Conceptualizing moral literacy

ABSTRACT Purpose – The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the fundamental elements of moral literacy. Moral literacy involves three basic components: ethics sensitivity; ethical reasoning skills; and moral imagination. It is the contention of the author that though math and reading literacy is highly valued by the American educational system, moral literacy is extremely undervalued and under-developed. Design/methodology/approach – In this study the author uses her vast knowledge of moral literacy to break the subject matter into specific and defined sub-categories. She then explains each sub-category explicitly using real-life examples to assist the reader in understanding the gravity and meaning behind each separate facet of moral literacy. Findings – Moral literacy is a skill that must be crafted and honed by students, and with the aid of teachers who are well-versed in moral subject matter. It is a complex and multifaceted skill set that is interconnected and must therefore be learned completely in order to be used properly. Teaching students about moral literacy is truly necessary if schools wish to produce productive and responsible citizens. Originality/value – The study furthers our understanding of moral literacy and how it can play an absolutely vital role in our educational system. The paper not only explains what moral literacy is on a theoretical level, but it puts that theory into specific examples so that the reader can more clearly understand the benefits of acting in a morally literate fashion.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ This study had five objectives: explain the initial steps that led to the construction of the Ethical Leadership Questionnaire (ELQ); analyze the items and verify the ELQ reliability using item response theory (IRT); examine its factorial structure with a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and an exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) approach; test the item bias of the ELQ; assess the relation between the ELQ dimensions and ethical sensitivity. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Study 1 and Study 2 involved 200 and 668 respondents, respectively. Step 1 consisted in IRT; Step 2 in CFA and ESEM analysis; Step 3 in invariance of the ELQ items across gender, and Step 4 in structural equation modeling. Findings ‐ Results indicated the presence of the three types of ethic in the resolution of moral dilemmas, validating Starratt's model. The factor structure was gender invariant. Ethic of critique was significantly related to ethical sensitivity. Research limitations/implications ‐ More replications will be needed to fully support the ELQ's validity. Given that the instrument may be used in diverse cultural contexts, invariance across cultures would be warranted. Practical implications ‐ As educational organizations become aware of the crucial need for more ethical leaders, they will need to pay particular attention to the ethic of critique as it appears to play a significant role in the development of ethical sensitivity. Social implications ‐ Results presented in this paper answer a vital need for more ethical skills in educational leadership. Originality/value ‐ The ELQ provides a validated measure of Starratt's conceptual framework and highlights the key role played by ethical sensitivity and the ethic of critique.
    Journal of Educational Administration 04/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: This study is based on Jones’s (Academy of Management Review 1(2):366–395, 1991) theoretic model and explores the relationship between perceived moral intensity and the first three stages (moral recognition, judgment, and intention) of the ethical decision-making process for school principals. A survey consisting of four scenarios was conducted with 790 school principals in Taiwan. The results revealed differences in perceived moral intensity and the ethical decision-making process between scenarios. The two-factor solution for moral intensity and the relationship between moral intensity and moral recognition, judgment, and intention were found to support Jones’s (1991) theory. In addition, perceived potential harm appeared to have a stronger relationship with moral judgment and intention. However, the correlation between moral intensity and principals’ moral recognition appeared to be weak.
    The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher 11/2013; · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Once a person assumes the mantle of teacher, they become a leader, first, in their classroom and then in their school (Crippen, 2005). With this position comes a delicate power and responsibility to the moral imperative. As such, this issue is critical as a component of teacher preparation programs. Goodlad (2004) sounds the alarm that our teacher preparation programs are remiss in responding to the need for moral literacy in our schools. The following paper will introduce the philosophy of servant-leadership, a moral way of serving, as defined by Robert K. Greenleaf (1970/1991) and will respond to Goodlad's call with possibilities for preservice teachers that help them examine and define their role in contributing to the common good through servant-leadership. A servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant- first, to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test is: do those served grow as persons; do they while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And what of the least privileged in society: will they benefit, or at least, not be further deprived? (Greenleaf, 1970/1991, p. 7)

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May 28, 2014