Best Interests of the Student: Applying Ethical Constructs to Legal Cases in Education / Edition 1

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This text for educational leadership courses presents a theoretical model based on the "best interests of the student" for examining legal and ethical dimensions of court cases. It: provides an examination of both law and ethics pertinent to all educators but aimed specifically at school leaders; introduces an ethical decision-making model that focuses on strategies for determining what actions are in the "best interests of the student"; and, demonstrates the application of this theoretical model to practical, authentic situations arising from court decisions.

In the past decade there has been recognition of the need, as well as increased demand, for training courses in ethics for school professionals. The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards for the licensing of school administrators require school leaders to possess knowledge of various ethical frameworks and perspectives, to be committed to bringing ethical principles to the decision-making process, and to be committed to developing a caring school community. These standards are reflected in licensing examinations for school administrators and in school leadership training program requirements as set forth by agencies such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This text is designed to prepare school leaders to meet these licensure requirements. It is specifically intended for upper-undergraduate and master's level courses in educational administration, school leadership and supervision programs, as well as for courses in educational foundations and educational policy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...the author has presented a short, straightforward book that tackles a vital topic with a new approach - consideration of actual legal cases in order to provoke thought within the area."—PsycCRITIQUES, January 24, 2007, Vol. 52, No. 4

“Only a few scholars are doing substantive work in this exciting field of inquiry, and Stefkovich ranks among the best. This book usefully differentiates perspectives on ethics based solely on theory from those grounded in research and practical legal applications. Compelling arguments support leaders adopting a multi-ethical perspective in their professional work, with a particular focus on explicit interpretations of the meaning of students’ best interests.”—Paul T. Begley Pennsylvania State University, Director, UCEA Center for the Study of Leadership

“This original work [is] a major scholarly contribution to the field of educational leadership and policy.... It creates new juxtapositions of theory and practice, law, ethics, and decision making.... It is a pleasure to read. In a practical sense it fills a huge void in the materials available to the serious graduate student interested in understanding and using the intersection of ethics and the law.”—Patricia First, University of Arizona

“Enlightening, readable, and well-organized.... The discussion of the ethical models is clear and will be meaningful to readers who have little background in this area.... The use of court cases followed by analyses and pertinent questions is an extremely effective strategy.”—Martha McCarthy, Indiana University

"Best Interests of the Student: Applying Ethical Constructs to Legal Cases in Education is an exciting effort in bridging the gap that currently exists between how the education and legal community address issues of ethics and the law in the context of educational environments...[It] provides a wonderful tool for those within the educational community interested in exploring more deeply values, ethics and their application to decision-making within the context of legal cases...Stefkovich has successfully taken on these issues by recognizing that the impact of the decision-making process is significant because of its impact on the student, the need to place the value of the best interests of the student at the center of the inquiry, and finally the synergistic impact of exploring these often confounding issues through more than a single paradigm's lens."--Teachers College Record, March 06, 2007

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805851830
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Stefkovich is Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, USA.

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Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Part I: A Conceptual Framework. Introduction. Conceptualizing an Ethical Framework for Educational Leaders. A Model for Promoting Students' Best Interests. The Courts, the Law, and Ethics. Applying Ethical Constructs to Legal Cases. Part II: Students' Fundamental Rights. Freedom of Speech. Religious Expression. Censorship and Viewpoint Discrimination. The Right to Privacy. School Safety and Zero Tolerance. Part III: School Governance, the Curriculum, and the Student. Academic Standards, Assessment, and the Right to Education. Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum. Governmental Immunity. Equity, Equality, and Equal Protection. Part IV: Conclusions, Appendix, and References. Conclusions. Appendix A: Law and Education Text Books.

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