PLE 2: Module 6

PLE 2: Building an Ethical Framework for Schooling


Before participants engage in an understanding and exploration of equity audits, and after they have gained an awareness of diversity issues in schools, it is important for them to build an ethical framework for understanding how current educational practices benefit some students and fail others.

Essential Questions: (based on Starratt’s (1994) framework for ethical schooling)

1. What group has an advantage over others under our current educational practices?

  • Who benefits by current school arrangements?
  • Which group dominates this social arrangement?
  • Who defines the way things are structured?
  • Who defines what is valued?

2. What does an ethical school environment look like?


1. Participants will read Starratt (1994). Building an ethical school: A practical response to the moral crisis in schools. Washington D.C.: Falmer Press.

2. Considering their individual school environments, participants will answer essential question 1 (based only on the data each is immediately familiar with and has access to).

  • What data are missing as you try to reach a conclusion?
  • What information is helpful?

3. After considering the data that are readily available to them, participants should consider how their schools might look if operating under Starratt’s ethical framework. What would change? What would remain the same?

Required Readings:

Starratt, R. J. (1994). Building an ethical school: A practical response to the moral crisis in schools. Washington D.C.: Falmer Press.

Supplemental Readings:

Badaracco (1997). Defining Moments: When Managers must Choose between Right and Right . Harvard Business School Publishing.

Baier, A. (1991). Whom can women trust? In C. Card (Ed.) Feminist ethics. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

Baier, A. (1995). The need for more than justice. In V. Held (Ed.) Justice and care  (pp. 47-60).  New York: Teachers College Press.

Beauchamp, T., & Childress, J. (1984). Morality, ethics, and ethical theories. In P. Sola (Ed.), Ethics, education, and administrative decisions: A book of readings  (pp.39-67).  New York: Peter Lang.

Beck, L. (1994). Reclaiming educational administration as a caring profession.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Belenky, M., Clinchy, B., Goldberger, N., & Tarule, J. (1986). Women’s ways of knowing :The development of self, voice and mind. New York: Basic Books.

Bellah, R., Madsen, R. Sullivan, W., Swidler, A. & Tipton, S. (1985). Habits of the heart: Individualism and commitment in American life.  New York: Harper & Row.

Benhabib, Seyla. (1992).  Situating the self : gender, community, and postmodernism in contemporary ethics. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bok, S. (2002). Common values. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.

Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Campbell, E. (1994). Personal morals and organizational ethics: A synopsis. The Canadian Administrator, 34, (2), 1-12.

Campbell, E. (2003). The ethical teacher. Philadelphia: Open University Press

Card, C. (Ed.) (1991). Feminist ethics. Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas.

Craig, R.P. (1993). Ethical and moral theory and public school administration. Journal of School Leadership, 3,  21-29.

Crittenden, B. (1984). The moral context of decision making in education.  In P. Sola (Ed.), Ethics, education, and administrative decisions: A book of readings  (pp.15-35). New York: Peter Lang.

Diller, A. (1992). What happens when an ethics of care faces pluralism: Some implications for education. In F.C. Power and D.K. Lapsley (Eds.), The challenge of pluralism: Education, politics, and values.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Durkheim, E. (1993). Ethics and the sociology of morals.  Buffalo: Prometheus Books.

Foster, W. (2004). The decline of the local: A challenge to educational leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(2), 176-191.

French, M. (1985). Beyond power: On women, men and morals. New York: Summit Books.

Gilligan, C. (1993). In a different voice (new ed.) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Giroux, H. A., (1994). Educational leadership and school administration: Rethinking the meaning of democratic public culture.  In T. Mulkeen, N.H. Cambron-McCabe, & B. Anderson (Eds.), Democratic leadership (pp. 31-47). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Greenfield, W.D. (1993). Articulating values and ethics in administrator preparation. In C.A. Capper (Ed.) Educational administration in a pluralistic society   (pp.267-287). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Grogan, M. (1998). Feminist approaches to educational leadership: Relationships based on care. In B. Irby & G. Brown (Eds.), Women leaders: Structuring success. Houston TX: Kendall/Hunt.

Grogan, M. (2000). Laying the groundwork for a reconception of the superintendency from feminist/postmodern perspectives. Educational Administration Quarterly, 36 (1) 117-142. (Reprinted in Reconsidering feminist research in educational leadership, pp. 9-34, by Michelle Young and Linda Skrla, Eds., 2003, Albany, NY: SUNY Press).

Grogan, M. (2000). The short tenure of a woman superintendent: A clash of gender and politics. The Journal of School Leadership 10(2), 104-130.

Grogan, M. (2004). Keeping a critical, postmodern eye on educational leadership in the US: In appreciation of Bill Foster. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(2) , 222-239.

Grogan, M. (2005, Winter). Ethical imperatives for educational leadership: Fifty years beyond Brown. UCEA Review XLV(1),  4-9.

Grogan, M. & Smith, F. (1998). A feminist perspective of women superintendents’ approaches to moral dilemmas. Just and Caring Education 4, (2) 176-192. (Reprinted in Values and educational leadership,  pp. 273-288, by P. Begley, Ed., 1999, Albany, NY: SUNY Press)

Hekman, S. (1995). Moral voices, moral selves.  University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

 Hodgkinson, C. (1991). Educational leadership: The moral art. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Howe, K. & Miramontes, O. (1992). The nature of ethical deliberation. In The ethics of special education  (pp.7-25).  New York: Teachers College Press.

Jackall, R. (1988). Moral mazes. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jackson, P., Boostrom, R.E., & Hanson, P. (1993).  The moral life of schools. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Jaggar, A. (1989). Feminist ethics: Some issues for the Nineties.  Journal of Social Philosophy, 20, 91-107.

Johnstone, R. M. ,Jr. (1978). Jefferson and the presidency. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Kanungo, R. & Mendonca, M. Ethical Dimensions of School Leadership (1996). Sage


Kekes, J. (1988). The examined life. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Kondo, D. K. (1990). Crafting selves. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kozol, J. (1991).  Savage inequalities: Children in America’s schools. New York: Crown.

Kozol, J. (1995).  Amazing Grace: The lives of children and the conscience of a nation. New York: Crown.

Leinberger, P. & Tucker, B. (1991).The new individualists. New York: Harper Collins.

Lugg, C. (2003). Our straitlaced administrators: The law, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered educational administrators and the assimilationist imperative. Journal of School Leadership, 13(1), 51-85.

Machiavelli, N. (1961). The prince. New York: Penguin.

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Noddings, N. (1992).  The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Power, C.F., & Lapsley, D.K. (Eds.). (1992).  The challenge of pluralism: Values, education, and politics.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Purpel, D. (1989). The moral and spiritual crisis in education: A curriculum for justice and compassion in education.  New York: Bergin and Garvey.

Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice.  Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Scheurich, J. & Skrla, L. (2003). Leadership for equity and excellence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Selznick, P. (1992). The moral commonwealth. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Sizer, T. & Sizer, N. (1999). The students are watching: Schools and the moral conduct. Boston: Beacon Press.

Starratt, R. J. (1994). Building an ethical school: A practical response to the moral crisis in schools. Washington D.C.: Falmer Press.

Starratt, R. J. (2004). Ethical leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Strike, K., Haller, E. & Soltis, J. (1988). The ethics of school administration. New York: Teachers College Press.

Tronto, J. (1993).  Moral boundaries: A political argument for an ethic of care.  New York: Routledge.

Tucker, P. & Grogan, M. (2003). Educators’ ethical concerns arising from the Virginia accountability reform. In D. Duke, M. Grogan, P. Tucker, & W. Heinecke, (Eds.) Educational leadership in an age of accountability. (pp. 181-197).  Albany NY: SUNY Press.

Tyack, D.B. & Hansot, E. (1982).  Managers of virtue: Public school leadership in America, 1920-1980.  New York: Basic.

Watson, S. & Grogan, M. (2005). Towards a more complex understanding of power to better grasp the challenges of the contemporary superintendency. In G. Petersen & L. Fusarelli, (Eds.) The politics of leadership: Superintendents and school boards in changing times, (pp. 51-72). Greenwich CT: Information Age Publishing

Werhane, Patricia Hogue.(1999). Moral imagination and management decision-making.  New York : Oxford University Press,

Willower, D.J. (1988). Synthesis and projection. In N.J. Boyan (Ed.),  Handbook of  research on educational administration. New York: Longman.

Yankelovich, D. (1999). The magic of dialogue: Transforming conflict into cooperation. New York: Simon and Schuster.