ERIC Number: EJ976326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 9
The Problem of Loyalty in Teaching Character
Stoll, Sharon K.
Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, v25 n4 p34-35 Mar-Apr 2012
In the last year, two prominent, famous, and revered coaches, Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno, committed disastrous lapses of ethics. Both coaches preached that sport and athletics build character. They either taught ethics or leadership courses at their institutions or were exemplars of ethical behavior in their personal and professional lives. Both were known for their generous donations to their university communities. Two years ago, if any of those in sport education were asked for a living model in coaching who was an example of ethics and correct coaching behavior, one of the two coaches' names or both would probably have surfaced. Unfortunately today, their lapses of ethics have made them appear anything but ethical. Both were fired in disgrace. What is interesting and perplexing about these two coaches in their lapses of ethics was basically the same problem which is tied to an auxiliary moral value--loyalty. Moral values are the relative worth that an individual places on the motives, intentions, and actions directed toward others. Examples are honesty, justice, responsibility, and respect. However, there are many other values that impinge on or are tied to these prime moral values. These values are so linked to the prime values that most individuals have difficulty seeing this linkage and what it means if the link is broken. These auxiliary values are what the author and her colleagues have called social values. These social values like hard work, loyalty, and sacrifice are easily corrupted without strong prime moral values guiding them. Unfortunately, loyalty is a jealous stepsister to the moral values of honesty, respect, justice, and beneficence. Loyalty alone will push very good people to do things that they generally would never do, as in the case of Tressel and Paterno. In this article, the author discusses the problem of loyalty in teaching character.
Descriptors: Physical Education, Personality, Social Values, Moral Values, Ethics, Obesity, Coaching (Performance), Employment Practices, Military Schools
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States