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Importance of Moral Education Essay

November 28, 2020 by Son of Ghouse Leave a Comment

In the modern era, when people around the world are civilized, we have an unprecedented boom in technology and science. Consequently, the quality and standard of life of the average person are at an all-time high. Though human history is comparatively newer on this 4.35 billion years old earth, we have managed to successfully hone the forces of nature to not just survive but thrive as a species. This write-up is an essay on importance of moral education essay.

Our ancestors started as hunters and gatherers, but now we are writing complex computer programs to make artificial intelligence carry out our space explorations. When you search for the reasons behind this huge evolution of human development, you can easily conclude that the system of education has made us more capable and competent.

Education is one of the most important processes that help an individual to be enlightened about his or her existence. Education provides us with knowledge in accessible and practical ways that guide future generations. This process provides an individual with skills, habits, beliefs, and values that will help him or her attain a successful and prosperous life.

There are various systems of education in different parts of the world. But no system of education can be complete without students getting proper moral education as a part of their curriculum.

Moral education consists of a set of beliefs and guidance acquired in the philosophical journey of our society. It makes a student well mannered, courteous, vigorous, non-bullying, obedient, and diligent. It guides the behavior, attitudes, and intentions of the students towards others and nature. It helps a person throughout his or her life to decide what is right or what is wrong.

Definition Of Moral Education

moral education in schools essay

Some educational theories suggest that new avenues of the future can only open when the previous generation makes a path for it by staying out of the way. Though adults can take their moral understanding further with their ability of critical thinking that they acquire from systematic education, children require more careful attention as they are easily impressed and influenced. That is why the guidance of past generations and traditions remain very important in the form of moral education.

Moral education is very ambiguous as a term as different cultures, based on where they live and how they live, have a different set of moral values. But one thing that can be agreed upon universally is that moral education intends to shape the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in young minds.

By the term ‘good’, you can assimilate deeds like contributing towards a healthy society, not harming a fellow member of the society, helping others, being civic, and being productive. The term ‘bad’ however refers to any thought or force that opposes the good deeds.

Although the modern education system is very new and still developing, the branch of moral education has been taught to pupils since ancient times. Earlier, the duty of imparting moral lessons used to be carried out by the religious leaders and educators who specialized in uplifting the moral value of the society by both adhering to and reforming the old traditions. In the modern age, especially after the colonization of several parts of the world, moral education has been reinforced by the new age educationists.

In the contemporary world moral education has become more universal in approach. More and more humanitarian aspects like human rights, rights for specially-abled people, women’s rights, animal rights, and rights of other marginalized sections of the society have been included.

This progressive approach towards moral education results in a more harmonious society where students become more inclusive and compassionate towards each other along with being successful individually.

Also Read: Essay on Aatma nirbhar Bharat in English

Essay On Importance Of Moral Education In 150 Words

The purpose of an individual’s education is their all-round development, and not just securing high paying jobs, no matter how much the rat-races of the world may have convinced us otherwise.

The education of an individual can never be complete unless they have learned the lessons of tolerance, compassion, pluralistic values, respect, faith, honesty, and many other great virtues that are essential for an upright social life.

These lessons are acquired from the moral education that kids are imparted through stories, skits, interactions, dialogues,  and discourses, and are expected to come from the elder members of the society.

Moral lessons teach young children about ideas that take them towards the ‘good’ life and help them identify the ‘bad’. A life that is not guided by these lessons can easily go astray, and an individual leading such a life, instead of being useful and productive, turns out to be harmful to society.

Essay On Importance Of Moral Education In 250 Words

For a young student moral lessons are just as important as technical and scientific ones as these help in shaping their entire personality. The word moral comes from the Latin root ‘moris’ which means the code of conduct of a people, and the social adhesive that holds a community together.

Moral lessons teach students the importance of positive virtues like honesty, responsibility, mutual respect, helpfulness, kindness, and generosity, without which no society can ever function. At a personal level, this knowledge is essential for a healthy and meaningful life.

These lessons are also aimed at conveying the vital message that negative qualities like greed, vengeance, hatred, and violence can hinder the functioning of a productive society and can cause immense personal damage to the individual.

Since young minds are easily impressionable and assimilate both positive and negative influences easily, moral lessons are vital in helping them make righteous choices as adults. Moral education makes sure that children grow up to develop a virtuous character and lead a decent life.

History bears witness, whenever a society has deterred from the path of these moral values, calamities have befallen humankind. Had Adolf Hilter been taught the right lessons in tolerance and diversity, the world would have been spared the horrors of the Holocaust and a World War.

A proper system of moral education becomes instrumental in shaping the present and the future of a harmonious society. For the betterment of individuals and the community they live in, imparting the right values to children as students are therefore essential.

Essay On Importance Of Moral Education For Class 7&8

Moral education as a process of learning enables a child to acquire socially acceptable skills that make them a useful resource for society. In the present times, moral education is a necessity, keeping the changing systems of the world in mind.

Moral education should not begin in the confines of a classroom but should start in the comfort and security of a home. Parents should be the first idols of children from whom they learn the basics of moral conduct.

Imparting moral lessons to young kids who have just begun developing their thoughts and are yet to attain individuality is a task of great responsibility. They can only be shaped into righteous human beings if proper care and due guidance are provided.

It is to be remembered, in this relation, that kids learn more from observation and modeling than from lectures and discourses. The kind of environment they develop in and the kind of individuals they find as models play a vital role in shaping them as individuals.

