moral development

moral development

Moral education is usually defined as a form of education that aims to promote students’ moral development and character formation.[1]

Character is a set of personal traits or dispositions that produce specific moral emotions, inform motivation and guide conduct. Character education is an umbrella term for all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people develop positive personal strengths called virtues. Character education is more than just a subject. It has a place in the culture and functions of families, classrooms, schools and other institutions. Character education is about helping students grasp what is ethically

important in situations and to act for the right reasons, such that they become more autonomous and reflective. Students need to decide wisely the kind of person they

wish to become and to learn to choose between already existing alternatives or to find new ones.[2]

Many people believe that there is a connection between learning academically and the development of mental power, and the learning of moral values and the development of strength of character. The development of the intellect and of moral character are intimately related.[3]

Character education is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant or socially acceptable beings. Concepts that now and in the past have fallen under this term include social and emotional learning, moral reasoning and cognitive development, life skills education, health education, violence prevention, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and conflict resolution and mediation.Many of these are now considered failed programs i.e., “religious education“, “moral education”, “values clarification”.[4] One main reason many people believe that morality education belongs in school. Additionally, schools are responsible for guiding children in the step by step developmental process, and moral development or learning ethical values is a step in the process of greater development. (Maddock, 1972) Therefore, it can be seen partly as school’ responsibility to educate children in morality. Another reason why character education should have a place in school curriculum is the role that teachers play in students’ lives. Children inherently know to respect and listen to people in positions of authority. Teachers represent an important adult authority figure in students’ lives and are therefore capable of making a huge impression upon students. Additionally, teachers spend a large portion of the day with the students, often more than even the children’s parents do with their kids. Therefore the teacher has ample opportunity to educate children not only in important academic subjects, but in character and values as well.[5]


[1]Moral Education Framework [https://coa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/JME_Moral%20Education%20Frameworks2014.pdf]

[2] What is character education? [ http://jubileecentre.ac.uk/userfiles/jubileecentre/pdf/other-centre-papers/Framework..pdf]

[3] Morality in Education [http://sitemaker.umich.edu/356.dworin/morality_and_education]

[4] Character  Education [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_education]

[5] Morality in Education, ibid 

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