Ethical Leadership: How do we make a difference?Ethical Leadership • Association of Independent Schools, Executive Conference. • 15th, May 2007 • Novotel, Brighton-le-Sands, NSW • Associate Professor Charles Burford
Ethics, Morals and Virtues: What Are They • “Ethos”(Greek)Meaning: Custom,Usage,or Character • “The Science of the Ideal Human Character” • “Moral” (Latin) Meaning:Manner, Good and Right, Virtue, Value, Worth. • “Describes What Is Good or Right or Proper. • “Virtues”: Focuses on attitudes, dispositions, values, or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop our human potential. • “It is about the good of the person performing the act as they value its consequences”.
Ethics: What are they? • Ethics are the norms and virtues by which members of a community bind themselves to a moral way of living. Starratt (2004) suggests that they are maps that we consult only when the familiar terrain we are traversing becomes a tangle of underbrush. Duignan et al (2003) found that for leaders of service organisations, the choice was often between two “goods” rather than a “good” and a “bad”.
Competing Dilemmas And Tensions in Ethical Decision Making in Educational Leadership • Honesty Both/And/Or Loyalty • Individual Rights Both/And/ Common Good • Deontology Both/And/Or Utilitarianism • Mercy Both/And/Or Justice • Care Both/ and/ Or Rules • Rhetoric Both/ and/ Or Reality
Hodgkinson on Educational Leadership • “Simply put what changes is context, what doesn’t change is human nature…..but human nature just happens to be the essential raw material of education. More, it is also the essence of administration and leadership. (Think character rather than characteristics)” 2004. • Trust above all else! (Burford 2004)
Moral Leadership • Leadership is the art of calling others to seek the truth as to what it means to be human; to explore the essence of the being; to discover the spiritual chemistry of relationships; to make judgments about significance, rightness, wrongness.
Accepting Complexity • Education by its definition is a highly complex activity that is part science, part craft and part art. • Humanity is richly diverse and our students must thrive in that kind of complexity • Our systems are equally complex since they are comprised of multiple forces including a wide range of people with their personal needs and aspirations. • Complexity does not have to mean confusion, if we look at it with the same curiosity we give to looking skyward on a clear evening. • Sadly, we sometimes fall into the habit of bureaucratic, simplified actions that turn our schools into mere factories.
Leading as Relationships Uncertainty Chaos System Resources Profession PTe The Individual Community Values Beliefs Ideology Paradox Ethics
Leadership and Learning as Engagement • If Learning is about engagement, • How do we engage: teachers, students, parents? • How are we engaged ourselves? • Burford and Gross (2006)
Student Engagement Research (Burford and Gross 2005): Best Learning • 1. Experiential and relevant • 2. Teacher relationships • 3. Extracurricular and informal education • 4. Teacher passion and knowledge • 5. Boredom: Old vs new teaching methods • 6. Choice, career, independence and maturity • 7. Final exam, tertiary entrance, scaling and alienation
Student Engagement: Connected and an Individual (Burford and Gross, 2005) • Community identity and acknowledgement • Respectful relationships • Teacher as connection to school • Exams, competition, choice and life-skills • Group dominance, stereotyping and acceptance • Controlling cultures • School and class size
Adults and The Teenager Student Engagement Research, Burford and Gross,2005) • Acknowledge their right to live their own life with independence and responsibility. • Don’t relive your life through the child’s life. • Show compassion, respect and trust for their lives in transition, from child to adult. • Respect the differences in ‘lifeworlds’ of adults and adolescents. • Pressure of career, exams and the need for a social life.
Democratically-Ethical Schools • Working with students and giving them a voice in crafting a responsive instructional model that both challenges and supports their learning ie hands-on learning. Ignoring student voice seems inconsistent in a society that espouses the value of social justice. • Remember the core values of our society: the fundamental equality of all. • Remember that we are leaders beyond the school walls too. • We fall short of this goal when we follow conventions blindly without asking why. This will cause tensions and dilemmas in our leadership but …didn’t we come into education because we care for children and their future.
Where do we start? • In the Life World of the Child
Levels of Relational Learning • Informational • Formational • Transformational
Informational Education in Secular Subjects: Maths, Language, Religion, Art and Craft, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education Formational Pedagogy, Assessment, Organisation, Excursions, Ceremonies, Camps, Community Service, Co-Curricular Activities, Pastoral Care, Community Life. Dualistic View Of Education
Transformational • Begins with personal meaning: • The learner must connect the subject/object of the lesson/unit to his/her life experience. • How is this subject/object like something familiar in his/her experience. • Imagine a situation in his her life where it might be important to know, like, refer to the subject/object of the lesson • How is the subject/object connected to his/her family, neighborhood, life at home, to friends. • How is the subject/object connected to something that recently appeared in the media
Catholicity • The defining characteristic of our schools is that they are Catholic – a work of love, for the full human development of our students, grounded in the teachings of Christ and at the service of society. They are a key element of the evangelising mission of the Church as they strive to bring culture and faith into harmony in the school community. The Catholic school takes its stand within the organic pastoral work of the Christian community.