It is, therefore, of utmost importance to make sure that children always find a healthy atmosphere of productivity and righteousness around them, with healthy, meaningful relationships with their parents and other elders.

However, when we allow kids to grow in an atmosphere of immoral conduct, we should only expect them to lead lives bereft of all morality. In such cases, the consequences can be dangerous.

A community whose children, the symbols of its future, develop without proper moral education is doomed to be submerged in the darkness of crimes, immorality, violence, hatred, discrimination, selfishness, and greed.

The benefits of moral education are numerous. Apart from teaching children socially useful values to guide their everyday life, an efficient system of moral education imparts lessons of cooperation. As a value, cooperation is not just vital to an individual’s everyday life, but also for the survival of human society.

There can be no future for human civilization if this value is left out of children’s education as we, as a society, need each other to survive. Morals of respect, love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and honesty help in imbibing this essential value among kids early on in life.

Moral education also helps in teaching children values of responsibility and independence which is otherwise difficult to make them learn. An effective curriculum of moral education would help children build a positive approach to difficult situations, and make them self confident. It helps children in realizing their purpose in life, their motivations, and goals, and make them dedicated to the cause of social well being.

Moral education is the only hope of humanity in the process of eradicating social evils like gender discrimination, animal abuse, oppression, violence, racial discrimination, and violence against minorities.

In order to create a better tomorrow and ascertain the continuation of human civilization, imparting moral education to children is a must. As an integral part of education as a whole, moral lessons should be focussed on, making sure that children receive an all-round education that enhances their personality.

Relevance Of Moral Education During The Present times

The present world is ever-changing. With the advent of technology and globalization, changes in family structure, the evolution of the education systems, changes in patterns of recreation, emergence of the ‘virtual’ world, and variations in the interpersonal relationships, children’s lives, thought patterns, and learning needs have undergone tremendous changes. Under these circumstances, the need and relevance of moral education have also changed.

With the virtual world casting a lasting impression on children, they have now become a lot more vulnerable to negative influences. Misuse of technology nowadays leads many young children and teenagers astray.

The damage caused in many cases is beyond repair. The distortions in the nature of human relationships and their consequences are having lasting impacts on young minds.

Under these changed circumstances, moral education has to assume a changed, and probably more important role. Due to the changes in most major spheres of life, moral values have also suffered major distortions.

Greed, violence, discrimination, and jealousy are becoming common among people. With social media, hatred spreads like wildfire. Values like honesty and generosity are only found in textbooks these days and their practical implications are becoming a rare sight.

Moral education is the only way in which the situation can be expected to improve. Proper moral education in classrooms and at home can help in boosting the morale of the students. But these lessons have to be provided in a more time-adjusted way to suit the need of the hour.

Making proper use of technology, a more visual and engaging curriculum can be drafted to engage the students in a practical and life-like manner.

Including moral education in school curriculums and adding extra weightage to these lessons is, therefore, a vital step to take in this direction.

As a society, the value of moral education is immense for us. If we are to produce sensible, kind, generous, responsible, and sensitized individuals to lead the future, moral education cannot be left out. In fact, our very existence as a civilization stands on how morally righteous and upright our future generations are.

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Moral Values in Education Essay

The responsibility of educating a child falls on both the parents and the teachers. In most instances, teachers are always trying to get the parents to be part of their children’s education. On the other hand, parents tend to handle any communication from their children’s teachers delicately. For instance, notes and phone calls from teachers are a cause of serious concern for parents. Furthermore, whenever parents do not hear from teachers they often assume that all is well with their children.

Therefore, it is likely that students will be at a disadvantage because of the lack of communication between parents and teachers. Consequently, it is only natural for schools to teach moral values to students. Schools are relied upon by the community and parents to instill and reinforce moral values among students.

Teaching moral values to students eliminate the bias that is common with children from different backgrounds. Some students could be major beneficiaries of a school system that teaches moral values as they lack this foundation at home. Therefore, schools should teach moral values so as to contribute to social and educational harmony.

Schools are mostly public or private owned institutions that are expected to pass knowledge to students. Consequently, when schools are given the role of teaching moral values, this job is passed on to either the government or a few individuals. Most people feel that when schools teach moral values, the government is the organ that dictates what should be taught to students. Teaching moral values that are set up through government institutions elicits sharp emotions among various individuals.

On the other hand, most people are aware of the fact that parents teach their children moral values at a very tender age. Therefore, there is a possibility of moralities clashing when schools start introducing opposing points of view as part of the students’ curriculum.

The dominance of personal opinions among various teachers presents a challenge to the validity of teaching moral values in schools. Schools should not teach moral values because this creates several dimensions of conflict that involve teachers, students, the government, and parents.

Those people who support the argument that schools should teach morality are of the view that it is futile for students to gain all other skills in life and end up lacking in moral values. Consequently, students will go to school and learn scientific applications, events in history, how to calculate, among other skills. However, this knowledge can be highly improved by a student’s ability to express honor, kindness, empathy, and integrity towards others.

Therefore, when schools teach moral values, they create a worthwhile balance in the students’ lives. Furthermore, when too much value is attached to end results and achievements, moral transgressions are likely to occur. Teaching moral values in schools do not involve a tyrannical activity that is engineered by the government and other forces.

