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ERIC Number: EJ1119793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0162-6620
The Trouble with Moral Citizens: A Response to "Moral-Character Development for Teacher Education" by Daniel Lapsley and Ryan Woodbury
Westheimer, Joel
Action in Teacher Education, v38 n3 p207-211 2016
In "Moral-Character Development for Teacher Education," Daniel Lapsley and Ryan Woodbury argue that teacher education licensure and accreditation standards largely ignore matters of values, character, and morality. "The moral-character formation of children," they note, "is the instructional objective that dare not speak its name." Although academics, school practitioners, and even parents expect school to help develop character in students, "nobody wants to be caught teaching values." They go on to suggest three strategies for including character education in teacher training. The first two, "Best Practice" and "Broad Character Education" tie the goals of moral and character education to other cognitive and socioemotional goals. The third, "Intentional Moral-Character Education" defines character education not expansively as in the first two approaches, but narrowly: It "would have an explicit theory of action whose objective is to influence the moral formation of children." In this commentary, the author directs his brief response to two areas that piqued his interest and concern. By situating their call for values-based teacher education within the discourse of moral and character education, Lapsley and Woodbury implicitly invoke a significant history of the depoliticized idea of the public sphere and the good society; in so doing, they fail to articulate a broader critique of "moral" lapses in social, political, and economic policy reform that create the very conditions they seek to ameliorate. Lapsley and Woodbury presume a universality of moral goals that the author finds problematic. They also hold up several programmatic examples of their particular values in action that are thought to contradict the broader goals their article articulates. [For "Moral-Character Development for Teacher Education," see EJ1119792.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A