An Insight into the Nature of Ethical Motivation

Authored by: Michael Bezzina , Nancy Tuana

Handbook of Ethical Educational Leadership

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415853903
eBook ISBN: 9780203747582
Adobe ISBN: 9781135011932


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Almost universally, when asked why they chose their profession, teachers will say that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of their students. Dewey (1909) put it this way in his Moral Principles in Education: “The business of the educator is to see to it that the greatest possible number of ideas acquired by children and youth are acquired in such a vital way that they become moving ideas, motive forces in the guidance of conduct” (p. vii). In a few short lines, Dewey has captured ideas that go to the very core of the work of teachers as a moral enterprise and, in turn, place an obligation on educational leaders to make this enterprise possible. Together they are challenged by Greenfield’s question: “Leading and teaching to what ends and by what means?” (2004, p. 174). This question lies at the heart of the moral purpose of education.

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