A Habermasian perspective on morally valid decision making in school-district administration: a Newfoundland and Labrador case study

Kelly, Darron I. (2014) A Habermasian perspective on morally valid decision making in school-district administration: a Newfoundland and Labrador case study. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This research works toward the systematic development of a Habermasian perspective on moral validity within the context of educational administration. Its central aims are to promote Habermas’s Discourse Theory of Morality as a suitable moral epistemology for the field and to provide an initial examination of current attitudes toward adopting district-wide educational initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador from a moral point of view. Habermas’s clear specification of conditions necessary for the justifiability of morally valid policy- and decision-making offers a promising avenue for empirical research. This facet of his moral epistemology is an ideal point for researchers to grasp the philosophical framework and apply it to real cases. The current study focuses on how senior administrators at one school-board office interpret the four necessary conditions of practical discourse in relation to their work in adopting district-wide initiatives. The method of investigation is semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviewing. The attitudes and perspectives of the district’s Director of Education and three Assistant Directors are explored. These interviews are supplemented with the reflections of a former Director of Education and a former Assistant Director of Human Resources from two additional school districts in Newfoundland and Labrador. Each participant was asked to provide a personal example of the process of adopting educational initiatives and to comment on how they saw each of the four conditions of practical discourse operating within such processes. Key aspects of their responses are presented and implications of their responses for the moral validity of educational initiatives are discussed along with prospects for further research and the education of future administrators.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6455
Item ID: 6455
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 161-169).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Habermas, Jürgen; School management and organization--Moral and ethical aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; School management and organization--Decision making; School administrators--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes

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