A Decision-Making Model for Promoting Social Justice Through the Ethic of Justice, Ethic of Care, and the Ethic of Grace

  • Glenn L. KoonceEmail author
  • Kurt Kreassig
Living reference work entry


Principals lead schools and have the autonomy to make the final decision in all matters regarding a safe and orderly environment where all students and staff can experience success. For this to occur, it is critical that the principal utilizes a decision-making model for promoting social justice through the ethic of justice, the ethic of care, and the ethic of grace. To fully understand the enormous responsibility that principals face in making countless decision each day, the complexity of a decision-making model must be framed in a way that addresses the social justice mandate. The mandate is a way of leading by being aware of measures that protect and enhance the right of all students and staff to human dignity. The moral responsibility of educational leaders must be to organize and lead the whole school, with full and equal participation of all groups, in the pursuit and attainment of equity, fairness, safety, and success. The principal must fully understand decision-making, its theoretical foundations and application to social justice issues. To be successful in this endeavor, principals must understand the equity-focused (EQ) decision model that encompasses the recognition of decision candidate, satisfying both trajectory and strategic images, framing that focuses on school board policy and social justice orientation criteria. During this stage, three separate and distinct social justice orientations come into play: ethic of justice, ethic of care, and ethic of grace. Incorporating these three social justice orientations helps determine the compatibility and profitability of the decision. The final action in this decision-making model is decision adoption. It is the principal’s equity-focused (EQ) decision model that can, and should, enhance the promotion of social justice through the ethic of justice, ethic of care, and the ethic of grace. Principal preparation program curricula should include a social justice decision-making model.


Socially just principals Historically marginalized students Moral responsibility Equity-focused decision-making model Ethic of justice Ethic of care Ethic of grace Educational leadership preparation curricula 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regent UniversityVirginia BeachUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • John M. Heffron
    • 1
  1. 1.The Graduate SchoolSoka University of AmericaAliso ViejoUSA

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