T&L Advisor Guest pos
t—Henry Thiele, Chief Technology Officer for District 207 in Park Ridge, IL: There are rules in education that we are taught to work within that are often outlined by policy, practice, or tradition. Many times, fear of these rules, misunderstanding of their intent, or history lead us to make unwise decisions. Often, we are so focused on precedent that we cannot see past it to our potential. We forget to balance the rules against other ethical standards. I am reminded of this as I re-read one of my favorite books on education: Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education: Applying Theoretical Perspectives to Complex Dilemmas
by Shapiro and Stefkovich. This book explores the authors’ four ethical paradigms—the ethics of justice, care, critique, and profession. This text reminds us that each of our decisions should be approached by not just looking at the rules, but by considering our biases, balancing our decisions against best practices in the profession, and by caring for those who are impacted by our actions. By moving forward on decisions without fear, we might even rewrite the rules along the way.