Moral curriculums can be developed jointly by the staff, parents, sociologists, religious leaders, and other stakeholders. Consequently, a moral curriculum does not only consist of controversial biases, as most people believe. The fears that moral education can be easily highjacked by third parties and individuals with self-interests are unfounded. For instance, in schools where moral education is instituted through a joint effort, positive results are achieved.

The relationship between moral values and the education system is far-fetched. Moral education is more aligned with culture than it is related to the education system. Furthermore, all education systems are streamlined and standardized. Moral values and systems are flexible and it is unlikely that a standard education curriculum can accommodate this flexibility. For example, accommodating moral education in the school system would mean that different students receive different types of education by their cultural backgrounds.

Those who argue in favor of moral values being taught in schools claim that students need more than formal education for them to be good citizens. However, there is evidence that indicates that the most valuable citizens are the ones who explore and question authorities with the view of understanding the basis of rules and laws.

There are concerns that most moral curriculums are only meant to suppress the curiosity of the citizenry with the aim of subjecting individuals to imperialist regimes. Moreover, political and economic factors are more likely to influence the moral behaviors of children in school systems.

The debate on whether schools should teach moral values to students stretches far and wide. One school of thought believes that it is not the school’s responsibility to teach morality to students. On the other hand, another group feels that an educational experience is not complete without moral values. There are concerns that teaching moral values in schools undermines the role of culture in students’ lives.

Furthermore, it is often argued that teaching morality would create confusion in schools because different students subscribe to different moral systems. This latter view is opposed by the argument that not all moral values are subject to controversy. Proponents of teaching moral values in schools also point out that this system has proved to be helpful in the past.

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IvyPanda. (2023, October 31). Moral Values in Education.

"Moral Values in Education." IvyPanda , 31 Oct. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Moral Values in Education'. 31 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Moral Values in Education." October 31, 2023.

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IvyPanda . "Moral Values in Education." October 31, 2023.

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Teaching Ethics in Schools: A new approach to moral education

Profile image of Philip Cam

Teaching Ethics in Schools provides a fresh approach to moral education. Rather than conveying a set of mandated values, codes of conduct, behaviour management plans or religious instruction, moral education is presented as an essential aspect of study throughout the school curriculum. Ethical concepts from the history of philosophy are introduced, which in turn link to ways of thinking about conduct and character. The book illuminates all kinds of moral dilemmas and contemporary challenges faced by teachers today. Responsibilities of parents vis a vis schools, and religious versus secular paradigms are discussed. The principles of social diversity and inclusion, and the need to find a balance between moralising and permissive social constructs are explored. Teaching Ethics in Schools shows how an ethical framework forms a natural fit with recent educational trends that emphasise collaboration and inquiry-based learning.

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Moral Education and the Schools

