Moral Teachers, Moral Students
[posted from Public Education Network Weekly Newsblast]
MORAL TEACHERS, MORAL STUDENTS
Educators influence students’ moral development not simply by being good role models — important as that is — but also by what they bring to their relationships with students day to day: their ability to appreciate students’ perspectives and to disentangle them from their own, their ability to admit and learn from moral error, their moral energy and idealism, their generosity, and their ability to help students develop moral thinking without shying away from their own moral authority. That level of influence makes being an adult in a school a profound moral challenge. And it means that we will never greatly improve students’ moral development in schools without taking on the complex task of developing adults’ maturity and ethical capacities. According to Rick Weissbourd, we need to rethink the nature of moral development itself.
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