we have allowed them not to access those programs So, I have to remember to keep my personal feelings out of it P5:

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165 whether it was a principal in ESE, whether it was an expectation that we, you Whether it was with kids, because we owe the ESE kids a certain level of service and to not provide it was not acceptable. And those types of things we unacceptable. Coming into that one specific case that I talked about, policy was there saying, no you cannot do it ot important to us Race and Gender In briefly exploring the dimensions of race and gender and their interrelationship with ethical and moral dilemmas this researcher found that in reflecting on the critical incidents, three of the participants felt that their race and/or gender played a role in their incidents or the resolutions (see Table 7). Therefore, it cannot be concluded from this study that race and/or gender played a significant role in the dilemmas that minority school level leaders face or the resolution of the dilemmas. Furthermore, in the research and literature reviewed by this researcher for this study, there were no references to this phenomenon. Nonetheless, in sample size of five participants, three alluded to this phenomenon I nteresting ly, this researcher noted that the three participants who felt that either their race and/or gender played a role in the incident o r resolution of it were black and two of the three were female. The two participants who expressed that neither their race nor gender had an impact were non black; one was a White male and the other female and of Hispanic origins. This researcher was intrigued by this phenomenon and returned to the data to seek out any evidence that could explicate these observatio ns. Data showed that although not

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166 all participants may have acknowledged and articulated the influence of race and gender, it was indeed evident in their critical incidents. For example, one black male participant shared an incident concerning an altercati on between a black male and white female and how the administrator and teacher, who reported the incident, insisted on punishing the young student. Similarly, a black female participant shared a story of discovering her assistant principal, who was a white male, viewing pornography on his work computer. This participant voiced the discomfort of being both female and black in addressing this incident. Clearly, these fact ors play a role in the lived experiences of school leaders as they faced ethical dilemmas. Yet, the literature is almost silent on the influence of race and gender in the ethical development in school leaders. This researcher has determined that the data p resented does warrant further research on this topic. In reviewing the data responding to the question of whether race or gender influences their actions, this researcher noted that the three black participants affirmed this influence while the other two did not. The three black participants were very specific in stating that race and gender impacted the incidents they shared. Conversely, one growing up in a segregated community and being raised ed several actions that reveal ed dilemmas. As stated, it was not the intent of this study to address, fully, issues of race and gender. Rather, this was an emergent theme that warranted a careful review of the data

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167 did or d id not influence responses to critical incidents. The data show ed several instances where race and gender appeared to have influence d action, but some participants did not acknowledge this potential influence. This contradiction led the researcher to explo re additional literature for a possible explanation Critical race theory (Creswell, 2007) may responses, especially when situated in institutionalized environments (Creswel l, 2007, p. 28) such as schools and other educational organizations. Given that premise, this researcher was able to draw additional inferences from the data. as I should ha [race] also makes people respond a little differently In this example, the participant perceived that he must follow policies. Other data supported the notion that participants saw themselves as change agents, protecting student s and choosing the right path. This contradiction can be explained as a tension between staying within the institutional boun daries while attempting to implement change. In other words, the participants were attempting to change the system from within, acting on conscience but complying with policy. This balance between conscience and compliance, right versus right, theory and p responses to ethical dilemmas.

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168 Could the participants be grounded in marginality, bound to do what some in the majority would do? As one of the minority participants st policy Do the participants view advocating for change, based on their race and/or gender, as part of a process or a problem? Is the white male participant, who claimed to be color bli nd, an extension of institutional color blindness? All of the participants felt bound to follow policy and procedures when seeking resolutions to their dilemmas. Could the for change? These and related questions get at the heart of facing ethical dilemmas in professional settings. Future research and analysis of these notions through the lens of critical race theory can offer insight and implications for leader preparation a nd professional development. Summary The renewed interest in understanding the moral and ethical dimensions of educational practice (Langlois, 2004; Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001; Strike, Holler, & Soltis, 1998) as well as the inclusion of ethics as part of e (Beck & Murphy, 1993; Starratt, 1994) helped form the impetus for this researchers study. This study was designed to analyze the types of dilemmas school level leaders face d the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for school level leader preparation and professional development. The participants and this researcher, via the critical incident technique, had the opportunity to reflect on our lived experiences as school level leaders. Thus, by doing so provide d insight s into the complex roles of school level leaders, the dissonance between competing values regarding what is in the best