The influence of the conduct and example of adults on the infant mind has been much too slightly regarded, though it would seem sufficiently obvious that the habits and characters of children are formed upon the model of those to whom they look up for support and protection. If these indulge in angry passions, show a disregard to truth and sincerity, and are otherwise immoral in their conduct, can it be a matter of surprise that the children should be depraved? —Manual of the Free School Society New York City, 1820 The trustees of the Free School Society, a philanthropic organization that established tuition-free schools in the early 19th century for poor children in New York, knew perfectly well what to expect of their teachers: only to have “the most unblemished characters with regard to moral conduct,” to be truthful, sincere, frank, open, self-controlled, firm, reasonable, loving, and kind. They were responsible, after all, for nothing less than “the habits and characters of the men and women of the next generation.” There was no doubt in the minds of the Society's leaders that the “evil example” of parents and the neglect of a proper education were what caused children to become the “pests of society.” In the 19th century, the belief that schooling had a beneficial impact on character and morals was far more widely held than was the notion that it led to a higher income. Elementary readers often contained a set piece, of the kind which children were supposed to memorize and recite, with titles like “Knowledge Is Better Than Wealth,” a point presumably worth stressing because of the popularity of the contrary view. Moral education was homiletic, stressing rote memorization of simplistic slogans, but there did seem to be broad agreement throughout American society on the importance of inculcating a moral code that stressed industry, honesty, bravery, piety, diligence, orderliness, punctuality, and frugality. The relative simplicity of 19th-century moral strictures is interesting today for the contrast that it offers to our own muddled state. “Moral education” is hardly discussed any longer among American educators; if anything, the phrase itself has become discredited, conjuring up as it does insincere posturing, empty and hypocritical lecturing. The issue is further complicated by disagreement over such traditionally moral questions as pornography, infidelity, abortion, drugs, euthanasia. Besides, certain behavior once generally considered anti-social now finds apologists; the defacing of public property, for example, now a common phenomenon, has been lauded in both the academic and the popular press as an ingenious expression of folk art. In fact, there is scarcely any form of individual behavior, regardless of its personal or social consequences, without its defenders, whether it is Eldridge Cleaver justifying rape, Yippies justifying “trashing,” Watergaters justifying eavesdropping and burglary. A great many people, on both the Left and Right ends of the political spectrum, seem to have concluded that one can choose which laws to obey and which to ignore. Personal morality has become a matter of each doing his own “thing” and negotiating afterward for amnesty or immunity, as circumstances warrant. Let us for the purposes of this essay consider moral education, as the Free School Society did in 1820, to mean that which influences the “habits and characters” of the rising generation, or, in John Dewey's phrase, “ideas of any sort whatsoever which take effect in conduct and improve it, make it better than it otherwise would be.” In this sense, we are surrounded throughout our lives by moral educators, whose influence on our behavior, values, and attitudes may be good or bad. The family is the primary moral educator, offering daily lessons on how to act toward others; the law educates; the government educates; the media educate. The number of sources attempting to influence habits and character is large; obviously not all of them accomplish their ends, nor are all their ends salutary. In many instances, indeed, the educators follow curricula of which they themselves are not aware. Moral education in school has a special importance because the school represents a planned and presumably controllable environment; the public school, moreover, as opposed to the private school, is a place to which presumably everyone in the community has access through a variety of representatives and on a variety of levels. Adults who are responsible for school policy can deliberate and choose among ways of creating a “proper” school environment. Yet today, people who think and write about education are divided, not only on how to go about creating a “proper” environment, but on the question of whether it is possible to do so, and even whether schools have the right to do so. There are basically three approaches to the question of moral education. First, there are those who believe that the school should not try to influence the development and attitudes of students at all. Second, there are those who believe that the school should implant specific attitudes in students. Last, there are those who believe that it is possible to educate within a framework of moral values without resorting to indoctrination. The notion that schools should teach no values at all commands a diverse following. It is the view of “romantics” like A. S. Neill of Summer hill and of a portion of the contemporary “free school” movement; both groups are opposed to the imposition of adult authority and discipline, which they see as an attempt to squelch the freedom and individuality of the child. The teaching of values in public schools is also opposed by those groups whose values are threatened or offended by the majoritarian position. Thus, Catholics reject public-school nonsectarianism, militant blacks reject “pasteurized” approaches to black history, political radicals reject patriotic interpretations of American history; the list could be extended to include others who perceive that their rights and values are compromised in a public-school setting. Many such groups form their own schools, expressly to preserve and inculcate their own values. Yet another version of the anti-value approach was stated last year in an article in the Harvard Educational Review by Carl Bereiter, 1 a professor at the University of Toronto who achieved some fame for his part in creating a highly structured reading program known as the Bereiter-Engelmann method. Bereiter argues that schools are not successful in influencing the way children turn out in later life and hence should not even try to do so. He maintains that only parents have a “clear-cut right” to educate their children and that schools should stick to providing child-care and skill-training. At the opposite pole from the anti-value adherents are those who believe that the school must purposefully instill values and that indoctrination is a legitimate function of the school. This camp, too, includes a curious collection of bedfellows, among them the ideological extremes of American politics, religious groups, and old-fashioned moralists who would like to see the schools drill “proper” attitudes into the heads of their charges. (Of course, those deeply committed to a particular ideology never see its transmission as “indoctrination,” but only as education in the true faith.) Educational radicals are divided on the question of indoctrination. Some romantics, as I previously noted, oppose any attempt to press authority on children. But others on the Left believe that the school should transmit a radical perspective of American society, one which will expose its sickness and rapacity. The political Right, too, believes in indoctrination. Conservatives feel that the schools should insure conformity and obedience, as well as unquestioning acceptance of American institutions; in support of their views they undertake campaigns to remove controversial books from public-school lists or to fire nonconforming teachers. The third path to moral education is the direction in which I would argue schools and teachers should aim. The reasons emerge from a consideration of the problems that arise when one decides either to teach no values at all or to indoctrinate. _____________ All education implies the transmission of values. How a teacher acts toward children; how he resolves disputes among them; whether or not he requires children to be responsible for themselves and to act responsibly toward others—in short, every lesson he teaches, every decision he makes, every expectation he holds, has the potential of influencing his students' ideas about the world. In not giving children responsibility, in not expecting them to clean up after themselves, in not demanding that they cooperate with their fellows or requiring them to respect the rights of others, a teacher does not suspend the teaching of values but simply substitutes one set of values—a supremely selfish one—for another. Similarly, a teacher who will not teach a subject until his students ask to be taught, proceeding on the assumption that what children want is what is best for them and that he must not manipulate their growth, is in reality indulging in an elitist manipulation of another kind; by refusing to guide, inspire, prod, or challenge his students, by with holding choices and declining to impart skills and attitudes, he may be actively blocking the child's freedom and growth. But suppose a teacher exposes his students to history and literature and the various academic disciplines while withholding judgment about good and evil, desirable and undesirable? This is what Professor Bereiter proposes in his article, “Schools without Education.” Here too the teacher would merely be substituting one set of values, the values of moral relativism, for another. Perhaps, more to the point, it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine what a school without education would look like. In such a school, dedicated solely to skills and custodial care, teachers would energetically refrain from any effort to influence the behavior, values, and convictions of their students. This may do for a good vocational training program, but how can one teach literature or history without a sense of the good? Can either physical or social sciences be taught without regard to their human and social consequences? Dewey wrote that the teaching of geography, for example, was pointless unless connected with social life, with questions of how and why people's lives were influenced by geographical facts. To learn facts without understanding their implications is nonsensical; yet implications, interpretations, and judgments mean values. The teachers in a school without education would have to work very hard to avoid exposing their students to the great works of art, like Picasso's Guernica or Shakespeare's tragedies, which make moral judgments on history and comment on how a man should live and die. The works that would have to be excluded from the curriculum of the Bereiter school would fill an entire library. In addition, since children from such a school would have no guidelines by which to assess their own behavior or anyone