Can We Teach Children to Be Good? Basic Issues in Moral, Personal, and Social Education

Can We Teach Children to Be Good? Basic Issues in Moral, Personal, and Social Education

Can We Teach Children to Be Good? Basic Issues in Moral, Personal, and Social Education

Can We Teach Children to Be Good? Basic Issues in Moral, Personal, and Social Education

Synopsis

After reflecting on the terms 'goodness' and 'teaching', this book describes and critically examines a number of attempts to define the nature of morality in terms of its form or its content, thereby teasing out the many conflicting views of 'moral education' which follow from these theories.

Excerpt

Since the first edition of this book appeared in 1982, there has been a number of significant developments within the area of moral education. A steady stream of books has been published, dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects of the subject; these are referred to, where appropriate, in this new edition. More specifically, increased interest has been shown in methodological and curricular questions concerning classroom practice, and this has tended to be associated with a linguistic, conceptual shift away from ‘moral’ and towards ‘personal and social’ education.

These trends call for careful scrutiny and analysis, for it is always dangerous to assume that any educational change is necessarily for the better. Consequently, more attention is paid in this edition both to the range of practical approaches which have developed in recent years and to the issue of ‘personal and social education’.

The main emphasis and concern of the book, however, remain unashamedly unaltered. These recent trends indeed make it even more imperative that we continue persistently to address the basic question of what exactly we are trying to achieve in this area, and this will never be satisfactorily answered by concentrating exclusively upon methodological matters or by tinkering with terminology. Plato would probably still see the subject of moral education today to be ‘in utter confusion’, and we still cannot afford to ignore the logic of his proposed strategy for clearing it up.

R.S.

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