ERIC Number: ED196028
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Look Before You Leap: Fables for the Elementary Level.
Pillar, Arlene M.
To demonstrate the inappropriateness of fables for moral instruction at early elementary levels, a study was conducted with children from grades two, four, and six in two suburban schools on Long Island (New York). The children listened to recordings of three fables, "The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf,""The Fox and the Goat," and "The Lion and the Mouse," and responded to questions related to four dimensions of moral judgment--intentionality, relativism, punishment, and independence of sanctions. Responses showed that on each of the four dimensions studied, fewer young children gave mature responses than older children, showing that older children had a higher level of moral judgment than the younger ones. The younger children could not grasp the motivations in each of the fables; they could not see extenuating circumstances and could think of punishment as the only consequence of and deterrent for misbehavior. Responses suggested that children pass through a series of conceptually complex moral stages, and that at the second-grade level many of the concepts of moral judgment are beyond the students' grasp. While fables presented at developmentally appropriate times can propogate values, they are more suited to children older than second grade. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (70th, Cincinnati, OH, November 16-21, 1980).