The Five Commitments and Ethical School Leadership

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Abstract

Chapter Five offers our approach to ethical analysis which we call the Five Commitments – a Foundationalist Approach – using a matrix of ethical values and principles to assist decision-makers facing ethical conundrums and dilemmas. Ethics is not easy. The Chapter goes beyond the value identification and clarification exercise in Chapter Four as the reader is asked to consider the application of the ethical matrix of the Five Commitments to ethical decision making.

In this Chapter we begin with a statement about the Foundationalist Approach to ethical decision -making and move on to explaining our meaning of the Five Commitments: common ethical principles, relational reciprocity, professional constraints, personal conscience, and professional convictions. Thereafter we suggest how they may be applied in cases and finally why we use the term, ethical matrix, in that application.