School principals' perception of professional ethics and the extent of its observance in high schools in Birjand

Document Type : Mixed Method Research Paper


1 M. Sc. of Educational Administration, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Higher Education Management, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Professor of Educational Administration, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


This research has been done with a mixed exploratory method with the aim of identifying the perception and the degree of observance of professional ethics of school principals. The required data were collected using a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. The statistical population of the study included all secondary school principals in Birjand. In quantitative phase, 75 people were selected as a sample by relative random sampling. 375 people were selected to be surveyed about the level of professional ethics of their managers. Then, based on the analysis of the findings of the quantitative stage of the research, the participants in the qualitative stage of the research (16 people) were selected by purposive sampling. Descriptive and inferential statistical indicators were used to analyze quantitative data and interpretive analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. The results show that from the perspective of teachers, the professional ethics of principal is at a desirable level. Also, the variables of gender and level of education did not make a significant difference in the level of observance of managers' professional ethics. The results of the qualitative phase of the research also represented school principals' perceptions of professional ethics in five main dimensions, including benefit-oriented ethics, person-centered ethics, duty-based ethics, rights-oriented ethics, & justice-oriented ethics. Each of which included several categories. Also, the results obtained from data analysis showed that school principals have a better understanding of task-oriented ethics than other dimensions of professional ethics and benefit-oriented ethics is at a higher level in terms of compliance than other dimensions. But the dimension of justice-oriented ethics was lower than other dimensions in terms of both understanding and observance.


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