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The Moral Reasoning and Moral Decision Making of Urban High-Poverty Elementary School Principals in a Large Urban Southeastern School District

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
The focus of this research was to identify the moral reasoning and moral judgment of elementary school principals who serve in high-poverty schools. The study was undertaken at the request of the client public school district who was attempting to identify characteristics of current elementary principals serving in high-poverty schools. Two research questions guided this study concerning the moral operational level of the principals. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg and his stages of moral development. Participating principals were administered the Defining Issues Test-2 (DIT-2), a pencil-paper questionnaire that presented five moral dilemmas and a series of statements asking for the participant to rank solutions to the dilemmas. The results indicated that the majority of participants operated from lower levels of moral development, reasoning, and judgment. Participants' scores were matched with their schools' performance grades. There was not an indication that high moral scores and high school performance were linked. This study confirmed the results of an early study conducted by Vitton and Wasonga (2009) and encourages a deeper examination of the results of accountability and principal decision making.
Title: The Moral Reasoning and Moral Decision Making of Urban High-Poverty Elementary School Principals in a Large Urban Southeastern School District.
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Name(s): Strenth, Robert, Author
Murray, Barbara, Committee Chair
Taylor, Rosemarye, Committee Member
Murray, Kenneth, Committee Member
Hayes, Burnice, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The focus of this research was to identify the moral reasoning and moral judgment of elementary school principals who serve in high-poverty schools. The study was undertaken at the request of the client public school district who was attempting to identify characteristics of current elementary principals serving in high-poverty schools. Two research questions guided this study concerning the moral operational level of the principals. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg and his stages of moral development. Participating principals were administered the Defining Issues Test-2 (DIT-2), a pencil-paper questionnaire that presented five moral dilemmas and a series of statements asking for the participant to rank solutions to the dilemmas. The results indicated that the majority of participants operated from lower levels of moral development, reasoning, and judgment. Participants' scores were matched with their schools' performance grades. There was not an indication that high moral scores and high school performance were linked. This study confirmed the results of an early study conducted by Vitton and Wasonga (2009) and encourages a deeper examination of the results of accountability and principal decision making.
Identifier: CFE0004943 (IID), ucf:49609 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-08-01
Ed.D.
Education, Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Moral Reasoning -- Moral Decision Making -- Morality -- Urban -- High Poverty -- Elementary School Principals -- Lawrence Kohlberg -- James Rest -- Defining Issues Test-2
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004943
Restrictions on Access: public 2013-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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