THE ROLE OF ETHICS IN THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, ACADEMIC PREPARATION, AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
ABSTRACT This non-experimental quantitative study sought to examine high school principals’ perceptions of their academic preparation program, ethical philosophies, and actions related to leadership. A 26-item Principals’ Perception Related to Ethics survey that included an Ethical Trait chart and five open-ended questions used a five choice Likert scale ranging from “Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree” for the respondents to choose from. The instrument was sent to 247 high school principals who were active members of a professional secondary principal organization located in the southeastern portion of the United States with a return rate of 30%. The study was guided by nine research questions using t-Test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Pearson correlation. Based on findings of the data analysis, none of the nine null hypotheses was rejected, due to lack of statistical significance. The instrument did reveal that respondents believe additional ethical training is needed for both new and veteran high school leaders. The survey items revealed that high school leaders are viewed as the ethical leaders in the building and should represent the staff and students as such. Integrity and honesty were key traits/characteristics that the respondents felt all high school leaders should possess. Along with integrity and honesty, the respondents felt high school leaders must discuss ethical issues in faculty meetings, create an ethical environment for all stakeholders, and hire new employees that share liked ethical viewpoints as the leaders. Several conclusions were drawn from this study that spoke to changes needed in public educational settings to train and retrain those in high school leadership positions. Recommendations were made to conduct this study nationally.
Platts, James Anthony