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Moral Education

Moral Education

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 404
  • Book Info
    Moral Education
    Book Description:

    This volume, based on an interdisciplinary conference of psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and social scientists, explores a topic of vital importance today---moral education.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5675-8
    Subjects: Education, Psychology, Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)

    • Introduction
      (pp. 3-20)
      C. M. BECK and E. V. SULLIVAN

      The contemporary significance of a conference on moral education may be subject to question in some quarters, but it is nevertheless obvious that the general problem of moral education is being taken seriously by practical educators on this continent and in Europe. In England, the Farmington Trust Reasearch Unit is involved in a long-term study with the objectives of devising, improving, and clarifying programs in moral education for English schools (Wilson, Williams, and Sugarman 1967). Here in Canada, the recent report of the Committee on Religious Education has suggested making widespread changes in school curricula in Ontario and encouraging more...

  6. PART ONE The search for common norms within a pluralistic society:: some psychological and philosophical considerations

    • CHAPTER 1 Stages of moral development as a basis for moral education
      (pp. 23-92)

      Conferences on morality and moral education tend toward the equal-time view, one anthropologist, one psychologist, one theologian, one social commentator. The present conference is organized with the recognition that there are only two disciplines that have any basic scholarly generalizations to make about moral education; these are developmental social psychology and moral philosophy. Many other scholarly fields have an interest in moral education, but insofar as this interest leads to scholarly generalizations discussed on their intellectual merits, they are generalizations about either developmental social psychology or the nature of ideal morality. Let me cite two examples. A Catholic theologian and...

    • CHAPTER 2 Ethical pluralism and moral education
      (pp. 93-112)

      I have been asked to examine the problems created by ethical pluralism for those who would devise a program of moral education, and to discuss whether these problems can be solved by emphasizing in such a program procedural methods rather than substantive ethical principles.

      As a philosopher, I can best contribute to the clarification and solution of these problems by formulating as clearly as possible what are the proper aims of moral education. By itself, this will not help those trying to design programs of moral education, but it will at least yield criteria on the basis of which to...

  7. PART TWO Moral action:: some analyses and their implications for moral education

    • CHAPTER 3 Moral education and moral action
      (pp. 115-137)
      A. I. MELDEN

      In this essay I sketch a theory of moral action and understanding in the light of which I present some views concerning the development of moral understanding. I begin with topics that may appear remote from questions having to do with moral education, but their relevance will, I trust, become clearer as the argument of the essay develops.

      Compare the quick reflex kick of the leg with someone’s flipping of a switch by which the lights in a room get turned on. On one familiar conception there is very broadly an important parallelism. The leg jerked. Why? Because of the...

    • CHAPTER 4 Moral action and moral education
      (pp. 138-146)

      This paper is divided into two principal sections. The first provides the negative moment of my argument. It suggests that the human child appears as anagentand as a social being interacting with his fellows, before he develops either his conceptual capacity or his moral capacity. It suggests further that these two capacities are also independent of each other, so that the child’s moral development may begin without the use of language, and may fail to occur even though the child learns to interact with his fellows verbally as well as nonverbally.

      The positive moment of my argument, in...

    • CHAPTER 5 The contribution of schools to moral development: a working paper in the theory of action
      (pp. 147-180)

      When a sociologist turns his attention to moral education he is likely to ask questions about the effects of social structural arrangements in society, and schools in particular, on the acquisition of moral values and moral development in general. Perhaps he is even more likely to pose the problems in terms of the transmission of social and cultural values and moral codes than in terms of the individual and his socialization and moral development. In focusing on the educational system he would probably want to examine the effects of teacher-student relations, the social organization of the school, the authority structure...

  8. PART THREE Some psychological processes in moral development and moral behaviour

    • CHAPTER 6 Some problems for a theory of the acquisition of conscience
      (pp. 183-199)

      I have been interested for a number of years in the problem of understanding how the social experience of children produces internalized control over their conduct – the kind of internalized control that psychologists ordinarily attribute to the presence of conscience. There are a number of different ways in which this problem can be approached. One of the ways that I have found most instructive is to examine the durability of the behavioural effects of the various rewards and punishments to which children are exposed. These effects raise a number of issues which are important to a theory of the...