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169 interests of students balanced with professional and personal ethics, policy implementation, and organizational imperatives. Th e data fr om this study will also inform future directions in research, leader preparation and practice This study confirmed the prevalence of ethical dilemmas for school level leadership. The critical incidents shared by the participants revealed that school lead ers are guided by district policies and that school leaders often experienced dissonance or tension between their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district. These incidents supported the notion that school level leaders sought to act in the best interests of students. Furthermore, the data revealed a dichotomy around whether ethics can be taught. On the one hand, examining ethics in professional development and leader preparation was strongly encouraged. Conversely, all participan ts suggested that, in their own lived experiences, ethics were learned early on Yet, each of the participants also acknowledged the benefits of professional development around ethics. The researcher concludes that these two learning processes are not mutu ally exclusive but are complementary. Learning ethics at an early age is as important as continuing to reflect on ethics as one matures, especially in a professional context. Findings from this study were inconclusive in determining whether race and/or ge nder played a significant role in the dilemmas that school level leaders faced or the resolution of the dilemmas. However, in reviewing the data, this researcher observed that three of the five participants in this study indicated that they felt that eithe r their race and/or gender influenced the dilemmas they shared or their resolutions. Interview Question 8 asked, What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resolution of it? P1 and P3 indicated that both race and gender influenced t heir incidents

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170 and their resolutions; P2 stated that gender might have initially affected the reaction to the incident shared but not the resolution of it. P4 and P5 strongly expressed that neither their race nor gender played a role in their incidents or their resolutions. The three participants who felt that either their race and/or gender played a role in the incident of resolution of it were black and two of the three were female. The two participants who expressed that neither their race nor gender had an impact were non black; one was female and the other male. It is possible that these participants were not overtly conscious of the effects of race and gender on critical incidences shared since this topic was not specific to the intent of this study. This study provided this researcher the vehicle to capture the dynamics of leadership choices when school level leaders are faced with critical incidents. this rese a situated stance that is the total of that lived experience, including race and gender. This was evident in critical incidents that the participants shared in addition to their responses to Interview Question 7 that asked How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions. What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? Participants uniformly described learning to be ethical in childhood, reinforced by family expectations and events over time. Greenfield (2004) determined

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171 perspectives, the lived experiences and subjective meanings, of the particip ants in the researcher for this study, there were no references to th e in relation to ethics. This researcher has determined that the data p resented does warrant notion of dialogue and reflection as a continuous cycle in leadership preparation and development.

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172 C HAPTER 6 Conclusions and Implications Th is study evolved from one of the four questions that framed the course of study for th e Pinellas doctoral cohort: How can support for the development of ethical leadership be extended to school leaders? This question also served as the guidepost for th is rese archer study and review of the literature relating to ethics, ethical dilemmas, and the complexity of decisions school level leaders make. Because of her considerable experience in education, this researcher is cognizant of the realization that school le vel leaders face d a myriad of ethical and moral dilemmas that may be similar to those shared in her story. The data collected and analyzed during this study affirmed this realization and allowed for an exploration of the decisions, consequences and pattern s of responses gleamed from the interview data shared by the administrators selected for this study. This data can inform future directions in research, school leader preparation and practice The methods used in this study offer ed a research paradigm for probing and understanding how school level leaders process ed and interpret ed their world and how they assign ed meaning t o their lived experiences and the resulting actions T h is researcher goal of design ing a meaningful and rigorous study colle ct ing and analyzing pertinent and relevant data, and us ing deductive thinking and reasoning to present her findings from the was met in the end. Further the findings from this study answered the four guiding research questions pos ed for this study :

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173 1. What types of dilemmas do school level leaders face that require assistance or intervention? 2. What actions, decisions, or interventions assist school level leaders with facing these dilemmas? 3. What are the implications of the research find ings for preparation and professional development of school level leaders? 4. What has been learned by administrators after leaving school level leadership ? were also supported by theories from scholars in this field ( s ee Table 8) : The moral dimensions of educational practice (Covrig, 2001; Cranston, Ehrich, & Kimber, 2003; Fullan, 2001, 2005; Kincehloe, 2008; Lashway, 1996; Senge 2002; Starratt, 1991, 2002) ; dissonance ( Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001 ); eth ics as part of training and professional development for school level leaders (Beck & Murphy, 1993; Starratt, 2002); spirituality (Bolman & Deal, 2003; Foucault, 1994; Marshall & Oliva, 2006); best interests of students ( Frick & Gutierrez, 2008; Stefkovic h & Begley, 2007; Torres, 2004); ethics could be taught and consistently modeled (Goree, Pyle, Baker, & Hopkins, 2006; Langlois 2004; Pardini, 2004); school level leaders faced a myriad of ethical dilemmas (Cranston, Ehrich, & Kimber, 2003, 2006; Dempste r, Freakley, & Parry, 1991; Greenfield, 2004; Holland, 2004) Two additional themes or questions emerged that warrant ed additional research : (1) Can ethics be taught? and (2) How does race and/or gender influence ethical decision making? The first was sugg ested in but not fully supported by the literature and research