else's, literature and history, stripped of judgments, could be taught only as an accumulation of sterile facts and dates. The school environment is itself a prime focus for the continual exercise of moral choice. The everyday occurrences of a school life, as of life in general, require evaluation and decision. A teacher is often faced with the dilemma of choosing among the conflicting rights of individuals or between the rights of an individual and those of the community. How is a teacher to deal with cheating? What is he to say to the student who asks for advice about a moral problem not connected with school—for example, the knowledge that a classmate has committed a crime: should he report him or help to conceal the facts? Most children are taught informally to be good team players, and not to be squealers; does Watergate cast this in a different light? Is it wrong for such questions to be discussed in a classroom? _____________ What children need to learn is not the right answer, but how to think about a problem; banishing the subject is too easy a solution. This is not to say, however, that the school must lend itself to indoctrination. A teacher indoctrinates if he teaches without giving evidence for his conclusions and evidence (or tools) for criticizing them; if he purveys his own point of view, or a particular ideology, as though it were established fact, intentionally disregarding differing views, or ideologies; if he presents only one side of a controversial issue; if he teaches what he knows to be false. The indoctrinated person tends to have pat answers for difficult questions; though he may defend his views with logic and proofs, he is likely to treat evidence in a slipshod fashion, reinterpreting facts to fit his ingrained faith. If a teacher sets out to instill the belief that whites are evil, that whites are good, that blacks are inferior, that blacks are superior, that America is a sick society, that capitalism is the best economic system, then he is indoctrinating. Where the educator concentrates on teaching methods of inquiry, ways of assessing evidence and arriving at reasonable conclusions, the indoctrinator concentrates on implanting convictions. The educator succeeds when his students have learned enough to choose their own point of view, even if it challenges the teacher's; the indoctrinator succeeds when his students have absorbed his ideology. In a new book, Free the Children , 2 Allen Graubard chides those “free” schools that shy away from politicizing their students. He feels that many of these schools, though obviously part of the counter-culture, are unnecessarily fearful of the charge of indoctrination, and that they should forthrightly immerse their students in a radical perspective of politics and culture. Graubard advocates indoctrination because he believes that the radical analysis of American society is correct, just as others believe that their ideology, and only theirs, is correct. In this Graubard resembles indoctrinators of the opposite political persuasion. When I was going to high school in Houston, Texas in the 1950's, for example, we were taught that Senator Joseph McCarthy was the greatest living American and that those trying to do him in were Communists. Our class was compelled to sit through anti-Communist and anti-Socialist lectures and movies; books about Russia, its geography, its history, and its infamous economic system were carefully removed from the shelves of our high-school library. Teachers who did not agree with the orthodoxy of the times were watched closely by parents and “members of the community,” who occasionally sat in on classes to check out suspected subversives. The indoctrination program of the Houston public schools was not especially effective; in fact it was probably counter-productive, it being the general tendency of my silent generation to discount whatever we were told by our teachers. Perhaps it is the inevitable reaction of adolescents against their environment that explains why many students of the 60's who were schooled in a libertarian atmosphere subsequently chose highly authoritarian figures for their heroes. In any event, the mark of dogmatism is as clearly identifiable on the Left as on the Right. Writing in the Harvard Educational Review , Graubard quotes a statement by “the students” of a West Coast free school, giving their view of the public schools: “. . . after graduation from school the students go out into the world trained to fit into society. Our economic system must create men and women to fit its capitalistic needs. The system has to have men and women who have the same values, who feel free and independent but who will nevertheless do what is expected of them, people who can easily be controlled.” This may have been easier to understand as the statement of an individual, rather than the collective voice of “the students.” As it is, one wonders if there are divergent views at that school, whether the students have learned to criticize their own thinking and that of their teachers or are simply feeding back the ideology they are taught with no more independence of mind than those who learned morality by rote in the 19th century. Where will these students go in order to avoid fitting the needs of a society they deplore? If they become reformers, they will help to ameliorate the ills of society and thus end up strengthening the system; if they engage in useful work, they will be perpetuating the status quo. Graubard is himself stumped on the question of how one lives in a society as “sick” as ours without contributing to the sickness; he proposes nothing more dramatic than that free-school people try to get elected to local school boards and press for government funds for their non-public schools in the form of a voucher plan. _____________ Indoctrination, whether it takes place in an authoritarian or a libertarian context, is an inappropriate and coercive solution to the problem of moral education in a democratic society. But is there a middle ground between indoctrination and the abdication of all values? Lawrence Kohlberg of Harvard University has articulated a developmental approach to moral education which blends together Dewey and Jean Piaget and attempts to establish a theoretical rationalization of just such a middle ground. On the evidence of crosscultural studies, Kohlberg believes that there are unmistakable stages of moral development which are common to all societies and all cultures. Morality does not consist of a predetermined list of values, force-fed into young children, nor is it the spontaneous unfolding of the individual's impulses and emotions. Morality, Kohlberg has written, is justice, “the reciprocity between the individual and others in his social environment.” A commitment to justice implies a commitment to individual rights, to freedom, and to a society which embodies these principles. The language of justice is comprehensible across time and across national and cultural boundaries, whether it is spoken by a Socrates, a Gandhi, a Thoreau, a Solzhenitsyn, or a Martin Luther King. Kohlberg's views echo those of John Dewey, who wrote that “apart from participating in social life, the school has no moral end nor aim.” Those who would leach schoolchildren without exposing them to the principles of justice, without making them aware of their social responsibilities and without awakening them to genuine moral dilemmas, cannot be called educators. In contrast to the romantic (or value-free) educator, whose concern for the child's freedom makes him reluctant to direct the learning process, and the cultural transmitter (or indoctrinator), who sees education as an input-output process, Kohlberg's educator wants his students to think rationally and critically. Thus, he exposes his students to problematic situations, examples of social conflict among groups and individuals, which they must think about and participate in resolving. The goal of the teacher is not to find the “right” answer, but to encourage students to progress in their capacity to make moral judgments and to assess the consequences of their actions. In order to teach justice, a school must itself be just; it must be committed to equality of educational opportunity, to respect for rationality, and to freedom of belief. These values necessarily preclude the use of indoctrination. Writes Kohlberg: “Not only are the rights of the child to be respected by the teacher, but the child's development is to be stimulated so that he may come to respect and defend his own rights and the rights of others.” If indoctrination has no place in Kohlberg's scheme, it is likewise clear that the school's responsibility to its students does not begin and end with skill-training, by standing back and seeing whether children develop their own sense of values. The school's responsibility is to enable the student to grow by training him both to follow and to lead; to impart his cultural heritage; to prepare him to be a full participant in the political process; and to cultivate the physical, intellectual, and emotional discipline which will enable him to do well in later life. This, the classic liberal idea of moral education, may seem inappropriate, to say the least, at a time when almost all critics are agreed that we should lower, not raise, our expectations of what schools can do. These critics have a point, for many Americans have indeed come to believe that the schools and the schools alone will bring about a just and equal society, quite irrespective of the actions of other private and public agencies. Putting so much faith in the corrective power of schooling is a way of avoiding other kinds of social and economic reform. Yet what is needed now is not lowered but changed expectations. True, schooling does not guarantee success, but lack of schooling does appear to guarantee lack of success. Undeniably there is much that is wrong with the schools, including their tendency to substitute indoctrination for moral education. But the schools are where the children are, and the importance of improving them cannot be slighted. To rescue the schools and the idea of education both from unreal expectations and from nihilistic assaults is an urgent task, for what we do or fail to do in this area will have a profound effect on the future of society as a whole. _____________ Whatever we may think about the current state of moral education, moral education goes on. Whether it is to be planned around a core of values stressing what Kohlberg has called the universal ethical principles, or imposed by those with a single message to proclaim, or haphazardly conducted by whatever images and models may impinge on a child's consciousness, is a choice which we make, consciously or unconsciously. In this connection Dewey's reflections in his Moral Principles in Education (1909) remain appropriate today: We need to see that moral principles are not arbitrary, that they are not “transcendental”; that the term “moral” does not designate a special region or portion of life. We need to translate the moral into the conditions and forces of our community life, and into the impulses and habits of the individual.

1 “Schools without Education,” August 1972.

2 Pantheon, 306 pp. $7.95.

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Importance of Moral Education in Students Life

Why Moral Education is Important in Students Life

L K Monu Borkala

  • What is moral education?
  • Objectives and need for moral education
  • Moral and ethical values -A comparative study
  • The four pillars of moral education
  • Why do we need moral education to be part of the modern education curriculum?
  • How can schools implement moral-education values to students?

Over the years, the term moral education has been defined in various ways by numerous scholars. There is no particular definition for the term.

However, to understand it in simple and plain language we can say that moral education is the teaching of values that distinguish between right and wrong. It is this set of values that finally guides your behaviour and intentions towards others around you.

For centuries, academicians and intellects have debated the world over whether moral values should be taught in schools or not. Many believe that moral and ethical values cannot be taught but can only be learned through the actions of peers and elders.

In this case, the foremost question that may arise is how do we distinguish the right action from a wrong one if we are not taught the same. One act may be considered right for a particular person and wrong to another.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to universally consolidate a certain set of values and morals to enable community living. Moral values in education are as important as a Doctor of Philosophy.

The debate about adopting moral education in schools may go on for a long time, but the importance of moral education cannot be undermined.

The importance of moral education in schools can be determined through the objectives of moral education.

The objectives of moral education can be summarized as below.

  • Moral education helps to differentiate between what is universally accepted as right and what is accepted as wrong.
  • It defines an individual’s personality. A person may be classified as a moral or immoral person.
  • Moral education helps to eliminate or minimise the vices like jealousy, greed, etc.
  • Inculcating or adopting moral values can positively impact one’s self, and it can build a positive attitude and develop self-confidence .

Need for Moral Education

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

With the rapid development of the internet and technology over the past few years , the world has become a global village.

With distances being shortened, high-speed communication, and closer interactions between different groups, the world has become a single community linked together by telecommunications.

This fast-paced world has brought about the need for the introduction of ethics, values, and morals to promote community living. Moral education has never been felt more required than today.

Surveys reveal that the early 1980s saw a drastic decline in students’ academic performance and behavioural patterns. It was then that educators reintroduced the term “character” in their tutoring sessions.

Character can be defined as the moral qualities that are distinct to an individual. Educators emphasized on introducing students to good character and eliminating bad habits.

Educators then believed that an early introduction to good habits or ethical values was conducive to building harmony in society. Therefore, it can be clearly seen why moral education is essential.

Moral and Ethical Values

As Albert Einstein once said “The most important human endeavour is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life”

The term moral and ethics is more often interchangeably used though in practice the two words have entirely different connotations.

Morals are more like values that define an individual in society. Morals are values that protect and respect life.