    • CHAPTER 7 Psychology’s undervaluation of the rational components in moral behaviour
      (pp. 200-228)

      The main purpose of this paper is to examine various ideological trends in psychological thought that in general reflect the prevailing tendency to undervalue rational components in moral behaviour. This undervaluation has largely expressed itself in four ways: (1) a tendency to place undue emphasis upon the affective mechanisms involved in moral conduct – both developmentally and in the contemporaneous process of translating moral judgment into actual behaviour; (2) a tendency to overemphasize the subjective, arbitrary, metaphysical, and unverifiable aspects of moral values, and hence to adopt an amoral or ethically neutral stance in psychology that relegates moral judgment beyond...

  9. PART FOUR Some problems of methodology and practice

    • CHAPTER 8 Matching models and moral training
      (pp. 231-251)

      The fundamental factors in the educative process are an immature, undeveloped being; and certain social aims, meanings, values incarnate in the matured experience of the adult. The educative process is the dueinteraction of these forces. Such a conception ofeach in relation to the otheras facilitates completest and freest interaction is the essence of educational theory (Dewey 1902–4 my italics) … we really know very little about … the “match” between individual development and external stimulation at various stages of growth (Deutsch 1967, 10).

      The major reason for the lack of cumulative knowledge during the sixty-five years...

    • CHAPTER 9 Moral education: is reasoning enough?
      (pp. 252-272)
      D. W. OLIVER and M. J. BANE

      Many people assume that some form of secular moral education should take place in the schools. But what kind of moral education? And how should the schools provide it?

      In this paper, we first describe a social-studies curriculum which we believe meets the criteria for moral education defined as training in moral resoning. We then describe some of the difficulties we have encountered in teaching the approach, and our intuitions about its limitations. Primarily we are troubled by the fact that we have not dealt with nonrational moral sensitivities. In the last part of the paper, we discuss the problems...

  10. PART FIVE Discussion

    • Introduction
      (pp. 275-289)

      Suppose we are setting out to plan a curriculum in moral education. It is obvious that before we can deal effectively with specific questions about the scope and sequence of the program and the teaching-learning methods, we need to gain a fairly clear view of what is involved in moral action. Although in this respect the subject of morality may not be essentially different from physics or mathematics. I believe there are some special circumstances which give added importance to the task of clarification. It seems to me that the following are of this kind: a The distinctive notions of...

    • CHAPTER 10 The shape of the moral domain
      (pp. 290-327)

      I would like to raise what seems to me to be a basic question about the general characterization offered by Baier of what morality is and what (in consequence) its general aims are. When we attempt to formulate a definition of the terms “moral” and “morality” we are likely to run into the problem that our definition is itself anormativeone; not just in the general sense in which any definition is normative in that it says how a term isto beused, but in the specific sense that it seems to build certainmoralstandards into the...

    • CHAPTER 11 Method and substance in moral education
      (pp. 328-354)

      Gauthier says in the last section of his paper that moral education is not really moral at all in one sense. It is not an inculcation of moral precepts or a teaching of moral attitudes; rather it simply involves showing people what they do. It is aimed not at those who lack practical wisdom and moral virtue but at those who, possessing these characteristics, nevertheless fail to do as they ought because they do not know what they are doing. Undoubtedly this is one thing that moral education might profitably include – although if you are thinking of separating moral...

    • CHAPTER 12 The theory of developmental stages in moral judgment
      (pp. 355-372)

      I would like to christen a doctrine which runs through Kohlberg’s approach and which is described as follows:

      I shall now present a third conception of moral education. In this conception the goal of moral education is the stimulation of the ‘natural’ development of the individual child’s own moral judgment and of the capacities allowing him to use it to control his behaviour.†

      I call this “the doctrine of original virtue.” It is nice that a social psychologist should have replaced the doctrine of original sin.

      It is not a matter of original virtues, but of natural virtues.

      You have...

    • CHAPTER 13 The cognitive and the affective in moral action
      (pp. 373-403)

      What impresses me is that the overwhelming evidence from common observation, as well as a certain amount of formal work that psychologists have done over the years, indicates that children’s behaviour is very insensitive to what we have been talking about as moral education in this conference. I wonder, for example, whether the kind of moral education that has been suggested here would result in any modification of their behaviour, or whether it would simply result in their being able to hold conversations in moral philosophy. Of course you may have no interest in modifying their behaviour. But if you...

  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 404-404)