A3.2 Pedagogy, values and goals
Chair: Sigal Ben-Porath, University of Pennsylvania
Caring for others: Developing trust and moral values during adolescence
Daniel T. Gruner, Claremont Graduate University
In this talk, I explore whether having established trust during adolescence is associated with the personification of moral values among a group of adolescents surveyed at one high school in the United States. Presenting quantitative results of validated measures, I discuss implications of the important link between trust and moral concern. I argue that if education systems prioritize academic competitiveness, they should also provide opportunities to promote caring for others vis-à-vis community involvement and civic engagement. By balancing academic excellence with integrity and civic duty, schools can inculcate moral values among their students, which ultimately benefit individuals and communities alike.
Participating with others: Education for citizenship in the Digital Age
Gideon Dishon, University of Pennsylvania; Sigal Ben-Porath, University of Pennsylvania
The rise of digitally-mediated participant-based modes of interaction informs new visions in education policy, research and practice. These call for cultivating a more diverse skill set which goes beyond basic academic achievement. Our goal in this paper is twofold: (1) to delineate the publicly-minded focus of education for citizenship as a key issue to attend to within the non-academic domain (e.g., 21st century skills, non-cognitive traits); and (2) to outline some of the participatory civics implications of this focus, including intentional school-wide practices and module-sized curricular interventions as effective responses to civics in the digital age.
Professional sovereignty and teachers advocacy of human flourishing
Nimrod M. Aloni, Kibbutzim College of Education
In light of the manifold forms of dehumanization that are maiming the development and flourishing of the young, I argue that education is in need of new professional Sovereignty. This requires a shift in the self-image of teachers, from conformist agents of socialization into practitioners with a greater sense of professional sovereignty – becoming active advocates of human flourishing, social justice and democratic citizenship. On the basis of Kant’s humanist conception of the mission of education, I will introduce a formula that gives priority to the universal educational ideals of humanism and democracy over particular ethnic, cultural, economic, or political agenda.
B3.2 Development of values and purpose
Symposium: From political correctness towards a global ethos
Chair: Thalia Magioglou, Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Centre Edgar Morin/IIAC, EHESS
The symposium proposed is based on the Special Issue of the journal Philosophies which is launched providing a world perspective on philosophy. At a time of increasing globalization, interconnectedness and communication are intensifying. It is interesting to inquire according to which ethos, if any. The idea of this symposium is to focus on the notion of Political Correctness and how this could evolve towards a Global Ethos.
Towards a new global ethos post crisis? Stability and change of the global symbolic order
Frederic Lebaron, Ecole Normale Supérieur
The question I pose in this work is the classical sociological question of the stability and change of the symbolic order in a crisis: a rather broad question, but probably not broader than the issues of the transformation of financial capitalism or the relationship between states and markets which are usual for the social scientists working on crisis. Are we entering a new period and how can we characterize it?
The challenge of political correctness
Jean-Yves Beziau, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
The expression political correctness reflects a process wherein moral and religious values increasingly share the stage with, and often defer to, more general principles and strictures governing social conduct. Remembering the origin of the word politics, it is natural to consider as political, questions about what we shall do or not. But what is called Political correctness is presently culturally embedded in the context of the political debates of Western societies. It stigmatizes some values and promotes norms from the point of view of these societies. We will discuss how PC can evolve in a more open and inclusive way.
To live or to survive? Democracy, economy and religion as antagonistic and complementary representations of common good for global youth
Thalia Magioglou, Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Centre Edgar Morin/IIAC, EHESS
Democracy, Economy and Religion are presented as shared theories of lay thinking about the way a society ought to be run and organized, in other words, the idea of common good. They are understood as inherently dialogical, allowing contradictory meanings to emerge. The presentation is based on different studies with Young Adults. Economic crisis and the lack of future as well as the refugee question set the stage for these questions, inviting different identities and possible forms of action.
