ERIC Number: ED352332
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Critical Thinking and Moral Education. Resource Publication, Series 1 No. 7.
Both critical thinking and much of moral education see the function of education as the bringing forth of the rational capacities of the child. Although there are similarities between the interest in critical thinking as the basis for educational reform and the educational concern with the moral development of school children, crucial differences exist between the theory and substance of recent advocacy of critical thinking as an educational ideal and much of what has become the standard understanding of moral education in schools. The most common approaches to moral education include the cultural transmission model of moral instruction and the moral development, romantic, and relativistic perspectives. Both the standard developmentalist and cultural transmission models of moral education are unacceptable given the theoretical demands for openness, tentativeness, and rational evaluation characteristic of critical thinking advocates. The interface of a critical thinking theory that gives a priority to the rational process of inquiry and developmentalist or commonsense claims about the limitations of children's competence is a difficult and unexplored issue arising from the entry of critical thinking theory into the arena of moral education. Critical thinking approaches are also in apparent conflict with romantic and value clarification models of moral education which see the core of values as nonrationalizable and essentially an expression of emotion and will. (Contains 20 references.) (IAH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Montclair State Coll., Upper Montclair, NJ. Inst. for Critical Thinking.
Note: For other documents in this series, see SP 034 129-138.