ERIC Number: EJ794749
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Harry Potter's Provocative Moral World: Is There a Place for Good and Evil in Moral Education?
Glanzer, Perry L.
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n7 p525-528 Mar 2008
In a challenging critique of moral education in public schools, James Davison Hunter argues that the unspoken imperative of all moral education is to teach only those virtues, principles, and other moral teachings about which there is essentially no disagreement in American society. Hunter claims that almost every major form of moral education in public schools falls prey to this quest for inclusiveness. The public schools may be afraid to explore the complex moral territory of the Harry Potter books, but this author suggests that moral education programs could profitably--and legally--address some of the same big themes that engage the young readers of the series. He states that children need more than a set of virtues to emulate, values to choose, or higher forms of moral reasoning to attain. They long to be caught up in a larger struggle between good and evil. Public schools can help them clarify, identify, and understand the details of the metaphysical tournament of narratives, without "taking sides." (Contains 13 endnotes.)
Descriptors: Ethical Instruction, Public Schools, Moral Values, Childrens Literature, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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