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Discussing an Ethical Dilemma Essay

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Updated: Jun 7th, 2019

Educational leaders, like any other leaders, encounter challenges because of cultural and socio-political contexts. Thus, an educational leader, a principal Mr. Brown in a school faced a serious dilemma while communicating with student Jack. Mr. Brown realized that to deserve Jack’s confidence, he should assure the student that his assistance is confidential and that he really wants to help him.

At the same time, Jack confessed that he had stolen some food from the magazine, but now he understands that what he did was wrong. One the one hand, the principal should keep his promise of not telling anything to his parents. One the other hand, Mr. Brown realizes that some serious actions should be taken to avoid accidents in future. Moreover, the principal believes that informing parents is important for them to take control of their son.

With regard to the above ethical dilemma, one of the most serious problems influencing our educational organization involves the crisis of values in society. The situation is explained by inability of the community to keep abreast of the processes and changes influencing its members. Therefore, a principal of the organization should involve a strict set of values and rules that would control adherence to the identified norms. He should also make the student believe that stealing is not on the list of those values.

Overview of the Problem

Moral and ethical principles of educational leadership in the organization are based on transparent, transformative, and committed to sustaining and developing authentic relationships regardless ongoing changes happened to the global community. In this respect, the main task of the principal is to construct a framework that would make the organization remain faithful to ethical standards and approaches accepted among the members of the community.

Taking into consideration the complexity of cultural and social contexts, a modern leadership model should be premised on a substantial understanding of ethical and moral dimensions that shape the basis of human interaction, as well as values of human nature. While handling problems and issues related to human communication, confidence, and trust, the principal should be able to understand the roots of Jack’s intentions.

According to Neidhart and Lamb (n. d.), “…leaders provide educational opportunities to encounter the Catholic faith, to experience its gift in community and to promote life decisions in response to it” (p. 2). Despite this fact, the practical dimension of faith leadership remains complicated because most of principals are not prepared to participate in problem solving at the international level.

Aside from the challenges and tensions existing within the faith organization, the crisis of values is more directly connected with the ongoing shifts and unpredictable environments that the community offers to religious and educational establishments. In order to meet the requirements of times, Branson (2010) recommends “…to create a totally new and completely credible and reliable educational change process” (p. 19).

To involve Jack into the change process, Mr. Brown should have an effective curriculum and define how parents and their son could interact so that Jack could tell their parents about his problems. In this respect, leaders as faith principals should also conceive the demands of the global community to meet the ones articulated at the local level. Principals of the organization should define the most serious problems and vices of society to be able to confront the moral discrepancies and introduce a new model of leading school.

There are many frameworks, approaches, and models that align with the current demands of following values within the Catholic organization. In this respect, Spry and Duignan (n. d.) put forward several suggestions concerning the strategies that could be used to fit the needs of the changing society. In particular, they propose to replace command-and-control framework with collaborative approaches.

This model implies better understanding of tasks to be involved into improvement of educational environment. The leadership approach consists of performance planning, performance, data collection and analysis, performance assessment, and performance prediction.

The activity is also premised on the ability of a leader to forecast roles and capabilities of the organization with regard to the existing challenges. Within these perspectives, Mr. Brown should take a greater look on the problems within the organization to understand why Jack failed to understand the established values.

The need for leadership theories to evolve becomes more important. In particular, “leadership is now understood to be an influencing relationship, a collaborative process that supports a community of believers pursuing a transformational cause” (Spry & Duignan, n.d., p. 3).

In other words, alignment with the fixed values of the faith organization is possible through multi-dimensional approach to a decision-making process, as well as through the analysis of external environment. The evolution of educational leadership influences school-based processes of handling the organization.

In this respect, the central focus is made on the role of the principal in guiding various activities in a school. This is the basis of effective transformational and collaborative models of shared leadership. Such an approach contributes greatly to the development of models facing the challenges of social change.

The above-presented ethical approaches have given rise to the development of effective Catholic-based school teaching. The principle of this doctrine is premised on equal distribution of responsibilities among the members of the organization. The task of the principal is to control effective accomplishment of the responsibilities, but not to perform all the responsibilities imposed on other members of the managerial hierarchy (Spry & Duignan, n. d.).

In addition, educational leaders should develop effective patterns of communication and communication that would contribute to the high performance and successful interaction between the members of the organization. In such a manner, educational leadership can enhance the awareness of students and teachers concerning the necessity of introducing solidarity and equality in expressing suggestions and solutions. Finally, prioritizing labour is important to underline the value of contributions made by each member of the community.


The proposed models of collaboration and interaction set the basis of educational leadership that the principal should use. This is of particular concern to the changing process within which Jack is involved. Mr. Brown should be able to make Jake understand the veritable values that contradict the one he had before.

Managerial decisions based on new ethical approaches contribute to leadership evolution and assure the effectiveness of spiritual leadership. Interdependent work of community, therefore, testifies to the successful cooperation and communication under the guidance of school principals who are able to perform the tasks of leaders in the Catholic context. More importantly, they also contribute to development of

awareness of other religious communities that faces the challenges of innovation, technical advancement, and globalization. The application of transformational leadership, solidarity, collaboration, and responsibilities distribution is the best approach to solve the problems in the organization.


Branson, C. (2010). Leading Educational Change Wisely. Australia: Sense Publishers.

Neidhart, H., & Lamb, J. (n. d.). Primary Principals as Faith Leaders. pp. 1-22 Retrieved from

Spry, G., & Duignan, P. (n. d.). Framing Leadership in Queensland Catholic Schools. Australian Catholic University. pp. 1-13. Retrieved from

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