Excellence Schools must be good schools. That is, they must seek the very best outcomes for their students. This comes down to ensuring the highest quality of teaching and learning both for staff and students. • All improvement is set within a framework of: • values about the nature of the moral purpose of schools • teacher professionalism • the capacity of every student to learn given support in an appropriate learning environment.
THE COMMON GOOD APPROACH • Presents a vision of society as a community whose members are joined in a shared pursuit of values and goals they hold in common. • The community is comprised of individuals whose own good is inextricably bound to the good of the whole. • The principle states: “What is ethical is what advances the common good. We are not justified in taking actions that directly harm others.” • But it is not always clear in practice
THE JUSTICE APPROACH • Focuses on how fairly or unfairly our actions distribute benefits and burdens among among the members of a group. • Justice requires consistency in the way people are treated. • The principle states:”Treat people the same unless there are morally relevant differences between them.” • Problems exist on the issue of disadvantage and what should be done about it.
Transformation • Teaching has often been described as sowing the seeds of the future. It is a vocation of hope, in which teachers constantly stretch the limits of learning – both their own and that of our students". • Schools must go beyond the informational and even the formational to the transformational. As Jerry Starratt says, through transformative learning, the learner becomes a fuller, richer, deeper human being. • Schools should be vibrant learning communities which make a fundamental contribution to society by working to bring culture and faith into harmony. They should be places within which students gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to critically engage with their society as they become effective global citizens.
Ethic 1: Authenticity The ethic of authenticity challenges us to act in truth and integrity in all our interactions as humans, citizens, teachers and leaders.
Ethic 2: Presence The ethic of presence challenges us to relate to ourselves and to others in ways are truly open and truly engaging.
Ethic 3: Responsibility The ethic of responsibility challenges us to act in ways that acknowledge our personal accountability for our actions, for shaping learning and for providing growth promoting environments of relationship and learning. We are responsible as human beings, as educators and as citizens to all stakeholders in our schools: students, parents, teachers, support staff, government agencies and the Church.
Consider Other Approaches to Ethics: Shapiro and Stefkovich 2001 • Justice • Critique • Care • Profession • Community (Gail Furman, 2005)
Some frequently mentioned Leadership issues: LTLL Research • A conceptual model was seen as useful as it made explicit the key domains in building towards improved learning outcomes and the place of shared moral purposes of learning and more concrete behaviours of leadership and learning. • Strength in developing and implementing practices for collecting and interpreting available data and linking to best practice elsewhere. • Having processes in place for enhancing staff skills in the area of evidence based practice. • Embed teacher team learning in professional practice and utilise it as a driving force in school innovation and development. • Articulate understandings of contemporary theories on student learning and teaching practices
Issues Cont. • Leadership needs to be seen as socially just • Utilise teacher appraisal processes to identify and support the specific learning needs of individual teachers* • Facilitate opportunities for parents to undertake training and share their experience of strategies for supporting their child’s learning • Report regularly to parents in a language that is readily understood and that provides interpretive comments etc • Develop a sense of shared responsibility and ownership with students and parents for social, emotional and academic learning underpinned by common understandings of educational goals
* Most frequently mentioned • There appear to be two strong recurring themes: • developing a strong sense of being a learning community among staff – focussed on skill needs (particularly evidence based practice) and shared understandings and language especially about the values and ethics of educational processes. This calls for strong articulation among processes. And • building links with parents and giving voice to students to engage them as real partners in learning.
Building a Culture Of Moral Leadership In Education: • There is a crucial need for individuals to take responsibility for leadership at all levels and for organizations to involve people more in the policies/decisions they have to implement. • Contemporary leaders require frames of reference that can assist them to manage situations of uncertainty, ambiguity and paradox. • Need frameworks for making choices that can encompass seeming polar opposite considerations, values and ethical positions.
Platforms For Leading Learning Communities • What Does the Wizard of Oz Have To Offer Me? • Charlie’s Chance to Mentor You
Ethical Model Intangible Elements Values Beliefs Ideology Profession Care Sacred Justice Critique Tangible Elements • Verbal Manifestation • Aims • Goals • Myths • Fables • Metaphors • Saga • Legends • Traditions • Visual Manifestation • Crests • Mottos • Icons • Uniforms • Resources • Facilities • Symbols • Behavioral Manifestation • Rituals • Ceremonies • Language • Structures • Procedures • Rules • Regulations • Rewards • Sanctions Congruity Doing the Right Thing throughout the Organisation
Belief My belief about this value Full sentences Don’t use the value term Agreed meaning Ideology Ought Ought NOT See/Hear/Do Evidence - What would we accept? Burford’s Belief ModelLeadership Value : X
Walt Whitman on Education and Life • This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labour to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown • or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful undereducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families,
Walt Whitman • Read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what ever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body……..