ERIC Number: EJ1168476
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Ethical Orientations to Explain Administrative Pressure to Practice Unethically: A Pilot Study
Boccio, Dana E.
Cogent Education, v4 n1 Article 1345675 2017
The promotion of students' welfare is one of the central professional and ethical responsibilities of school psychology practitioners. However, some practitioners are subjected to pressure from administrators to engage in behavior that runs counter to ethical mandates and may be detrimental to students' well-being. The phenomenon of administrative pressure to violate ethical standards might be explained by professionals' adherence to disparate ethical philosophies, with school psychologists prioritizing the protection of individual rights and school principals valuing the "good of the many." This pilot study explored the feasibility of using a scenario-based instrument in drawing out and comparing the dominant ethical perspectives of school psychologists and school principals. Participants (N = 56) consisted of 35 school psychologists and 21 school principals who completed a survey measure that included six ethical dilemmas, each featuring a conflict between the rights of an individual student and benefits to the larger student body. Participants were required to select the more ethical of two solutions from options reflecting either Kantian or utilitarian considerations. The results of this investigation point to the possibility that school professionals endorse conflicting ethical philosophies under certain circumstances. Although both professional groups tended to favor a Kantian framework, school principals were comparatively more supportive of utilitarian principles. The incorporation of ethical vignettes into research aimed at identifying incompatibilities in ideological preferences seems to hold promise as an investigative technique. Implications for practice are offered with an emphasis on suggestions for bridging the gap between professional considerations of administrators and school psychologists.
Descriptors: Ethics, Administrator Behavior, Philosophy, School Psychologists, Principals, Vignettes, Attitude Measures, Conflict Resolution, Comparative Analysis, Social Influences, Questionnaires, Surveys, Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, Values, Environmental Influences, Preferences, Content Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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