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174 reviewed and cited in this study ; there were no references to the second in any of the literature or research reviewed in this study e sharing of their critical incidents. Each of them, through dialog and reflection, acknowledged that the core of his ethical and moral fiber was developed during his youth and was ultimately reinforced by a significant event or pivotal life experience dur ing that time. The participants reflecting on critical incidents and ethics in school level leadership, also suggested that professional development in ethics could be effective for school level leaders. As discovered in this study, pivotal life experienc es could and did influence an Moreover, critical reflection was perceived to be a process that could benefit practicing and aspiring school level leaders. Exploring how this process could be implemented in preparation and professional development is a phenomenon worthy of further research. Findings from this study were inconclusive in determining whether race and/or gender played a significant role in the dilemmas that school level leaders face d or the resolution of the dilemmas. However this researcher has noted that three of the five participants in this study indicated that they felt that either their race and/or gender impacted the dilemmas they shared or their resolutions. Research methodology acknowledges that eac situated stance that is the total of that lived experience, including race and gender. It is possible that these participants were not overtly conscious of the effects of race and gender on their responses to critical incidences In any case, sufficient evidence point ed to r ace and/or gender as a potential influence in certain dilemmas that school level leaders

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175 face d Further research and study of this issue may be warranted in light of the c hanging demographics of our schools, communities, and school level leaders. The participants interviewed in this study face d a myriad of ethical dilemmas and struggled to forge a balance between ethics and morals, their personal beliefs and the institution al policies and procedures they were obliged to uphold. In addition analysis of critical incidents revealed that p ersonnel issues were easier to resolve than those impacting students were and the participants struggled with zero tolerance issues The part icipants also struggled with ethical decisions producing conflict related to the balance between the best interests of students and institutional policy The dissonance or tension rooted in striking this balance is a phenomenon that caused the inner most c onflicts as the participants responded to the critical incidents Another factor to note is that the that occurred more than ten years was an indication that they were still troubled by either the incidents, how the incide nts were resolved or both. Last, the individuals sought out for guidance and their relationships with the participants varied. However, data analysis showed that these individuals did not directly influence the resolutions to their dilemmas Participants ultimately made their own decisions The individuals sought out for guidance appeared to serve as a sounding board or quasi mentor, which again support ed the importance of a critical friend and critical reflection. Through their reflections on critical inc idents, the participants exhibited a hermeneutics (Kincheloe, 2008, p. 120), a balance that is characteristic of having a moral purpose.

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176 In this study, th is researcher has provided comments on her past experiences, biases, prejudices, and orientations that may have shaped the interpretation and approach to the study. This researcher disclosed in her story and critical reflections potential bias and her stance in relation to the phen omenon. In several of the dilemmas shared in her story this researcher also struggled to forge a balance between ethics and morals, her personal beliefs and the institutional policies and procedures she was obliged to uphold Furthermore, this researcher acknowledged that the core of her ethical and moral compass was developed during her youth and was ultimately reinforced by a significant event during that time and that her race and/or gender strongly affected several of the dilemmas she faced in addition to their resolutions. The participants and this researcher, via the critical incident technique, had the opportunity to reflect on our lived experiences as school level leaders and by doing so provide d insights into the complex roles of school level leade rs. Ethical issues, problems, and dilemmas continue to be present and school level leaders continually face moral and ethical dilemmas and challenges. School level leaders continue to be held to higher standards regarding moral and ethical behavior due to their daily interactions with children (Senge, 2000). The political and social changes in our society will continue to direct ly impact the training, professional development and expectations of school level leaders. Fullan (2003) lamented the loss of our m oral compass that resulted in bec oming a decade of neglect in terms of leadership We must find and recalibrate our Epilogue