C3.2 Character education and civic competences
Askwith Lecture Hall
Chair: Rachel E. Mann, Teachers College, Columbia University
Embodied values: Integrating Jewish values into the general studies curriculum
Rachel E. Mann, Teachers College, Columbia University
The project seeks to develop a curricular design that weaves together the subject of English Language Arts with moral educational values in Judaism. The goal is to identify and outline the standards of the English curriculum so that the themes conveyed in the literature read, align with the values expressed in sacred Jewish texts. In this way, Jewish values are authentically integrated into the learning of students in a Jewish day school setting. Through the analysis of Jewish texts, core values are identified for students to examine and connect to in their everyday experiences.
Islamic schooling and civic engagement: Practice and potential
Abiya Ahmed, Stanford University
This paper explores the present and potential role of American Islamic schools in educating students for civic engagement. It theoretically examines the philosophy of Islamic pedagogy, the historical and current reality of Islamic schools, and future prospects in Islamic schooling. It argues that Islamic education is inherently about educating for moral purpose and citizenship, and thus calls for a “cultural revolution” in Islamic education, based on pedagogical principles rooted in Islamic philosophy. As products of such a revolution, Islamic schools have potential as agents of civic engagement and can help reverse the trend of declining civic participation among American youth.
Worldviews and identity discernment of Turkish youth: How active young citizens shape the community and its future
Mustafa Cabir Altintas, Institute of Education, University College London
Alongside the increasing religious and cultural diversity is a growth in ‘secularism’, which creates challenges for social cohesion, policy and education in Turkey today. These new challenges force Turkish young people to find their place in a complex world and to seek satisfying ways of gaining a sense of meaning and belonging. Many young people search for individual meaning in dealing with the uncertainties of the world; they are relatively open to the spiritual dimension; questioning and exploring faith from a range of religious traditions and spiritual practices according to their own eclectic tastes and needs.
D3.2 Narrative, story and history
Symposium: Faces of moral exemplarity: Celebrities, ordinary folk, and personal heroes
Chair: Rebecca J. Glover, University of North Texas
In response to Walker and Frimer’s (2015) call to examine developmental trajectories of moral motivation, this symposium first examines the need for moral heroes among emerging adults as well as issues related to identifying who they cite as filling that role. Another paper then examines roots of moral motivation in “ordinary folk” commended at early ages for extraordinary accomplishments and who they note (d) as moral heroes across their life narratives. Finally, the importance of morally admirable but fictional characters (and/or the lives of those who portray them) are explored, particularly as it relates to the development of moral motivation.
Moral heroes for the 21st Century: The Millennial exemplar gap
Elizabeth C. Vozzola, University of Saint Joseph
This presentation reports on an exploratory study that asked whether emerging adults identified moral exemplars meeting the criteria used in moral development research, and whether there was any consensus regarding the individuals they selected. Given the importance of media in the lives of emerging adults, we queried participants not only about real life moral heroes but also possible fictional ones. Results suggested that a) there was little consensus about moral heroes other than their own parents and b) that emerging adults often access schemas about care and self-sacrifice rather than the formal criteria of former research when naming moral heroes.
Developmental roots of moral exemplarity in the lives of “ordinary folk”
Rebecca J. Glover, University of North Texas; Mary E. Mitchell, University of North Texas
This paper explores developmental trajectories of agency and communion by examining the lives of what Walker and Frimer (2015) refer to as “ordinary folk” by examining life narratives of individuals commended during childhood as heroes by the Giraffe Heroes Project (GHP) (http://giraffeheroes.org). Interviews of these now young adults will provide better understanding of the developmental processes of moral exemplarity in individuals who demonstrated moral commitment at an early age as we examine common themes related to the development of moral motivation across their young lives (e.g., personality and character variables, family environments, educational experiences, personal moral heroes, etc.).
Merging the perception of fictional moral heroes and real people portraying them: The convergence of Hermione Granger and Emma Watson
Lance C. Garmon, Salisbury University; Jenifer Shultz, Northern Virginia Community College
This presentation will explore whether individuals distinguish between the morality of a fictional character and the celebrity portraying that character. The Harry Potter franchise introduced the fictional character of Hermione in the books and the actress Emma Watson through her portrayal of Hermione in the films. Previous research (Whitney, Vozzola, & Hoffman, 2005) found students at various ages rate Hermione extremely high on positive moral traits. Miss Watson may also have come to be identified as admirable, particularly in her role as the United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador advocating for global gender equality as part of the HeForShe campaign.
