The importance of moral leadership in school vision setting
Today schools and teachers are rarely out of the headlines as schools have replaced churches as society’s moral educator because they are increasingly being looked to for social leadership and responsibility; this includes moral leadership. If children do not have consistent, local, role models of moral responsibility, then schools are increasingly asked to address this issue.
Many schools today have purpose statements that are typically an expression that translates the shared vision of a school into attainable goals. The shared vision therefore is a shared covenant that bonds together leader and follower in a moral commitment.
In playing their part in the moral and educative development of students, schools are contributing to the maintenance of social cohesion by morally and technologically socialising people. Consequently, at the school level, written statements of the school's moral obligation to students and society, usually underwrite a schools’ vision and purpose. The purpose statements of schools typically comprise of four moral intents or obligations:
- • The school will optimise students’ learning.
- • The school will facilitate students' transition to the next stage of learning (high school or work).
- • The school will create a happy and productive learning environment.
- • The school will ensure that students have the necessary skills and understanding to contribute to a democratic society.
While teachers make individual judgements about aspects of students’ learning, there is a universal requirement, often unstated yet implied, that students will also receive a moral education, within a moral educational context. Teachers, therefore, have come to understand that learning itself is intrinsically a moral activity, which involves them by necessity in attending to the moral character of what the community has called upon them to do, thus redefining the learning and teaching function not in technical terms but moral terms.