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177 To complete the full circle journey and story of this r esearcher, outcomes of the several critical incidents shared in her story follow: I was the kindergartener in the story. I attended Langdon Elementary School from the first through fifth grades and then my parents enrolled my younger sister and me in paroc hial schools where we completed our formal schooling. On my frequent visits to my hometown The Thurgood Marshall staff agr eed to implement fully the fundamental guidelines. This resulted in the dismissal of 250 students from the program our first year in addition to 300 out of school suspensions. However this also sent a message to the students and the community that we were not going to lower our expectations. dismissals were less than 100 and Marshall earn The preschool student eventually returned to school and unabashedly announced concern about the long term impact of this event on her daughter, the counseling sessions were discontinued. The middle school student gave birth during the summer; the baby was given up for adoption. The student returned to school; the administrative team never discussed the event or its outcome This event is an authentic example of the importance of school

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178 critical appraisal of oneself as the cause of the bl ockage to authentic communication or critical appraisal of mutual ability to communicate authentically (p. 97). I did not suspend the kindergarten student. I also chose not to suspend the third grader but recom mended t o assign housed at another elementary school. was suspended for three days for his actions in my office. His behavio r and job performance continued to deteriorate and he and the classroom teacher filed with OEO for sexual harassment and a hostile work environment against me. I recommended him for non rehire, which the board approved The classroom teacher was transferre d to another school. Both died mysteriously within a year of each other. The middle school principal was suspended while the accusations against her were investigated. All of the accusations were founded and a recommendation was made to the superintendent to dismiss the principal which was supported by the principal was recommended for dismissal with the support of the superintendent and board When the findings of the investigation became public record the OPS investigator or me

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189 A PPENDICES

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190 Appendix A The School District Vision: The School District unites with the community to provide a quality education enabling each student to succeed. Mission: The mission of the School District is to educate students by creating systems that align all resources to assure that each student achieves at her or his highest level. This award winning School District has been recognized on the national and state levels for its strong efforts and dedication of its students, teachers, and staff. The District strict in the state and the 25 th largest out of more than 16,000 districts in the United States. Its current enrollment in grades K 12 is 103,500 students and is the largest employer in the county with more than 17,000 teachers, administrators, and support staff. The School District had a long history of successfully maintaining one of the strictest court ordered desegregation plans in the nation. From 1971 until the fall of 1999, all schools in the district had to adhere to a court ordered maximum of 30% African American students as well as meet annually adjusted minimum percentages. The basis of this desegregation plan was established in a 1965 US District Court order. In 1984, the district began implementing magnet programs. These programs were intended to entice majority students to voluntarily choose to attend schools located in minority communities. These theme based magnet programs were able to increase the number and an increasing number of students to these schools. Seventy

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191 Appendix A (Continued) grade. There are 478 National Board Certified teachers in the district and thirty four students were named 2009 National Merit semifinalists by the National Merit Sch olarship Corporation. The S chool D istrict has strong community support with more than 30,000 volunteers donating 1.1 million hours the assist students, teachers and staff members. Business and organizations are involved in more than 5,400 partnerships pro viding volunteer service to classrooms, departments, and schools. Additional facts about the School District: Student Population: 62% white, 18.6% black, 9.3% Hispanic, 3.9% Asian, 5.1% multiracial, .3% Native American Schools: 74 elementary schools, 21 mi ddle schools, 17 high schools, 5 exceptional schools, 1 secondary school, 12 charter schools Post Secondary: 1 adult learning center, 2 technical education centers, 2 adult education centers, 3 community schools Class size target: K 3 1:18 intermediate (4 8) 22:1 high school 25:1 Accreditation: All District high schools and postsecondary centers, in addition to one middle school, are members of and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Transportation: The District cur rently operates more than 5000 home to school routes daily, transporting approximately 42,650 students twice per day. This does not include

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192 countless shuttles, activity runs, athletic trips and field trips operated to support school programs. The transport ation department operates six compounds throughout the county.

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193 Appendix B Informed Consent Dear Colleagues, Your initial intent to participate in my proposed doctoral study entitled: Ethical and Moral Decision Making: Praxis and Hermeneutics for School Leaders is sincerely in Research. This document includes all of the pertinent information related to the study USF, via their Institutional Review Board (IRB), h as stringent guidelines that researchers, either directly or indirectly affiliated with the university, must abide by. The enclosed Consent document is anchored around meeting one of these guidelines: protecting the rights of research participants. As you read this information, you will note that your participation is voluntary; your personal and professional identities will remain confidential; and there are no risks involved if you elect to participate in this study. The interview sessions will be audio r ecorded and transcribed by me. In addition, there will be no written reference to you or your job descriptions. The focus of this study is to code and analyze data accrued from your critical incident(s). If you agree to participate in this study, please re turn the enclosed form to me at your earliest convenience. I will then contact you to schedule your initial interview. All interviews will be at a time and location amenable to your professional and personal schedules. Additionally, I will provide you with a copy of the questions (which are also embedded in the Consent document) so that you will have time to reflect upon your critical incident(s).

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194 Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to review the enclosed data and giving further consideration for participation in this study. Respectfully, Joan Q. Minnis, Ed.S. Doctoral Candidate University of South Florida

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195 Appendix B (Continued) Informed Consent to Participate in Research Information to Consider Before Taking Part in this Research Study IRB Study # _______________ Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) study many topics. To do this, we need the help of people who agree to take part in a research study. This form tells you about this research study. I am asking you to take part in my dissertation research study entitled: Ethical and Moral Decision Making: Praxis and Hermeneutics for School Leaders. I will be the Principal Investigator in charge of this research study. The research will be done in Pinellas County. Pu rpose of the study The purpose of this research is to study the types of dilemmas school leaders face, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation and professional development. The design of this research will be to provide insights into the complex roles of school leaders, the dissonance between competing values regarding policy implementation, and organizational imperatives. This study will focus on dilemmas identified as especially confounding and difficult for school leaders. These dilemmas will include decisions and situations, shared through recounting critical incidents, in which the actions and decisions of school leade rs have garnered attention and action. In other words, the research assumes that school leaders face many dilemmas and seek to identify and examine the most difficult and troubling. Study Procedures In this qualitative study, data collected from intervie w sessions using the critical incident technique, dialogs, and journals will be used to analyze the types of dilemmas school leaders face, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation and professional development; to If you take part in this study, you will be asked to participate in two scheduled interview sessions. The sessions will be scheduled at a time and locat ion amenable to you. Each session should take no more than an hour to complete. The initial interview

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196 session will be face to face and semi structured and will be followed by a second focused interview. You will be asked this central question in the first session: Can you recall and tell me about an instance in your professional experience that obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision that involved important moral and ethical consequences? Follow up questions to the central question will be: What was the date of this incident? What helped or hindered you most in responding to the dilemma? As the dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guidance from anyone? If so, what was the relationship between you and the parties at the time? Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident(s)? Have you experienced dissonance between personal beliefs, values or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your admini strative role? If so, give an example. How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical and moral decision making? What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resol ution of it? As you reflect upon your experiences as a school leader, what have you learned that specifically relates ethical and moral decision making ? Sub questions will be developed from the data collected in the first interview cycle for use in the sub sequent interview session. You will be given copies of the questions prior to each of your interview sessions. The interview sessions will be recorded and your responses will be transcribed, analyzed, and coded based on themes, patterns, and trends. The ta pes, transcriptions, and any additional data collected during the study will be housed at my residence. Your names and exact titles will be confidential and you will have an opportunity to review the findings to be assured that your anonymity is protected. You will be provided copies of the findings and conclusions that will also be published in my dissertation. You may also receive a copy of your taped interviews upon request. There are no known risks associated with this study. All data will be retained f or the prescribed five year period and will then be shredded. Risks This research is considered to be minimal risk. That means that the risks associated with this study are the same as what you face every day. There are no known additional risks to those w ho take part in this study. Benefits Many educational philosophers and researchers have argued the importance of including ethical study and reflection in educational preparation programs. You will be involved in a study that explores implications for pr eparation and ongoing professional development of school leaders that build expertise in handling ethical situations.

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197 Questions/Concerns If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about this study, please contact the PI, Joan Q. Minnis. Consent to Take Part in this Research Study It is up to you to decide whether you want to take part in this study. If you want to take part, please sign the form, if the following statements are true. I freely give my consent to take part in this study. I understan d that by signing this form I am agreeing to take part in research. I have received a copy of this form to take with me. _____________________________________________ ____________ Signature of Person Taking Part in Study Date _____________________________ ________________ Printed Name of Person Taking Part in Study Statement of Person Obtaining Informed Consent I have carefully explained to the person taking part in the study what he or she can expect. I hereby certify that when this person signs this for m, to the best of my knowledge, he or she understands: What the study is about. What procedures/interventions/investigational drugs or devices will be used. What the potential benefits might be. What the known risks might be. Signature o f Person Obtaining Informed Consent Date Printed Name of Person Obtaining Informed Consent

