Pre-College Programs
Leadership Institute

« Return to Course Catalog

Ethical Leadership: Theory into Practice

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

We often expect leaders to act ‘ethically’, but ethical values frequently conflict with the practical challenges and demands of leadership. Furthermore, talk of ‘leadership ethics’ can conjure up images of ‘ideal’ or ‘absolute’ values which can be difficult to embody in practice. With these challenges in mind, this course will train students to analyze the ethical stakes and complexities involved in good leadership, and to articulate their own values for leading ethically.

Students will actively participate in a conversation encompassing both topical case studies from politics, history and global affairs. To this exchange, students will add their own contextual knowledge and local examples of leadership and its challenges, be they from everyday school, sports, culture or community life. We will investigate the role played in our ethical assessment of leadership by factors such as cooperation, talent, trust, decisiveness, efficiency and civility, and discuss how the task of leading well can be complicated by personal concerns and biases. This highly interactive course will involve group discussions, class presentations and debates, selected readings, video and movie viewings, and reflective writing assignments.

Students completing this course will leave with a robust ‘tool-kit for ethical leadership’ including an accessible vocabulary and strategies with which to think and talk about leading ethically. They will be equipped to talk confidently about the complexities and challenges associated with leadership, and will be able to integrate various perspectives and expectations into a mission statement for ethical leadership as part of an Action Plan for the pursuit of social change. The course will also support and stimulate further exploration in civic collaboration, negotiation and public speaking, while providing context for further study in ethics, philosophy, government/political science, international relations and social studies.