ERIC Number: EJ858720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Teaching Morally and Teaching Morality
Fenstermacher, Gary D.; Osguthorpe, Richard D.; Sanger, Matthew N.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n3 p7-19 Sum 2009
In this article, the authors introduce what they believe is an important distinction between teaching morality and teaching morally. In P-12 schools, the moral education debate often focuses on character education programs or other moral curricula. Such programs and curricula are championed as a means of teaching morality and transmitting moral virtue from one generation to the next. They are also derided as programs that have no place in the school curriculum because of the concern that morality is a matter of personal preference, religious conviction, or cultural commitment. Although this concern is worthy, it has, the authors believe, blocked everyone from attending to the more subtle ways that teachers, the larger society, and the state bring moral matters into the classroom, even when they do not adopt specific moral curricula. The authors understand these other ways of attending to moral matters as teaching morally. Is there any difference between teaching morally and "teaching morality"? They argue that there is, and that there is much everyone can learn from exploring this difference. There are, however, many complexities and subtleties encountered in the course of distinguishing teaching morally from teaching morality. The authors attempt to describe these complexities and subtleties, and explain why they are important to individuals' understanding of how teachers assist or impede the moral development of their students. The argument leads to a number of vexing places, places where people have only questions and no answers.
Descriptors: Ethical Instruction, Values Education, Moral Development, Moral Values, Ethics, Citizenship Education, Teaching Methods, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Influence, Teacher Role, Course Content, Preservice Teacher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A