ERIC Number: ED376609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
A Comparison of School Board Members' and Superintendents' Ethical Reasoning Processes.
Slaten, Jonathan R.; And Others
Educators are faced with increasingly complex ethical decisions. This paper presents findings of a study that identified similarities and differences in levels of moral development and ethical reasoning processes exhibited by school board members and superintendents. A survey of 110 superintendents and their respective school board members elicited response rates of 40 percent and 8 percent, respectively. A total of 38 usable superintendent and 50 usable board member responses were received. The survey instrument, the Ethics Opinions Survey, contained demographic questions, the Defining Issues Test, and three ethical decision vignettes. Findings indicate that board members and superintendents had lower than average levels of moral development. Both groups exhibited a strong rule- and order-orientation and did not differ significantly in their decision-making processes. The results are consistent with bureaucratic socialization theory, which holds that both groups engage in a rule-oriented socialization process. A change in principled moral reasoning and ethical decision making requires a monumental restructuring of the entire educational community and socialization process. Three tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (San Antonio, TX, January 27-29, 1994). For a related document, see EA 026 327.