Title page for ETD etd-06072011-142613

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Lusenga, Richard Mishack
Email institute@saharaonline.co.za
URN etd-06072011-142613
Document Title School leaders' moral understanding and moral reasoning
Degree MEd
Department Education Management and Policy Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Nieuwenhuis Supervisor
  • morality
  • values
  • moral dilemma
  • moral regeneration
  • school leaders
  • moral reasoning
  • educators
  • moral decay
  • moral understanding
  • morals
Date 2011-04-04
Availability unrestricted

School leaders are faced with serious moral challenges on a daily basis at schools, which often result in them making poor moral choices. In a situation of moral decay in schools, reports in the news media create the impression that school leaders often fail to demonstrate the necessary values advocated by the Moral Regeneration Movement and the Manifesto of Values, Education and Democracy. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore school leaders’ understanding and reasoning regarding values and morality. For the purposes of the study a number of possible lenses, such as cultural relativism, religious beliefs, ethical subjectivism, classical utilitarian theory, Domain theory, and the ethic of justice, ethic of care, ethic of critique and the ethic of community, were identified and used in analysing the way school leaders reason about moral dilemmas.

A design located within hermeneutic phenomenology was used in the study with the aim to understand school leaders’ understanding and reasoning regarding values and morality. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data gathering techniques was used in a concurrent mixed method design using a single questionnaire. The sample for the study consisted of educators enrolled for a formal management training programme. This group was largely homogenous in terms of religion, language, culture and was mainly from rural areas of Mpumalanga. Seventy-three participants took part in the study.

It emerged from the data that the espoused theories used by school leaders could be related to the lenses identified in the literature. The school leaders’ espoused theories were mainly based on the ethic of justice and the ethic of care and were aligned to their preferred value orientations. At the espoused theory level, school leaders revealed a strong moral orientation. Further research is indicated to study school leaders’ theory in action.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Lusenga, RM 2010, School leaders' moral understanding and moral reasoning, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06072011-142613 / >


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