Although adolescents roll their eyes at adult platitudes, they love to grapple with sticky moral issues, and they value teachers who nurture their growth as moral decision-makers. Instead of offering sermons, precepts, and prescriptions, educators can most effectively instill moral intelligence through example, critical thinking and role-playing exercises, and real-world applications outside the classroom.
A rabbi and educator shows how moral education can be crafted to address each of the three main branches of the moral life: philosophy, civics, and ethics.
Sowing the Seeds of Character: The Moral Education of Adolescents in Public and Private Schools is a book for all teachers and parents. It rests on the premise that the moral education of students falls within the purview of schools, whether they assume responsibility for it or not. Regardless of the place of moral education in the formal curriculum, all teachers serve as moral exemplars to their students, for good or for ill. Teachers of science, social studies, history, and literature courses cannot help but inculcate moral sensibility and attitudes in their students by the ways in which they lead them to grapple with—or glide over—the moral implications of what they teach.
Judd Kruger Levingston draws many lessons and examples from his extensive research and teaching experience in Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic, public, Quaker, and Chinese schools. He argues that teachers should become proficient in directing role-playing simulations of moral decision-making as morally complex topics arise within the standard curriculum.
• 15 illustrations
• Ideas and examples for the classroom practice of moral education
• Series foreword
• Explains why there is no such thing as a "morally neutral" school and clarifies why moral education is not the same thing as religious education
• Examines multi-cultural variations on moral education in Muslim, Roman Catholic Jewish, Chinese, public and private schools
• Explores the role of play in moral development
• Shows parents on how to pressure schools to include moral education without cutting into curricular requirements