E3.2 Theory and critique
Chair: Tobias Krettenauer, Wilfrid Laurier University
Civilization and Its malcontents: Nature, culture and moral education
Robert A. Davis, University of Glasgow
This paper critically examines some recent trends in the relationship of moral education to frontier developments in the evolutionary and cognitive sciences and the findings of palaeoanthropology. It is particularly concerned with the account of human civilization and human progress embedded in some of the anthropological claims associated with the concept of the human evolved developmental niche (EDN). While recognising the legitimate challenges the EDN poses to modernity and its deep-seated educational, ecological and moral problems, the paper questions its attendant pejorative account of human progress and looks for an alternative humanist accommodation on which moral education can proceed
Epiphanic moral conversions: Going beyond Kohlberg and Aristotle
Kristján Kristjánsson, University of Birmingham
Aristotle’s and Kohlberg’s theories of moral development are often presented as proverbial anti-theses. Yet both suffer from a similar difficulty in accounting for epiphanic moral conversions, that is, what happens when amoral/immoral people undergo sudden conversions towards morality, for example in the wake of radical ‘Damascus events’. I try to ameliorate these shortcomings by adding a dimension of human nature to Aristotle’s theory that he overlooked: of a universal emotional (awe-inspired) attraction to transpersonal ideals. I hypothesise that this dimension may hold the key to explaining epiphanic moral conversions. Finally, I elicit some educational implications of the proposed account.
Identity-based moral motivation: A Case for hypocrisy, integrity, or both?
Tobias Krettenauer, Wilfrid Laurier University
How come that the moral identity construct has been heralded as one of the most important sources of moral motivation in some fields of psychology and blamed as one of the greatest obstructions to moral action in other areas? In an attempt to address this question I will point out important conceptual distinctions with regard to identity-based moral motivation that have been largely overlooked by previous research. These conceptual distinctions deepen our understanding of identity-based moral motivation and make it possible to integrate a range of discrepant findings into a common framework.
Navigating incommensurate moral values using the ideas of Isaiah Berlin
Kurtis G. Leinweber, University of Calgary
Contemporary character education frequently emphasizes various universal virtues. This paper argues that even if such universal virtues exist, they are still problematic. Honestly, compassion, freedom and equality are often accepted as universal goods, yet come into conflict. “Should I tell the truth if it will hurt somebody’s feelings?” or “should we use taxes to support universal access to health care?” are both questions that highlight what Isaiah Berlin referred to as the incommensurate nature of human values. Understanding and applying Berlin’s key ideas of value pluralism, positive, and negative liberty can help students navigate many ethical dilemmas they will face.
F3.2 China: civic and moral education
Symposium: China’s changing culture: “Good person?” “Good citizen?”
Chair: Xu Zhao, University of Calgary
Three papers explore young people’s, and teachers’ conceptions of a ‘good person’, and a ‘good citizen’ and cultural beliefs about moral and civic life. The research was conducted with 8th and 11th grade students and their teachers in Shanghai and Nantong. Maintaining social harmony both among peers and in the wider community, maintaining social order, and pursuing virtues, self-improvement and self-discipline emerge as core discourses.
Self-discipline and social order: Chinese youth’s moral perspective about civic responsibilities
Xu Zhao, University of Calgary; Robert L. Selman, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Helen Haste, Harvard Graduate School of Education
In this paper, we present an analysis of the ethics of self-discipline and social order, two key concepts that we have identified from a multi-method study (interview and focus group) with school-aged Chinese youth. We introduce how the participants (N=128; 8th and 11th grades) use these two concepts to explain the responsibility of the individual when facing social justice issues ranging from teasing behaviors in school to broader societal issues such as environmental pollution, social inequality, and citizens’ rights to voice opinion. We discuss in what ways these concepts reflect culturally specific civic values and in what ways they reflect universal human concerns.