Not only the life of one’s self but the life of everyone around. Every moral value function to enhance the quality of life. Here, it is pertinent to note that moral values may differ according to the situation one is in.

For example, one of the core moral values in society today is honour and respect for oneself and another. However, this same honour may be construed as disrespect and conceit for another to protect one’s own dignity.

The real moral value of honour should therefore be taught as universal respect and honour for another life irrespective of other catalysts.

Ethics on the other hand can be defined as an individual who possesses moral values and expresses willingness to do only the right thing despite the difficulty in performing the morally right act. A person is said to be ethical if he possesses and practices moral values.

Listing out a set of defined moral or ethical values is not a realistic task.

However, religious texts, philosophers, and preachers have laid down the principle of moral and ethical values that ought to be followed by every individual for a harmonious society.

However, ethics and morality have little to do with religion. The values have more to do with living in a civilized society , graciously and amicably.

The Four Pillars of Moral Education

The four pillars of moral education describe the foundation upon which moral education rests.

1. Character and Morality

Here moral education are individual-centric. It concentrates on individual character building.

2. Individual and Community

Moral education concerning the individual and the community is how each individual behaves himself and concerning the community at large.

The focus is on building an individual that will be part of a greater community.

3. Civic Education

The main aim of cultural education in moral education is to learn how the nation came to be what it is today.

The ideals of our forefathers and the teachings of great scholars are contributing factors that have shaped humanity and the nation.

4. Cultural Education

Close on the principles of civic education, cultural education also forms an integral part of moral education. Culture denotes the customs and traditions of a particular nation or ethnic group.

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Why Is Moral Education Important in Schools ?

Children Studying in School

“Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere.” – Martin Luther King

Imparting moral values to a child begins with elders at home. This education however does not end in the formative years and before the child is ready for school.

Imparting value education requires years of understanding and absorption. Every age and stage of the child entails different levels of perception.

Therefore, it becomes imperative that teachers would have to continue this education in schools to ensure continuity of moral education from the elders at home.

Schools are the heart and soul of a child’s life. The formative years of a child are the most important. It is at this time that the child’s character can be moulded and defined.

School teachers and peers are the greatest influence on these impressionable minds. Laying a standard set of values and morals to be taught in school can go a long way in building student character.

Moral education in schools is an effective method of inculcating values in children.

How Schools Can Adopt Better Methods to Impart Moral Education for Students?

Imparting moral values for students is a difficult mission. Keeping students engaged in value-based classes can be a daunting task.

Young minds often wander and get distracted soon. Keeping students engaged and at the same time imparting moral values is the key.

One of the tried and tested methods in many schools is by introducing community activities in the form of designated dates such as lend a helping hand day, share a smile day or even a visit to an orphanage or an old age home.

Practicing activities that involve community assistance can give students first-hand experience. Such activities can inculcate a sense of belonging right from a tender age.

What Is the Right Age to Teach Moral Values in Students?

As there are no defined set of rules or a particular curriculum or syllabus related to moral education, the question of when to initiate this value education comes into picture.

Is there a right age? Is there a time when it becomes too late to initiate value education? To answer these questions, one must necessarily reflect on life as a whole.

Value education begins at a very tender age. The process of growing and evolving involves the inculcation of values.

Learning to share, learning to respect, learning to help others in need are all virtues imbibed in us in our formative years. Some of these values are not even taught. They are learned from experience.

At later stages of life, one may make mistakes, minor or grave errors. Such situations demand a reiteration of values. That is why moral education is essential in schools.

There is no particular age that is considered the right age to impart moral education to students. The earlier one is introduced to moral and value education, the easier it is to mould a character. Moral education is a lifelong learning skill.

In conclusion, it must be noted that imparting value and moral education in schools is as important as a subject in mathematics or science.

A doctorate in these subjects is of no use without a sound moral character. Knowledge will most definitely give the students the power, but good character will earn respect.

The truth of one’s character is judged by a choice of actions. These actions are guided by moral principles learned over the years. The importance of moral education can never be undermined.

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Made by History

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Yes, Schools Should Teach Morality. But Whose Morals?

Kindergarteners At School

A s schools across the country experience book bans and attempts to limit the curriculum, in Texas one group led by the spiritual adviser to former President Donald Trump fought in the past year to bring biblical values to the classroom . In support of such efforts, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz warned, "there is an evil agenda [and] we are the only thing that stands between the destruction of American or the revival America."

Rather than a new occurrence, efforts to censor teachers, ban books, and control the curriculum are the newest chapter in a century-long battle over who gets to teach their morals and who gets to see themselves represented in public schools. In fact, the belief that schools have a responsibility to teach moral, ethical, and religious values—often encompassed by the term "civic morality"—is older than public schools themselves. Especially in controversial moments in U.S. history, these debates about civic morality in the schools have been enveloped in culture wars. But when pressure is put on schools to change with the ebb and flow of political whim, teachers and students are left with inconsistent curriculum and haphazard structure.

Moral education has roots in colonial America. The Puritans of New England left a thorough record of their efforts to impart civic and religious values to children. Before there were schoolhouses, communities monitored the moral teachings in the home and could even impose criminal penalties for misappropriation or neglect of moral education.

