A Durkheimian analysis and synthesis of four contemporary approaches to moral education Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rx913s99m

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  • The purpose of this study was to analyze four contemporary approaches to moral education from the sociological perspective of Durkheim. These four approaches were inculcation, values clarification, the moral discussion approach, and the just community approach. In this study Durkheim's theory of morality and moral education were identified, and the parameters were selected from the key concepts of Durkheim. The four approaches were analyzed by seven parameters: transmitting social values, teaching discipline and moral conduct, stressing the group or society, emphasizing altruism or affective components of morality, imposing values prior to autonomy, the teacher as an authority and a socializer, and the child as a reactor and an asocial being. Results of the analyses indicated that inculcation and the just community approach had several parameters of moral education in common with Durkheim, because both of them accepted the socialization process which was the fundamental concept of Durkheim's education theory. On the contrary, values clarification and the moral discussion approach had nothing in common with Durkheim, because they focused on individual moral learning or value clarifying, and rejected the teaching of the content of values. The conclusion reached was that a practical moral education such as the just community approach, needed to employ Durkheim's notion of socialization. However, the limitations of Durkheim's theory, which missed the existence of spontaneous relationships among children, were also pointed out. Consequently, a synthesis of the four approaches involved respect for the child's spontaneity and peer relationship within the framework of Durkheim. Finally, an outline of an integrated moral education program was proposed.
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