The “Good Citizen” and the “Good Person”: Young people’s concepts
Helen Haste, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Xin Xiang, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Ashley Lee, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Zhi Liu, Northeast Normal University; Megan Cotnam-Kappel, University of Ottawa; Siwen Zhang, Harvard Graduate School of Education
The definitions of ‘good person’ and ‘good citizen’ given by Shanghai and Nantong young people reflect concepts or discourses about personhood, about relations between persons, and between the person and the state. We identify three broad categories of discourse; a focus on personhood, expressing or aspiring to desirable personal qualities, a focus on appropriate interpersonal behaviors and sustaining interpersonal relations, and a focus on the public domain and maintaining social order or improving the social system. Within these, we also see a distinction between more concrete or individual-focused concepts, and more abstract or systemic-focused concepts.
Chinese teachers’ beliefs of good personhood and citizenship
Siwen Zhang, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Across time, space, and culture, every nation has its own constitutions and institutions of citizenship, as well its own civic and moral values. Such cultural forces are constantly at play to help young people make sense of their worlds. In the context of a rapidly transitioning China, teachers are the non-familial adults invested with educational authority and oversight of young people, and serve as important agents in the civic and moral development of their students. It is therefore important to examine how local contexts contribute to and shape teachers’ understanding of what makes a good citizen and what makes a good person, and how such understanding contributes to their students’ civic understanding. This paper therefore reports a thematic summary of fifteen 8th and 11th grade Chinese teachers’ perspectives about good personhood and good citizenship.
G3.2 Culture and context
Chair: Kaye Cook, Gordon College
[Canceled] Cultural differences and children’s moral evaluations of modesty lies
Atiyeh S. Shohoudi Mojdehi, McGill University; Victoria Talwar, McGill University
Contrary to the notion of truth, the concept of lying is not a universal one; different cultures may categorize untruthful statements differently depending on specific social contexts. The advance in the understanding of the moral judgment has not been accompanied by sociocultural variables. With the notable exception of China, no other collectivist cultures have been studied in the context of moral judgment. This proposed study is intended to fill this current gap in the literature on moral evaluations of lie- and truth-telling and the impact of culture on children’s moral evaluations of lie- and truth-telling.
Making mistakes — Theoretical reflections on U.S. and Japanese norms
Helena S. Meyer-Knapp, Evergreen State College
Mistakes are inherent in learning. Americans often allow “second chances.” Japan, generally speaking demands excellence first time around. US schools tend to try to assign responsibility for problems to particular individuals. Japanese schools tend to focus on collective or group issues, with an orientation to preventing future harm rather than punishing past wrongs. This presentation will center on the norms embedded selected terms from both cultures, including accountability, resilience, and saying “sorry,” USA; hansei (self-reflection) happo-Bijin (keeping your slate clean) and tayoka (harmony) Japan. Civic engagement in hard times depends on skillful, locally appropriate handling of mistakes.
Morality, education and the question of “others” in modern Taiwan
Meiyao Wu, National Kaohsiung Normal University
This paper examines key historical transformations undergone by moral and educational thought in modern China and Taiwan, particularly regarding the prescribing of ethical standards for judging Others’ behavior and thinking. It sees the rifts on the island between mainland Chinese and Taiwanese, and between Chinese/Taiwanese and indigenous people, in the context of (lack of) openness to the Other. The recent greater inclusion of indigenous issues in Taiwan’s secondary school curricula will be taken as an important example of such openness. The materials to be analyzed include traditional works on ethics, and historical materials from modern China (1839-1948) and Taiwan (1896-present).
Morality in modernizing cultures: Brazilian and Chinese values and concerns
Kaye Cook, Gordon College; Si-Hua Chang, Gordon College; Taylor-Marie Funchion, Gordon College
Modernizing cultures undergo rapid transformation in values, which we studied from Peter Berger’s social constructionist perspective. Values have classically indicated the “stranger’s address”, but belief systems are in flux in modernizing cultures. We first measured the values of Brazilian and Chinese religious immigrants in the US, using a unique methodology, demonstrating significant range in values but culturally identifiable moral ethics and agency. Pluralism was also common in in-country interviews, and sometimes resulted in “contamination” or undermining current values or, alternatively and more positively, in value growth and transformation, suggesting change in the nature of moral systems with modernity.
