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ERIC Number: ED561691
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-3738-0
Mentoring Programs for Newly Appointed Public School Superintendents: An Analysis of the Need for Ethical Decision-Making as a Critical Component
Buchanan, Gregory S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
This research study examines the various decision-making processes that superintendents may encounter within the field. The degree to which public school superintendents and public school systems are being held accountable has increased in recent years. The recent unethical decisions made within the last decade in both the public and private sector has focused much attention on chief executive officers (CEOs) and higher executive administration making unethical decisions to benefit themselves. The public school superintendent can be viewed as a community leader who is respected by all and whose decisions are made based on ethical and moral values. This study is divided into two sections utilizing a mixed-methods approach. The first section consists of a quantitative approach utilizing data obtained from survey questions. The second section is qualitative in nature utilizing data obtained from interviews. A quantitative study consisting of a survey was sent to 126 superintendents in the state of Illinois. The superintendents were employed either in an elementary school (prekindergarten-8), a high school (9-12), or a unit school (prekindergarten-12) public school district. Superintendents who had begun Illinois public school superintendencies from the school years of 2008-2009 through 2012-2013. The participants were eligible if the voluntarily enrolled in the state mentoring program and attended the two day new superintendents training. A paired sample "t"-test, analyses of variance (ANOVAs), and multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were conducted to assess any direct correlation between the manner in which a superintendent makes an ethical decision and personal demographics, specific dilemmas, and/or one of four ethical lenses as defined by Shapiro and Stefkovich. The four lenses are (1) ethic of justice, (2) ethic of critique, (3) ethic of care, and (4) ethic of profession. This study was informed by the writings of Shapiro, Stefkovich, Gross, Starratt, and others as defined by Shapiro and Stefkovich. The second section of the study consists of personal interviews with eight of the 52 survey participants. Interview questions are directly linked to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the Illinois Association of School Administrators Code of Ethics. Based on the research results, mean scores prior to obtaining a superintendency were not significantly different from mean scores after the first year in the superintendency. In addition, overall results did not signify that one lens was dominant over another. Results from the qualitative section yielded three major and two minor themes. Overall, participants felt students are the first priority when making decisions. In addition to viewing students as a priority, the other major themes reflected following rules and regulations as well as communication. The two minor themes that emerged from the interviews focused on decision making as difficult and that others need to be considered when making decisions. Recommendations for future study include longitudinal data paired with more participants as the mentoring program continues. This may yield results that prove statistically significant due to a larger sample size. When this occurs in the future, the results could prove beneficial to mentoring programs for superintendents as the need to incorporate ethical decision making within the content of the program becomes apparent. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois