Concurrent Sessions 3.1: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

A3.1 Pedagogy, values and goals
Larsen G08

Chair: Brian E. Gates, University of Cumbria

Civic and moral sense, nationality and transnationality
Brian E. Gates, University of Cumbria

The notion of civic as applied to local, national and international contexts and the potential for moral challenge and tension arising from different social bounds as exemplified in the criteria selected to identify national moral contours on the http://www.moralcapital.info website. Are these criteria sufficiently comprehensive and are the sources from which they are derived adequate for the purposes of moral education? The paper will invite critical reflection and suggestions for enhancement.

Eudaimonic and epistemic approaches to character education
Ben Kotzee, University of Birmingham

Advocates of intellectual character education hold that character education programs should focus on the inculcation of intellectual rather than moral virtue. Baehr, for instance, has held that promoting moral virtue in schools is politically controversial, but promoting intellectual virtue is not. I offer an alternative argument for the promotion of intellectual virtue in school – that intellectual virtue is necessary to choosing a comprehensive conception of the good for oneself. I locate the basic problem in the question whether character education programs should be eudaimonic or epistemic and argue that we should prefer an epistemic approach.

Moral development and its relationship with Education for Citizenship and social justice
Tatiana T. García-Vélez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Liliana Jacott, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Antonio Maldonado, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

From our point of view, moral development and ethics education should be consistent with what can be taught through education for citizenship, especially from a cosmopolitan outlook linked to a social justice perspective. Perhaps, if we consider the importance of developing this educational approach in children and adolescents, focusing on the development and critical construction of ethical values such as the importance of diversity recognition, representation of minorities, democratic values, participation active, universal justice, etc. we can eventually develop cosmopolitan citizenship of students, making them become active citizens and critical in the pursuit of social justice.

B3.1 Development of values and purpose
Larsen 203

Chair: Everardo Pérez-Manjarrez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Discrimination and morality: Adolescents’ positioning in the explanation of controversies
Everardo Pérez-Manjarrez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

There is evidence of reluctance to consider controversial issues as part of citizens’ education. However, recent research suggests that the discussion on these fosters people’s democratic and moral development. In line with this, the present study analyzes the adolescents’ moral stances in the explanation of controversies, based on positioning theory and discourse analysis. The study’s task was based on a discriminatory situation involving Mexico and the United States. Two hundred students participated and the findings show cultural differences as well as common moral positions adolescents use to engage with the event. Finally, implications for citizenship and moral education are discussed.

The critical global educator: Civic engagement in sustainable development
Maureen P. Ellis, Institute of Education, University College London

Expanding personal search to public research, this presentation justifies the moral stance, ethical framework, integrity of critical global educators. A Jungian mandala synthesises critical realist philosophy, critical theory, socio-, psycho- and neuro-linguistic multimodality. Iterative research findings (2007-2013) from surveys, focus groups and interviews with over 500 teacher trainees, teacher educators, INGO practitioners and academics demonstrate that explicit framing of political remit, frank ‘incense’ of political literacy, can realise transformational ambitions beyond transmission and transaction: Global Citizenship Education as Sustainable Development (GCESD). Cultural Historic Activity Theory (CHAT) provides methodology and Interview Schedule for self- and negotiated-evaluation of the critical global educator.

The cultivation of global citizens with high quality
Shaogang Yang, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

To cultivate the global citizen with high quality, the following requirements should be paid attention to: (1) the consciousness of global citizen and globalization as well as the competencies of cross-cultural communication should be cultivated in higher education; (2) the country should have legislation to strengthen the educational goals of cultivating global citizen in higher education; (3) the core values with global significance in Chinese traditional culture should be refined, and the world populated core values should be analyzed scientifically so that the core values in globalized epoch could be formed and established gradually.

C3.1 Character education and civic competences
Askwith Lecture Hall

Symposium: Character education: Young scholars’ systematic examinations of philosophy, practice, and promotion
Chair: Elise Murray, Tufts University

Longitudinal research supports that instilling character virtues in students benefits society in the long run, but is character education necessary for producing good, civically engaged youths and adults? And if so, does character development and facilitation of “building character” look different at various stages of the educational system? Young scholars will present their current research and theories on the importance of intentional character education, ranging from the philosophical argument for ethical goodness and how it necessitates virtue training, to the various programs available to children, adolescents and young adults as it pertains to character and virtue development in students.

Normalizing virtuous character
Max Parish, The University of Oklahoma

Investigating the impact of discussion-based learning on the civic and intellectual character development of youth
Shelby Clark, Boston University; Madora Soutter, Boston University

The “Thomas Method” is a discussion-based pedagogical approach central to “Thomas Academy” that aims to foster students” intellectual and civic character. However, little is known about the precise elements behind the Thomas Method, and if knowledge of such elements might provide insight into how to impact character development. Using a mixed-methods approach, including student surveys, observations, and student and teacher interviews, the current study explores what elements of the Thomas Method contribute to adolescent civic and intellectual character development. Analyses suggest the Thomas Method may be positively associated with open-mindedness, student voice, and empathy, and more ambiguously associated with social-responsibility.

Leaders of character: Virtue development in post-secondary education
Elise Murray, Tufts University

In this paper, we use the United States Military Academy (USMA), as a sample case for understanding character development processes within an institution of higher education. West Point is renowned as one of the world’s preeminent leader-development institutions and the ultimate developer of civil servants. To enact their mission, USMA has developed curricula and programs designed to inculcate cadets with the behaviors, attitudes, values, and virtues that reflect an evolving definition of a commissioned leader of character. In turn, the Academy leadership, administration, faculty, and staff has identified a set of outcomes that they understand to be the repertoire of behaviors, attitudes, and competencies of commissioned officers which are intended to be the result of the 47-month developmental program. We, in turn, present preliminary results about this program and its effectiveness here, and continue to assess the West Point character development process, and how we might, in the long-term, translate a successful process to other post-secondary institutions.

D3.1 Narrative, story and history
Longfellow 319

Chair: David A. Aldridge, Oxford Brookes University

A hermeneutics of exemplarity for character education
David A. Aldridge, Oxford Brookes University

Contemporary ‘Aristotelian’ character education assumes that exemplars have a correct interpretation that students can read off with guidance or preparation. A teacher thus selects (or creates) appropriate moral exemplars or consciously acts to exemplify particular virtues. This model is hermeneutically impoverished. Drawing on phenomenological accounts, I will argue that the exemplified is presupposed or runs ahead of the exemplar in a circular relationship, or that the moral exemplar is dialogically constituted in an event of understanding. Students learn from exemplars in spite of our pedagogical interventions and in ways that exceed our intentions and expectations.

Cultural heritage and civic engagement of the youth
Carmen B. Fabriani, Centro Universitario das Faculdades Associadas de Ensino; Fernanda Camargo Penteado, Instituto Machadense de Ensino Superior

Survey conducted through action research with sophomore high school students aimed to promote their civic engagement to campaign for protecting cultural and state heritage. The Big House Baes, listed by historical heritage was threatened with ruin and real state speculation. The students use this scenario for a symbolic travel through the past of the city history and understand the meaning of the Baes mansion. They acknowledged that citizen participation in cultural heritage is constitutionally enshrined as a right and duty of citizenship, necessary for sustainable development. Also comprise that cultural property policy only a specialist concern is an anti democratic way.

Developing critical citizenship through the study of historical contingency
Luke P. Billingham

I argue that the historical study of contingency could advance a meaningfully critical form of citizenship in students. By investigating the extent to which particular norms and institutions could have developed differently through time, students are alerted to the fact that they are not normal, natural, or necessarily “right”, but contingent historical constructions. When pursued through rigorous historical enquiry, such analysis could help students develop three vital capacities for critical citizenship: discernment of historical possibility, subtle normative reflection, and political imagination. At best, it could help students form well-grounded judgements about what is, what can be and what should be.

Examples, exemplars, exemplarity
Carsten F. Nielsen, Aarhus University

References to examples and exemplars have always been an important part of moral education. Most obviously teachers often employ examples to illustrate abstract moral norms and principles. This paper uses the notion of moral exemplarity as a way of explicating the moral and educational importance of examples and exemplars. The paper introduces a systematic distinction between examples, exemplars and exemplarity; discusses different ways in which examples and exemplars have been used within (philosophical discussions of) moral education, and concludes by critically examining problems and limitations of basing moral education on the use of examples and exemplars.

E3.1 Theory and critique
Longfellow 228

Chair: Sharon Lamb, University of Massachusetts Boston

APA & The Hoffman Report: Moral accountability, gender, and race
Sharon Lamb, University of Massachusetts Boston; Rakhshanda Saleem, University of Massachusetts Boston

The Hoffman Report, released in July 2015, described in 542 pages over 10 years of APA’s collusion with the US Department of Defense to create ethics policy that protected psychologists’ participation in “enhanced interrogations.” This paper discusses how race and gender played a part in the development of the APA Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security PENS Task Force and its aftermath.

Preventing unjust war: A challenge to moral education
Roger C. Bergman, Creighton University

Since its publication in 1977, Michael Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars (5th edition, 2015) has commanded the field in discourse about the ethics of war. His argument makes a soldier’s refusal to participate in a war he believes to be unjust impermissible. Jeff McMahan’s Killing in War (2009) rebuts Walzer and argues for selective conscientious objection (SCO), the right and duty to refuse to participate in unjust war. This presentation will examine the implications for moral education of SCO, using the example of an undergraduate course in the Christian ethics of war and peace.

Fragile democracy: The false promise of increased civic engagement?
Shawn Rosenberg, University of California Irvine; Gabriel Anderson, University of California Irvine

There has been a dramatic increase in the ways in which citizens participate, broadening the space for democratic politics. However this space has been the site of the resurgence of right wing movements across Europe and the US. Our concern is that, like 90 years ago, democratic practice can become the vehicle for the destruction of democracy itself. In this context, we evaluate the democratic potential of the new forms of citizen engagement and the capacities of citizens engage democratically. We then discuss best practices for political education and institutionalizing participation needed to meet the challenge of 21st century citizenship.

F3.1 China: civic and moral education
Gutman Conference Center Area 1

Symposium: China’s challenging culture: Understanding identity, rights and action
Chair: Siwen Zhang, Harvard Graduate School of Education

How Chinese teachers approach civic action: A discourse analysis
Siwen Zhang, Harvard Graduate School of Education

China is awakening to its environmental challenges. The data in this paper presents teachers” responses to a vignette about a real life protest on the building of a toxic chemical plant in a coastal city, where some schools had warned teachers that student participation would lead to serious sanctions. Foucauldian discourse analysis was used to examine how teachers’ responses define the boundaries, priorities and expectations of their orientations and responsibilities in the moral and political sphere of schools, and revealing what larger discourses that are made available to them through their choices of responses.

How 8th and 11th Graders in rural and urban Chinese schools talk about civic ideology
Boris Zizek, University of Hannover

This study deals with a reconstruction of attitudes at different levels of intersubjectivity such as community and society based on eight semi-open interviews with female and male 8th and 11th graders from rural and urban Chinese schools. Summarizing the analysis of the interviews, we can stress a change in the internal social structure of the lifeworld of the urban students. The rural students find their role models in the wider simple form of community. The urban students chose their parents as role models which speaks for the growing importance of the parents in the modern urban environment, while the simple form of community has contracted.

Passive vs. strategic and apathetic vs. dependent: A Foucauldian discourse analysis of Chinese youth constructions of the self in relationship with the government and societal others
Liu Jiang, Harvard Graduate School of Education

As China participates increasingly in the global capitalist economy while continuing to uphold its one-party, socialist political system, Chinese youths today receive complex messages about how to relate with the government and societal others. My discourse analysis on two interview excerpts generated from the Chinese Youth Civic Understanding dataset reveals two competing discourses in each self-construction: a passive/dependent self vs. a strategic self in relationship with the government and an apathetic/insecure self vs. a dependent self in relationship with others in society. These constructions of self have important implications for the civic empowerment and moral engagement of Chinese youth.

G3.1 Culture and context
Larsen 214

Symposium: Toward the design of ethically humane and academically rigorous schools
Chair: Robert L. Selman, Harvard Graduate School of Education

In Brazil, as in many other nations, schooling’s primary objective is to form citizens capable of autonomous, critical thinking and collaborative, humane, civic choices. Work by the GEPEM collaborative has generated theory based empirical models of pro-social interventions to directly improve school climate so students can develop both academically and socially in classrooms. which this symposium will share. The symposium will focus on how school climates, curriculum, instruction, and the narratives youth use to deal with social conflict vary by culture. ; and, how approaches to moral education program evaluation in schools differ radically in the United States and Brazil.

Development of causes, strategies and outcomes of interpersonal conflicts between students
Mariana Tavares Almeida Oliveira, State University of Campinas; Carolina De Aragão Escher Marques, State University of Campinas; Lívia Maria Ferreira Da Silva, State University of Campinas; Telma Pileggi Vinha, State University of Campinas

This research aimed to identify the development of causes, strategies and outcomes of interpersonal conflicts between students of 3-14 years old. There were 250 participants of 6 Brazilian public schools. Data were collected through observation sessions of school routine. The analysis showed that, with the development, there is a growing motivation to control social space and also an increase in capacity to infer the intention of others’ action. Conflicts are preserved longer and solving strategies are more varied, although the predominance of coercion over the other and the predominance of abandonment of the conflicts endure even in older students.

The Role of Gender in Explaining Conflict Resolution Causes, Strategies, and Outcomes Among Students in Brazilian Schools
Carolina De Aragão Escher Marques, State University of Campinas; Lívia Maria Ferreira Da Silva, State University of Campinas; Mariana Tavares Almeida Oliveira, State University of Campinas; Valeria Rocha, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education

This work analyses gender and age differences in how children and adolescents in Brazil explain the causes, strategies and outcomes of interpersonal conflicts among children in their public schools. Altogether 116 female and 134 male students were observed for 368 hours during routine social interactions in different occasions on the school grounds. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered and Piaget’s and Selman’s theories were used to analyze the findings. The results indicate that even though self-interest and the search for satisfactory solutions for conflicts are present in the interactions by both the males and females, differences between the sexes in conflict resolution strategies become more pronounced with age.

Ethical social living in schools: Promoting the improvement of school climate
Telma P. Vinha, State University of Campinas; Cesar Augusto Amaral Nunes, State University of Campinas; Luciene R. P. Tognetta, Paulista State University; Livia M. F. Da Silva, State University of Campinas; Adriana M. Ramos , State University of Campinas

This work analyses the first outcomes of an evidence based moral education intervention program in 11 public schools in the Elementary School Region in Campinas, Sao Paulo. This program focuses in improving the school climate within the scope of both interpersonal relations, looking for respectful civic and social living. About 360 teachers and management personnel participate and it consists in: the insertion, within the school curriculum, of a specific subject that promotes the discussion of social values; the creation of proper settings to solve conflicts; provides the continued training of the whole team; includes climate evaluation and a respectful process of responsive evaluation.

Validity evidences of measuring instruments to evaluate school climate in Brazil
Alessandra De Morais, Paulista State University; Adriano Moro, State University of Campinas; Telma Pileggi Vinha, State University of Campinas; Luciene Regina Paulino Tognetta, Paulista State University

The aim of this study was to verify the validity evidences of three measurement instruments in order to assess school climate. After researching the construct school climate, a reference array with eight dimensions was drawn up, considering the Brazilian reality. From the matrix, instruments were built facing students, teachers and managers of Basic Education. Performed the content analysis by experts to verify the relevance of your items to the dimensions, an empirical analysis was made on a total sample: 8,408 subjects survey respondents. The instruments demonstrated adequate reliability and confirmatory factor analysis indicating the suitability of items to different dimensions.

H3.1 Media and curricula workshop
Larsen G06

Teaching thinking to create informed moral and civic decision makers
Donna J. Robinson, Gordon College; Julie Lenocker, Gordon College

If “thinking is the operational skill with which intelligence acts on experience”, (de Bono, 2009, p.v), how do we learn the skill? When should the skill be taught? How can schools prepare students to think critically? This media presentation will delineate the process of a pilot of a “thinking curriculum” where a combination of CoRT Thinking, Paideia Seminars, Oxford Debates and a history curriculum is being used with Pre-K through eighth grade students. The goal was to create curriculum that meets ELA Core standards, is transferrable to moral and practical decision making and is developmentally appropriate, engaging, incremental and challenging.

I3.1 Programs, interventions and evaluations
Longfellow 320

Chair: Jan Boom, Utrecht University

An experience about citizenship and art
Carlos Camacho, Los Andes University

The main purpose of this action research project was to inquire into how to create arts education learning experiences that promote the reflection on the concept of citizenship, using the model of investigation and creation lab. Thus, for our study, we decided to design and implement teaching and learning experiences at a public high school in Bogotá, Colombia; working with 13 to 18 years old students in an extracurricular activity.

Do liberals understand conservative moral motivations? Faking the MFQ
Neil Ferguson, Liverpool Hope University

Haidt (2009) asserts that liberals are simply ignorant of conservative moral motivations on matters of social justice. Is this really the case? This paper will explore whether Liberals can fake a Conservative MFQ profile on demand and as such, we would expect liberals to increase the binding foundation scores when they complete the MFQ from a the perspective of a far-right political candidate in recognition of the functional reasoning conservatives are motivated to employ in order to satisfy existential and epistemic needs.

Just violence: Human rights education and the police
Rachel Wahl, The University of Virginia (2015 Dissertation Award Recipient)

How do perpetrators of state violence understand their actions, and how do their perceptions inform their responses to human rights education and activism? I examine this question through twelve months of fieldwork with 33 police, military and paramilitary officers who were participating in human rights education in North India. The research is based in social constructivist scholarship on international norm diffusion. Officers express beliefs about human nature and justice that conflict with the human rights ethos and support violations such as torture. Rather than prioritize the protection from harm as the human rights movement does, officers believe that what matters is harm to whom and for what reason. At the same time, officers admit that they use torture more widely than their own conceptions of justice would allow. But because they believe that torture is sometimes right, they see this as an imperfect implementation of their principles rather than as a violation of them. This does not mean, however, that they reject human rights education. Instead, they interpret human rights in ways that support their actions, using the language and logic of rights to defend violations. This reveals how state actors can accept norms without changing their beliefs or behavior. Finally, these findings do not suggest a tension between “local” beliefs and “international” norms. The course in which officers are enrolled emphasizes the connection between human rights principles and many Indian religious, cultural, and national traditions. Officers acknowledge these connections. But they prioritize competing conceptions of justice, which are also “local,” and their perception of what is required in their work as law enforcers. This indicates the importance not of “local” beliefs in general, but of the specific roles people play within a society and their perceptions of what these roles require. Furthermore, officers draw from competing international norms to justify their actions. They reference norms of state security and the actions of countries such as the United States to defend torture and other violations, further complicating any presumed dichotomy between “local” and “international” norms. I close with the implications of the findings for human rights education and activism.

Undergraduate perspectives on civic engagement and service-learning: A Q methodology project
Daniel J. Marangoni, Rogers State University; Kristen L. Marangoni, Tulsa Community College

Civic engagement is often operationalized as service-learning, a pedagogy that connects community service with course objectives. This study uses Q methodology to explore perceptions that undergraduates have of this concept. Although students can autonomously choose service-learning classes over non, they do so for different reasons. A first Q sort found that students are generally motivated in decision making by one of three categories: external standards, internal standards, and connection to people. A second Q sort looked at how service-learning projects can be designed to meet student’s goals in service-learning, moral decision making, and community impact.

J3.1 Higher education, professional development and arts education
Larsen G01

Chair: Andrew Garrod, Dartmouth College

Mirando Mirándote Mirar: A journey of inquiry into the cultivation of citizenship skills through arts education
Catalina Ospina, Universidad de los Andes

The Arts deal with a universe that transcends social conventions, where the beautiful and the bizarre can coexist as equals without being judged (Acaso, 2009); for this reason it provides a perfect field to observe, analyse and cultivate citizenship skills. Bearing this in mind, my students and I engaged into a journey of inquiry in the form of an action research project, to investigate how to develop empathy and perspective-taking skills, dispositions and sensibilities through the Arts (Eisner, 2002), by the elaboration of a common language and the appreciation and creation of artistic products inspired in the community’s needs.

Theater: A catalyst for personal development and civic engagement
Andrew Garrod, Dartmouth College; Andrew Nalani, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Youth in the Marshall Islands face extraordinary challenges: the tragic inheritance of nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s, rising sea levels, which makes these islands today the most vulnerable in the world for inundation, and finally an inadequate education system. In the face of these challenges, youth tend to be unassertive, lacking confidence in voice and in defining their role in society. This paper explores the role that bilingual productions of Shakespeare and Broadway musicals can play in enhancing self-confidence, powers of reflection, academic aspirations and an expanded view of the role that individuals can play in society.

Theatre curriculum: A vehicle for promoting students’ social, emotional, and moral development
Julie A. Sauve, University of British Columbia

Drama can be a powerful tool for teaching various moral principles including social responsibility, empathy, and collaboration. To support this claim, I review the extant literature on the relationship between involvement in theatre and social and emotional learning (SEL) and/or moral education, and provide qualitative data garnered from student interviews to make a case for the ways in which theatre education can foster students’ positive development. Furthermore, a comparison is made between adopted SEL and National Theatre standards. Through this comparison we see that theatre curriculum is aligned with, and supports the SEL and moral development of students.

Visual art, vulnerability, and the unimpregnable citizen
Audrey Thompson, University of Utah

Vulnerability is assumed to be undesirable. At least in public or semi-public discourses of democracy and ethics, it is the opposite of freedom. To be vulnerable is to be ineligible to participate on equal terms with others. Yet framing vulnerability strictly as a negative relation ignores its educational and moral richness. This presentation uses Lugones’s discussion of world-travelling and Welch’s feminist ethic of risk to consider how progressive pedagogy might look to vulnerability to reimagine democratic relations. Using the visual arts as a mode of vulnerable inquiry, the presentation highlights partialness, uncertainty, curiosity, and playfulness as values in cross-difference inquiry.

K3.1 Social media, activism and marginality
Larsen 106

Chair: Xiaochun Pan, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Political friendship in a digital age: Some updated principles
Danielle Allen, Harvard University; Chaebong Nam, Harvard University

Our inquiry involves new moral-ethical challenges that young civic actors encounter as they engage in a digitally-mediated political sphere. Using an egalitarian participatory politics lens, we discuss ways in which educators can help young people address such challenges and engender successful––effective, equitable, and self-protective––civic agency. This inquiry explores how the ideal of political friendship, articulated by Danielle Allen in Talking to Strangers, can operate effectively in a digital political environment. We introduce the Youth and Participatory Politics Action Framework as a set of specific principles to design successful participation step-by-step.

Can educators use Twitter to promote an e-civic engagement habit?
Tara M. Lennon, Arizona State University; Gina S. Woodall, Arizona State University

“How can educators harness social media to promote civic engagement? Over three semesters, we conducted a non-equivalent control group design experiment in which one class was required to tweet weekly about course topics, and the other class was not. We found that students who are required to tweet during class use Twitter more politically, specifically by “Encouraging political action” and “Following political candidates/officials.” These and other online behaviors point to the potential to hone students’ online habits and encourage their political participation. We hope to contribute to the emerging research on whether educators can promote e-civic engagement through social media.”

New media, new engagement
Xiaochun Pan, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Echoing the popularity of interest in digital media use and civic engagement, we seek to better understand and measure the expanding notion of civic engagement. Through literature review, we find the notion of civic engagement has been expanded from traditional actions linked to political and social dimensions to community involvement, and lately to digital and networked forms of civic engagement. Secondary data of young people’s media use (N=408) from the Taiwan Communication Survey (TCS, 2014) has been analyzed, and reveals the expanding digital and networked form of civic engagement can be generalized to young people in Taiwan to some extent.

Rethinking the sentimental citizen: Civic and political engagement
Diego Caguenas, Universidad Icesi

What are the most common emotions among citizens of democracies? What role do communication technologies play in the creation and dissemination of said emotions? This paper addresses these questions through quantitative and ethnographic research among university students in Cali, Colombia. We show that students entertain a deep engagement in civic dilemmas through their impassioned virtual lives, thus we argue that a robust theory of political emotions is necessary for a better understanding of civic and political engagement in the digital age and for the creation of more conducive pedagogies that foster and enable the exercise of reasoned and impassioned citizenship.

L3.1 Social, emotional and moral development
Gutman Conference Center Area 3

Chair: Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame

Emergence of self: Fetal vestibular contributions
Azucena Verdin, University of North Texas

A culture of caring must foster empathic responses by educators toward children’s antisocial behaviors whose earliest developmental trajectory is not well understood. Research links self-concept emergence to verbal language development occurring in the second year of life, although newborns can process self/non-self information using visual, auditory, touch, and vestibular cues. Vestibular processing facilitates mental imagery of self-location, a mechanism requisite to autobiographical memory and coherent self. Fetal vestibular origins of autobiographical memory and self have been understudied, and the present project considers the variability of prenatal experiences from which gravity, self-produced movements, and maternal movements contribute to fetal self-other distinction.

Happy unhelpful helpers: What early helping says about later moral development
Stuart I. Hammond, University of Ottawa

Recent research has demonstrated that young children help early in the lifespan (e.g., Svetlova, Nichols, & Brownell, 2010). However, this research on toddlers is primarily structured and conceptualized in terms of adult morality, namely looking at whether and how children help someone who is incapacitated in some way (e.g., sad; needy; incapable of completing a task). After presenting a series of research findings on some of the lesser known and neglected features of children’s early helping, this paper asks the inverse question – what can the developmental structure of early helping tell us about later moral development?

Relation of early nest experience to moral development in young children
Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame; Ying (Alison) Cheng, University of Notre Dame; Ryan Woodbury, University of Notre Dame; Tracy Gleason, Wellesley College

Like other animals, humans evolved a nest for their young, the Evolved Developmental Niche (EDN). The EDN includes positive touch, responsiveness, play, and social togetherness. Studies of the human EDN have demonstrated correlations between degree of EDN consistency in childhood and positive outcomes (sociomoral development) and avoidance of negative outcomes (ill-being and misbehavior). We examined the usefulness of a brief measure of a child’s recent experience of the EDN (past week) in two samples (USA n=574; China n=379). We found scores related to sociomoral development and wellbeing, with male outcomes more pronounced. We contrast samples’ correlations and regression models.