Ethical Decision Making Questions
1. However, starting with the particular, for us an underlying question is how do leaders in education arrive at their decisions?
2. Are there ethical aspects that could and should be considered that would affect what decisions are made and the outcomes achieved?
3. If stakeholders have different needs, would their ethical concerns differ or is this part of the problem-that there is little or nothing to
reference against when making decisions?
4. Does the nature of the context require different ethical parameters-working in a state or independent school, for example? Is it simply down to the people in the organisation who have most power?
5. However reliable the information we receive, which itself begs many ethical questions, how do we determine our actions?
6. What do most people consider to be suitable ethical principles?
7. All institutions would state a commitment to such principles (on their websites; in their marketing brochures and in their documentation)
but do they enact them?
8. What type of decisions do educational leaders need to make, be it in isolation (unwise) or in consultation and collaboration with its
9. …the situation is more complex as many teachers believe that their responsibility to their learners lies in supporting them to achieve their
best results, but at what cost? Are teachers compromising their ethical and professional values and beliefs to ensure their learners
achieve against target?
10. How often do we contextualise decisions against the stated vision, ethos and values of the organisation, rather than against the external
11. How do many mission and vision statements go unchallenged with little reflection or evaluation regarding their effectiveness?
12. How does ‘doing the right thing’ translate to our original concern, namely, how are decisions made in the educational sector?
For more information on Learning in the 22nd Century,
please contact us.
David taught in Primary schools for 17 years, ending up as a deputy headteacher. He then moved into higher education, having successive jobs at Bradford College, Bradford, England. First, as Head of Primary Education, then Head of Partnerships, Head of the Faculty of Education and finally, Head of Division for Education and Communities, before leaving, after 17 years, to pursue educational consultancy and retirement. David is co-director of Ethics in Education, a not-for-profit organisation. His interests now are in supporting institutions’ self-improvement as well as what the future of education looks like. He is also a keen cricketer and Chair of his local cricket club.