ERIC Number: EJ818886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
Responding to Children's Needs: Amplifying the Caring Ethic
Goodman, Joan F.
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v42 n2 p233-248 May 2008
According to care theory the good parent confronting a helpless child has an unmediated impulse to relieve his distress; that impulse grows into a prescriptive ethic of relatedness, often contrasted to the more individualistic ethic of justice. If, however, a child's nature is understood as assertive and competent as well as fragile and dependent; if, in addition, he acquires needs through socialisation and is the beneficiary of inferred needs determined by others, then an ethic of need-gratification is insufficient. Caring theory, with its emphasis on empathy, compassion, and attentiveness to the child's present state undervalues the role of adult restraint and imposition in a rounded caring philosophy. Parents (and teachers) must continuously balance gratification with suppression, support with restraint, engrossment with detachment. From this process emerges a revised relational ethic in which the care/justice distinctions are collapsed.
Descriptors: Altruism, Ethics, Empathy, Moral Values, Caring, Childhood Needs, Parent Role, Teacher Role, Parent Child Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship, Justice, Delay of Gratification, Need Gratification, Reinforcement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A