H3.2 Media and curricula workshop
Educating and inspiring citizens to fight local government corruption
Carla Miller, City Ethics; Kirby Oberdorfer, Ethics Deputy Director, Jacksonville, Florida
A quiet revolution is brewing in cities across the United States. As government corruption continues to increase and people become more aware of how this impacts delivery of community services, citizens are organizing to fight these abuses of power. This presentation will examine three successful local citizen efforts to combat this corruption by implementing ethics reforms. There will also be a review of how the citizens were educated and inspired to take action and how research, especially that of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, can impact the evolution of these reforms.
I3.2 Programs, interventions and evaluations
Chair: Michael J. Haslip, Drexel University
Assessing deliberative spaces for engagement across difference
Leah Sprain, University of Colorado Boulder; Andrew Maul, University of California Santa Barbara; Roudy Hildreth & Karen Ramirez, University of Colorado Boulder
Democracy requires citizens who can discuss political issues across partisan divides and social identity differences. Engagement across difference is an essential feature of deliberative democracy yet we lack reliable measures for understanding its constitutive features. This paper argues high quality deliberative engagement across difference is grounded in reflective disagreement, openness to perspectives, openness to process, absence of coercive power, respect, and learning. Using the framework of the BEAR Assessment System, we present two measurement tools—an observation protocol and participant survey—that can be used by democratic engagement programs, researchers, and high school and college instructors to assess these constructs.
Child altruism and global sustainability in symbiosis: An education framework
Michael J. Haslip, Drexel University; Meishi Haslip; Ayana Allen, Drexel University
Developing children’s altruism, while preparing each generation to take careers aligned with global sustainability, is an urgent social need and a critical challenge for civic education. We showcase education where children in community practice solving social and environmental problems framed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We suggest that education for a life of service begins by helping children understand a moral purpose for Heart, Head & Hands: to love, to learn, to help. We propose altruism for global sustainability as the primary goal for both curriculum development and educational systems, with implementation through inquiry and project-based pedagogies.
Cultivating a mindset of civic engagement among early adolescents
Brandy P. Quinn, Texas Christian University; Michelle Bauml, Texas Christian University
This mixed methods study explores early stages of civic engagement among early adolescents by examining what they think about as a result of participating in various civic learning activities during summer civics camps. The researchers also examine differential thinking among youth at different levels of civic development. Implications for educators, researchers, and others interested in fostering civic development will be shared.
Developing civic engagement through institutional participatory projects
Ingrid Agud, GREM. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Ana M. Novella, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
The paper focuses on children participation in decision-making processes as a means to experience citizenship values and to elevate their civic engagement. We frame our research in institutionalized environments such as the school, after-school institutions and the city, where children’s participation is not free of criticism concerning the conditions in which children’s involvement is unfolded. Following, we address in this paper ways to build collaboratively a participatory plan within the institution, engaging the whole educational community. To conclude we discuss the educational outcomes regarding civic engagement of children participation in decision-making processes.
J3.2 Higher education, professional development and arts education
Gutman Conference Center Area 1
Chair: Jay W. Brandenberger, University of Notre Dame
Moral and civic responsibility in college: Results of a multi-campus study
Jay W. Brandenberger, University of Notre Dame; Tara D. Hudson, University of Notre Dame; Suzanne Shanahan, Duke University; Robert Thompson, Duke University; Aine Donavan, Dartmouth College
The college years can be critical for the development of ethical sensibilities, and educating students for democratic citizenship in a pluralistic society is a core liberal education goal. What practices in higher education foster moral and civic responsibility? How can we assess ethical growth across the academy? What can be learned from the intersecting fields of ethics and civic/community engagement? Researchers from three universities will address such questions and share findings from a comprehensive study, supported by the Teagle Foundation, of over 1000 students. We will share research instruments/resources, and examine potentials for future funding and collaboration.
The invisible thread: The influence of liberal faculty on student political views at evangelical colleges
Emily Hunt, Baylor University; Phil Davignon, Union University
This analysis examines the influences of family background and faculty political views on student political views at Evangelical colleges. While the college-effects literature confirms that student interaction with faculty, peers, and the institution challenges pre-existing perspectives, American evangelical colleges tend to be more conservative and reinforce rather than challenge mainstream evangelical beliefs. Results suggest that Evangelical colleges and universities with a greater percentage of liberal faculty influence students to become more liberal, even when accounting for a more conservative upbringing. The net result of a more liberal “invisible thread” is a challenge to the right-leaning partisanship of American Evangelicalism.
