For the past hundred years, while having a requirement of ethics in leadership, we have experienced a shift in paradigm. As of today’s world, leadership now revolves around principles and moral virtues. However, it is still considered as a challenge to set out a proper definition and the way they should be implemented and measured. There are always some questions that go through the minds of people that what is ‘ethical’ in education? Are there any characteristics attributed that are associated with ethical leadership, if yes, then what are they?
Ethics may be a concept of ethical rules and values. The principals’ leadership ethically is of excessive importance concerning educational systems. The foremost necessary accountability of faculty principals is to possess a moral perception of faculty administration. That presents a theoretical framework about integrity in class administration. School principals have specific responsibilities and that they need to behave while making decisions. The article emphasizes the need for building codes of ethics and acting consistently with these codes for college leaders. This study gives a summary of some ethical dilemmas that faculty principals faced.
George Marshall’s “Seven Principles of Ethical Leadership” explains in-depth to those administrators who are confused or searching for ways to implement such ethical practices in their schools. His theory explains the ethics of leadership, which is not just restricted to the educational community but can apply in the public domain, where ethics lies as a critical domain in public administration.
You can earn your degree of Masters in Education Policy to become a reliable leader with the skills and information to effect revolution at local and state levels. Below we have listed down the famous Seven Principles that you can practically apply in any educational institution.
- Personal Courage
With all the challenges faced by schools on an everyday basis, it is still essential to create a positive vibe in the environment. The policy changes set by the government towards the education sector, increase in the cultural diversity, and the erosion of ethics call for courageous and bold leadership. Just as George Marshall was able to withstand against his superiors, in the same way, the school administrators shouldn’t be afraid to put forward their differences in opinion in the light of changing the district and state policy. They must have the personal courage to withstand those challenges, like to be a barrier against those rules and regulations that may not be helpful for their students.
- Public Interest Ahead of Self
As a community putting it as in the consideration towards schools, public interest means opting what reflects as in the best interest of the students, staff, and the stakeholder. Molding to their opinion and implementing the policies that favor them should always supersede the school leader’s attention. In a nutshell, do what is best for the people around you rather than working upon your interests.
- Self-Control, Self-Discipline, and Integrity
The qualities of integrity and self-discipline cannot be separated from any kind of leadership, especially when it comes to school leadership. The reason being is that the followers and community at large look up to you as a role model and leaders in all capacities in maintaining the highest ethical standard. The other possible reason that exists is that leadership effectiveness and success rely way too much on trust; this is something hard to build upon in a situation where a leader does not have integrity or self-discipline. However, rather than relying heavily on faith, it should be made on mutual ethical actions and respect.
- Employee Centered and Task-centered
Effective school leadership, as shown in the research by Robinson and Harvey (2008), denotes that school leaders should build on the needs of their staff to achieve a better outcome of students. To be a successful leader, you have to focus on the absence of students and the school staff alike as they make their decisions. The concentration on the task at hand through enhancing the unity of purpose in school is the best success recipe for the school setting. The key here is to balance energy between the ongoing task at the same time, also encouraging unity built on the needs of the staff and the students.
- Recognition of other people’s talents
It involves the school leader’s ability to reward the students and staff have done an outstanding performance overall. By this, the leader would be ensuring motivation of both students and the team, keeping their spirits high. The leader needs to identify those teachers and students having out of the ordinary skillsets and place them in positions where their potential can grow further and be fully maximized—for example, promoting a consistently successful physics teacher to head the physics department. That affords opportunities to both the organization and the individuals as a whole.
- Demanding high ethical standards from everyone
The school administrators should ensure that the teachers follow a written code of ethics at all times. School rules that reflect the ethical practices should also formulate to bring about a high commitment to ethics by students. At the same time, as a school leader, it is also essential for you to maintain high standards of ethical conduct. That would inspire the students and the teachers to follow up on the same path as well. The same ethical rules apply to the parents as well. These ethical standards should direct clearly and implemented without exception for it to be effective.
- Sensitivity and understanding of the social environment
This principle applies in the school setting through a school leader’s understanding of the education policies. However, they can also extend to mean the development of instructional capacity that can enhance the knowledge of the leader’s actual requirements to ensure much better performance, like through the use of data. That can also has a term as a characteristic of distributed leadership, or the leaders can embrace it as an ethical requirement. Inclusiveness, in this sense, means bringing on board all the stakeholders in terms of decision-making and implementation. The need for people to feel recognized has shown to elevate morale and motivate followers to a higher level of performance, which can yield better school effectiveness.
The school leaders who follow all of the principles mentioned above would more likely gain a higher degree of success in running their school. Practicing ethics would inspire your followers to follow your footsteps as well as respect the institutional authority.