A Matter of Ethics Paper


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As you learned in this module’s presentation and readings, school districts, state lawmakers, and professional organizations each attempt to legislate ethics in some fashion. While their policies and statutes serve as guides for educators, they cannot cover every possible scenario. As a result, school leaders must have a personal moral compass that guides ethical decision making.

In this module’s analysis assignment, you will look first at professional codes of ethics that are in place and then use them as models as you develop a personal code of ethics. You will reflect on a professional situation in which ethics, resource management, and accountability were related.

View/Download the Word document for use in this assignment.

Complete Parts 1, 2, and 3 and compose your responses in a single, 5- to 7-page Word document (not including the title and references pages). Use the part titles as subheadings.

Part 1: District Code of Ethics

  • A school district’s code of ethics usually contains information on categories of ethics violations, such as nepotism, secondary employment, gift/sponsorship, prohibited political activity, and business and financial interests. Usually, the code contains specific examples of violations, their associated penalties, and the procedure for reporting/filing a complaint. For an example, access the Texas Administrative Code (Links to an external site.).
  • In this part of the assignment, you will identify and analyze the key components of a school district’s code of ethics.

Step 1. Obtain a copy of a school district’s code of ethics, preferably from your own district.

Step 2. Create and complete a District Code of Ethics Analysis chart. You may create the table yourself, or use the template provided in the Template Tables document. Add rows if necessary.

Step 3. Answer each question about the school district’s code of ethics in a well-developed paragraph.

What other key topics are included in the school district’s code of ethics?

What is the district policy on reporting and filing complaints about unethical behavior?

Part 2: National Professional Code of Ethics

The “Code of Ethics/Statement of Ethics” of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) sets high standards for all educational leaders. In Part 2 of the Analysis, you will access the AASA’s Code of Ethics/Statement of Ethics and summarize and reflect on its contents.

Step 1. Access the American Association of School Administrators’ Code of Ethics (Links to an external site.).

Step 2. Respond to each prompt/question about the AASA’s Code of Ethics in a well-developed paragraph.

Summarize AASA’s Code of Ethics.

In what ways does the AASA’s Code of Ethics align with the school district’s code of ethics? How does it differ?

Select one of the AASA’s statements of standards, and describe how it applies to you personally.

Part 3: My Personal Code of Ethics

So far, you have analyzed a district’s code of ethics and summarized the American Association of School Administrators’ Code of Ethics. Consider these codes and how they impact your role as a school leader. Using the codes as models, you will now develop your own personal code of ethics in three well-developed paragraphs, one paragraph per question.

First, specify a minimum of five ethical behaviors that guide you as a professional educator. For example, you might note punctuality as an ethical behavior. For each behavior, use the behavior in a defining sentence. For example, “punctuality is an important work ethic that is respectful of other people’s time.”

Describe a time in your professional life when ethics, resource management, and accountability were related.

  • Why is it important for you as a school leader to establish your own “moral compass” and personal code of ethics?
  • Why is it important to begin a study of resource management and allocation with a discussion of ethics?

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