K3.2 Social media, activism and marginality
Chair: Jacqueline Z. Scherr, Harvard University
An exploration of student perceptions towards iPads in school contexts
Jacqueline Z. Scherr, Harvard University
This study examined students’ perceptions and reasoning about the use of iPads in school settings. A thematic approach was used to code a sample of 161 4th-8th grade student responses to a persuasive writing prompt. Preliminary findings suggest the role media literacy may play in student attitudes towards iPads in schools, particularly whether or not they view the potential drawbacks of iPads as fixable or not. Two schools were further coded and analyzed. The essay responses give insight into the technological climate of the classrooms.
Educating high need students for engagement in the Digital Age
Diana M. Owen, Georgetown University
Civic education of low income, minority, ESL, and special needs students often is shortchanged, contributing to a “civic empowerment gap” that is widening in the digital era. This study examines the effectiveness of teacher professional development and the resulting civics instruction in imparting civic skills and dispositions to high need students. It addressed the questions: How are teachers of high need students integrating digital citizenship skills into the curriculum? What challenges do teachers face when educating high need students for digital citizenship? How competent do high need students feel to engage in politics as a result of their civics training?
Teachers on Twitter: Distinctive moral voices in the civic sphere
Doris A. Santoro, Bowdoin College; Jessica L. Hochman, Pratt Institute; Stephen Houser, Bowdoin College; Clare Bates Congdon, Bowdoin College
Teachers in the United States experience a morally-constrained work environment where narrow and externally-imposed designations of good teaching can mute the moral voices of practitioners. Even though the moral voices of teachers are constrained, educators use social media as a form of civic participation. Our findings suggest that 1) Twitter provides teachers with a platform to articulate moral concerns about their work to a public audience and 2) teachers may form distinct moral communities, at least on Twitter. This interdisciplinary study combines philosophy of education, computer science and information science to examine teachers’ moral claims on Twitter.
L3.2 Social, emotional and moral development
Gutman Conference Center Area 3
Symposium: Visions of moral maturity, wisdom, and virtue
Chair: Stephen A. Sherblom, Lindenwood University
Visions of moral maturity and ethical wisdom are often clouded in mystery and spoken of in reverent but vague terms. Each of these 3 presentations will clarify issues related to mature ethical functioning and its relation to concepts of wisdom. The first presentation explores multiple perspectives on how to describe moral maturity in psychological terms. The second presentation queries the influences that wisdom should have on ethics from a philosophic perspective. The third presentation reports empirical data on the relationship of a survey measure of wisdom to measures that assess other aspects of moral maturity, including empathy, gratitude, and prosocialness.
Visions of moral maturity: Alternative paths up the same mountain?
Stephen A. Sherblom, Lindenwood University
The concept of moral maturity is intuitively appealing, though a detailed characterization of moral maturity and morally mature persons has not been worked out. There is reason to believe that a morally mature psycho-philosophical position is achieved not simply by possessing or exhibiting more of what passed for moral insight and ability at less mature positions, but requires the creation of something new. A brief review of conceptions of moral maturity give a number of interesting snapshots of qualities associated with moral maturity.
Moral development unto wisdom
Bill Puka, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Ethics as a field of contemplation, began as a wisdom study. Wisdom is easily defined and identifiable. But the influences it should work on ethics have rarely been worked out, in part because wisdom is too often expressed in exaggerated epigrams and insights. I analyze a variety of major differences wisdom adds as an ingredient, to developmentally extrapolated cognitive ethics. I also suggest how to distinguish genuine from a kind of “false” wisdom in feminist advances on standard ethics.
The relationship of wisdom to social contribution and virtue in older American adults
Anne Colby, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Kathleen Remington, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Matthew J. Bundick, Duquesne University
This paper reports the results of a new study of a diverse national sample of Americans between the ages of 50 and 90. The study, called Purpose in Later Life, includes a survey of 1200 respondents and in-depth interviews with a subset of 100. Designed as a study of purpose and social contribution in later life, the survey includes a well-validated measure of wisdom, along with scales that assess other positive attributes that represent varied aspects of maturity and positive adaptation such as gratitude and empathy.