The Rehabilitation of Virtue: Foundations of Moral Education

By Robert T. Sandin | Go to book overview

5
VALUES IN DEVELOPMENT

One of the most comprehensive of recent attempts to articulate a theory of moral education is the research of the late Lawrence Kohlberg, whose work has inspired a far-reaching international investigation and dialogue. Kohlberg's enterprise is an ambitious one. It seeks to integrate philosophical, psychological, sociological, and educational perspectives into a coherent theory for educational practice. I find much in Kohlberg's proposals with which to agree, although I judge his philosophical analysis to be seriously defective at points and I object strenuously to the lock-step approach to education that lurks in his psychological theory of the stages of cognitive/moral development. Kohlberg's theory of moral education deserves continued study and application of the kind it has been receiving. I think it important to offer here an extended presentation of the main outlines of the theory and to examine some of the major objections that might be advanced against it.

Philosophically, Kohlberg draws from an objectivist tradition in moral philosophy. He claims his continuity with Socrates, Plato, Kant, and Rawls, although he fails to appreciate certain significant differences among these thinkers. Psychologically, his point of departure is the theory of human development advanced by Piaget. His educational thought, he declares, is deeply influenced by Dewey. Kohlberg contends that his notion of education for cognitive/moral development is liberal, democratic, and non-indoctrinative. It relies, he claims, on dialectical methods of stimulation in a teaching-learning process centered on investigation of the logical basis of moral judgments.

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The Rehabilitation of Virtue: Foundations of Moral Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Values in Retreat 17
  • Summary 30
  • 2 - The Teaching of Values 31
  • 3 - Values Without Philosophy 43
  • 4 - The Anti-Intellectualism of the Schools 55
  • Summary 70
  • 5 - Values in Development 72
  • Summary 87
  • 6 - The Realm of Value 89
  • 7 - Utility and Value 110
  • Summary 124
  • 8 - Thinking and Valuing 126
  • 9 - Reasons for Being Moral 143
  • Summary 156
  • 10 - Education and Virtue 158
  • Summary 182
  • 11 - The Structure of Virtue 184
  • Summary 207
  • 12 - Spirituality Without Illusion 210
  • 13 - Toward a Spiritual Education 231
  • Summary 245
  • Notes 247
  • Selected Bibliography for Values Education 267
  • Index 279
  • About the Author 283
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