4th Edition

Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education
Applying Theoretical Perspectives to Complex Dilemmas

ISBN 9781138776272
Published January 15, 2016 by Routledge
284 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The fourth edition of the best-selling text, Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education, continues to address the increasing interest in ethics and assists educational leaders with the complex dilemmas in today’s challenging and diverse society. Through discussion and analysis of real-life moral dilemmas that educational leaders face in their schools and communities, authors Shapiro and Stefkovich demonstrate the application of the four ethical paradigms—the ethics of justice, care, critique, and profession. After an illustration of how the Multiple Ethical Paradigm approach may be applied to real dilemmas, the authors present a series of cases written by students and academics in the field representing the dilemmas faced by practicing educational leaders in urban, suburban, and rural settings in an era full of complications and contradictions. Following each case are questions that call for thoughtful, complex thinking and help readers come to grips with their own ethical codes and apply them to practical situations.

New in the Fourth Edition:

  • A new chapter on technology versus respect, focusing on ethical issues such as cyber-bullying and sexting.
  • New cases on teachers with guns, the military and education, children of undocumented immigrants, homeless students, videos in bathrooms, incentive pay, first responders, private alternative high schools, verbal threats, and gaming etiquette.
  • Updates throughout to reflect contemporary issues and recent scholarship in the field of ethical leadership.

This edition adds teaching notes for the instructor that stress the importance of self-reflection, use of new technologies, and global appeal of ethical paradigms and dilemmas. Easily adaptable to a variety of uses, this book is a critical resource for a wide range of audiences, including both aspiring and practicing administrators, teacher leaders, and educational policy makers.

Table of Contents

1 Multiple Ethical Paradigms  and the Preparation of Educational Leaders  in a Diverse and Complex  Era

2 Viewing Ethical Dilemmas Through Multiple Paradigms

Part II: A Multiparadigm Approach to Analyzing Paradoxical

3 Individual Rights Versus Community Standards

4 Traditional Curriculum Versus Hidden Curriculum

5 Personal Codes Versus Professional Codes

6 The American Melting Pot Versus the Chinese Hot Pot

7 Religion Versus Culture

8 Equality Versus Equity 

9 Accountability Versus Responsibility

10 Privacy Versus Safety

11 Technology Versus Respect

Part III: Teaching as Scholarly Work 

12 Ethics, Ourselves, and Our Pedagogy

View More



Joan Poliner Shapiro is Professor of Higher Education at Temple University and Co-Director of the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership) Community Network.

Jacqueline A. Stefkovich is Professor of Education Law and Ethics at The Pennsylvania State University.


"The ability to puzzle through and solve ethical dilemmas is a learned skill for most people, including educational leaders.  Shapiro and Stefkovich facilitate both understanding and application through a set of compelling case studies that reflect authentic problems of leadership practice. The book not only makes the case for ethical decision making, but it also provides models and opportunities for practice through four essential ethical paradigms.  It is, in a word, comprehensive.  Few teaching resources in educational leadership come close."

--Michelle Young, Executive Director of UCEA and Professor of Educational Leadership at University of Virginia

"In their fourth edition of this seminal book, the authors skillfully use multiple ethical paradigms to explore complex moral dilemmas involving technology and other real-life concerns facing educators. This book is a must-read for educational leaders and those who prepare them for their ethically challenging roles."

--Martha McCarthy, Presidential Professor, Loyola Marymount University and Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, Indiana University

Praise for the Previous Edition:

"A significant contribution by two of the most respected and thoughtful scholars in the field of educational ethics. Shapiro and Stefkovich provide the most coherent narrative to date on the significance of ethics for school leaders. No one does a better job of taking readers to the street level to teach the types of ethical issues which they will confront on the job."

--Joseph F. Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Chair of Education and Associate Dean at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

"The first edition of this reader-friendly, accessible text quickly became a classic and a widely-used resource for faculty and students. This edition builds on the strengths of the original and will continue to be an important resource for the field."

--Gail Furman, Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Washington State University