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198 Appendix C Interview Protocol Participant: Position: Date: Location: Time: Questions: 1. Can you share an incident in your professional experience th at obliged you to reflect on a situation and make a decision involving an ethical or moral dilemma? 2. What was the date of this incident? 3. What helped or hindered you most in responding to the dilemma? 4. As the dilemma was resolved, did you seek or receive guid ance from anyone? If so, what was the relationship between you and the parties at the time? 5. Did district policies or representatives play a role in your decision making around the incident(s)? 6. Have you experienced dissonance between personal beliefs, valu es or morals and what has been required of you by policy, practice or expectations in your administrative role? If so, give an example. 7. How did you learn to make ethically and morally sound decisions? What has shaped your views and approaches to ethical an d moral decision making? 8. What role, if any, did gender or race play in the incident or your resolution of it?

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199 9. As you reflect upon your experiences as a school leader, what have you learned that specifically relates to ethical and moral decision making?

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200 Ap pendix D Notification to Participants Dear Colleague, Enclosed is a copy of the transcription of you interview. I transcribed your interview and the cassette of your interview and the original transcription are stored at my home. Please review this docume nt to ensure the accuracy of your responses given during your interview session. After your review and if you note that there are any comments or statements requiring additional clarification or editing, please send that information to me. I have enclosed a self addressed stamped envelope for your use in sending your written comments to me. You may also send your comments to me via my personal email: jqminnis@gmail.com Thank you for taking time from your busy schedul e to review the enclosed data and for being a participant in my doctoral study entitled Ethical and Moral Decision Making: Praxis and Hermeneutics for School Leaders Respectfully, Joan Q. Minnis, Ed.S. Doctoral Student University of South Florida

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201 Appendix E PI Notes Date: Time: Location: Participant Reflective Descriptive

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202 A pp endix F Modified Elements of the C ranston Model C ritical I nci dent s Gender and/or Race Moral P urpose Pivotal L ife E xperiences Best I nterest s of S tudents Societal Influences Dissonance Policy and P rocedures Professional C odes Research Elements Themes Ethical Dilemmas Resolutions Personnel Polic y Procedure s Cranston et al 2003, p. 140

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A BOUT THE A U THOR Joan Quinn Minnis was born in Washington, D.C. and earned her B.S. and M. Ed. degrees from Howard University and Ed.S. from USF. She began her career in education as a classroom and retired as an assistant superintendent. She received the Commissioner 2005 06; the school was also recognized by Governor Bush as one of the top 75 middle schools in the st of the learning gains made by the students at Thurgood Marshall. She served as president of the Florida Association of School Administrators Pinellas Administrators Association Pine llas County Elementary Principals Association and Pinellas Alliance of Black School Educators She was appointed to the Constitutional Accountability Commission and Reform Task Fo rce, and the Secondary School Improvement Award Work Group and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Florida TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance and Accountability. She currently serves on USF Education Leadership Advisory Board.


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ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT There has been a renewed interest in the inclusion of ethics as part of educators' training and interest in understanding the moral and ethical dimensions of educational practice. This research was designed to study the types of dilemmas school level leaders face, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation, professional development, and practice. In documenting the lived experiences of former school level leaders, the grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry and the critical incident technique (CIT) were employed. Data collected from interview sessions, dialogs, journals and reflections were used to analyze the types of dilemmas school level leaders faced, the characteristics of typical dilemmas, and the implications for leader preparation, professional development, and practice. This study confirmed the prevalence of ethical dilemmas for school level leadership. The critical incidents shared by the participants revealed that school leaders were guided by district policies and experienced dissonance or tension between their guiding ethical beliefs and policies or expectations of the district. The data determined that school level leaders sought to act in the best interests of students. Participants acknowledged that the core of their ethical and moral fiber was developed early in their youth and was reinforced by pivotal life experiences. This acknowledgement suggested that pivotal life experiences could influence an individual's ethical and moral fiber. The findings also indicated that professional development in ethics could be effective for school level leaders. Additionally, the data revealed a dichotomy around whether ethics could be taught. The findings were inconclusive in determining how race and/or gender played a significant role in the dilemmas that school level leaders face or the resolution of the dilemmas. Further research and study of this issue may be warranted in light of the changing demographics of our schools, communities, and school level leaders. Critical reflection proved to be a process that could benefit practicing and aspiring school level leaders. Exploring how this process could be implemented in school leader preparation and professional development programs is a phenomenon worthy of further research.
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