Maureen V. Spelman
Higher education has a long history of preparing leaders, but in this unique paradigm of the 21st century it has become critically apparent that leaders, particularly in education, need to be prepared to lead in a way that is virtuous and oriented toward a global common good. Traditionally educational leadership programs in the U.S. have focused on the competencies needed to lead effectively in complex and challenging environments. But if these programs are to produce leaders who are not only competent managers, but also wise thinkers and ethical leaders, then institutions of higher education need to have an equal emphasis on developing the character of the future leaders who will guide schools in this increasingly global context. Character education at this level needs to be intentional, planned, conscious, and reflective. This case study shares the journey that one institution of higher education has undertaken to infuse a tapestry of character-based education throughout the graduate educational leadership curriculum. The redesign process shared may be helpful for other institutions looking to embed character and virtue education into leadership preparation programs.
virtue formation, character-based education, educational leadership, ethical dilemmas
Spelman, Maureen V.
Christine Beech teaches business in the graduate school at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is a student at the University of Birmingham where she is pursuing continuing studies in character and virtue education. She holds a doctorate in business management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).