ERIC Number: ED443345
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Postmodern Theory of Moral Education. Part I: Clearing the Terrain.
Stams, Geert-Jan J. M.; Biesta, Gert J. J.
This paper offers an overview of current debates on moral development and education, focusing on the relationship between empirical and theoretical research and raising four issues that are central to current research: (1) demarcation of the moral domain; (2) the gap between "is" and "ought," between facts and values; (3) moral action; and (4) moral relativism. The study takes as its point of reference Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental approach to moral judgment. Discussions about the demarcation of the moral domain show little agreement about what counts as "moral" and what does not. A similar conclusion is reached with respect to the question of the relationship between facts and values, between "is" and "ought." In examining "moral action," the essay concludes that its two central constructs--the relation between moral motivation and morally relevant behavior--are impossible to define independently. On the fourth issue, moral relativism, the paper concludes that it is not possible to validate the central constructs of research on moral development and education on the basis of the outcome of empirical research alone. The paper also concludes that these findings suggest the need to return to and examine the modern character of the fundamental philosophical assumptions that underlie the conceptualization of morality and moral development. (Contains 132 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A