Read More: How Oklahoma Became Ground Zero in the War Over Church-State Separation

In the early 19th century, free and low-cost schools emerged in the northern and middle states for white children to promote “ order and democratic harmony.” The National Board of Popular Education, a group founded by Catharine Beecher in 1847 to expand mass education throughout the U.S., sent 600 single women Westward to “insure children in these newly settled territories has access to proper Christian culture.” By replacing the religious education of previous decades, these institutions began to shoulder the responsibility of defining what moral education looked like in public, non-religious environments while heavily relying on what they believed were “universal” Christian values.

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By the end of the century, a system of public education was in place that arose from the guiding belief that municipally-supported schools could enhance national cohesion and morality. In the development of this universal public school system, there was power in choosing what the single curriculum would be nation-wide. Indeed, school reformer Horace Mann believed that excluding workers and immigrants “was to weaken the school’s power to serve as a cohesive force in society.” In the name of civic morality, students from more varied backgrounds were included in the singular vision of “Americanism” and taught how to uphold certain behaviors and ideas in these schools.

In the early 20th century, economic and demographic changes reinvigorated debates around education and its role in creating moral citizens. Illustrating xenophobic fear at the time, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 which barred immigrants from many regions of the world but allowed immigrants from Northern and Western Europe. Communities and politicians looked to schools and teachers to integrate and assimilate the nearly 14 million immigrants in the United States at the time. For example, Boston schools centered their moral instruction around the “law of obedience” and Nebraska schools included the extracurricular club “Uncle Sam’s Boys and Girls” to extend moral education outside the formal classroom.

Read More: How the Surveillance of Immigrants Remade American Policing

Beyond Americanization, politicians and community members alike looked to the public schools to pass on other moral codes—essentially lists of virtues presented in the form of pledges. For example, in response to a competition sponsored by the Character Education Association in 1917, William Hutchins’ outlined the “ten laws of right living” including self-control, good health, kindness, sportsmanship, self-reliance, duty, reliability, truth, good workmanship, and teamwork. His “ Morality Code ” was published in education journals and actively marketed towards superintendents and Commissioners of Education across the U.S.

During World War II and the Cold War, the use of public schools as patriotic propaganda and civic education received wide support. A 1951 education report titled Moral and Spiritual Values in the Public Schools reaffirmed the importance of moral education in the postwar era and simultaneously defined certain values as central to the “American experience.” The report called for a set of courses that would “preserve basic American and Western values at a time when free, democratic societies were threatened by the specter of totalitarianism.” Who fit within these “American ideals,” taught in conjunction with civic morality, were narrowly defined and exclusionary—centering around Anglo-Christian values, at the expense of everyone else.

Such narrowly defined conceptions of morality and citizenship were precisely why the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s prompted reevaluation of moral education in public institutions. In 1978, the intellectual Carl Bereiter declared, “education in the areas of personality and values is never free of authoritarian imposition,” addressing the intrusion of public-school value-based curriculum blurring the separation of church and state. Notably, there were more court cases challenging school practices between 1969 and 1978 than in the previous 50 years combined.

Reform efforts continued to use the language of morality, though. They just redefined it. University of Notre Dame president Father Theodore M. Hesburgh spoke to the inclusion of civil rights as “the concern for civil rights is not just another economic, political, social, or ethnic movement, but there is a deep moral dimension… to achieve full civil rights for all our citizens.”

In the subsequent years, the political demand for moral education persisted, especially as evangelical conservatives prioritized legislative changes to ensure it. Since the 1990s, many states passed legislation requiring some type of moral education in public schools. Indiana, for example, required schools to teach the virtues of honesty, respect for the property of others, and personal responsibility to family and community.

Read More: A Charter School's Racial Controversy Reveals the Battle for America's Classrooms

Questions of civic morality continue to play out today, even as many politicians shroud their calls in the rhetoric of “neutrality .” After Arkansas’ Department of Education warned its high schools not to offer Advanced Placement courses in African American history, calling the curriculum "indoctrination," many schools pushed back and are offering the courses anyway. In Iowa, teachers have been pushed out of the classroom due to required “neutrality” in teaching curriculum.

Using public education to teach universal values and strengthen society has always been central in the development of our education system. Our historical and current problem is that we cannot agree what our nation’s universal values are and who we need to strengthen our society.

Indeed, there is an irony here, and conservative politicians like Cruz are not entirely wrong. Recent evidence suggests that public schools across the nation are not providing an education in civic morality . But the reasons they are not may have more to do with nature of the attacks on the schools by pundits like Cruz and others than anything else. As one RAND study revealed, many teachers are “scared and anxious and worried” about what they can or cannot teach.

Civic morality is needed in our schools today . When taught well , civic education can increase students’ likelihood of voting, concern for community issues, social responsibility, and confidence speaking publicly . But first, doing so requires an expansive definition of “Americanism” to reevaluate what our students—and our society—need to safeguard our future and democracy.

Mallory Hutchings-Tryon is a historian and educator with a decade of experience teaching throughout the country in K-12 secondary public, private, and charter schools. She is currently researching discriminatory dress codes and teaching at the University of Washington. Made by History takes readers beyond the headlines with articles written and edited by professional historians. Learn more about Made by History at TIME here .

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Write to Mallory Hutchings-Tryon / Made by History at [email protected]

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Research on the Evaluation of Moral Education Effectiveness and Student Behavior in Universities under the Environment of Big Data

Publicity Department, Shandong Management University, Jinan, Shandong 250000, China

Associated Data

The labeled data set used to support the findings of this study is available from the author upon request.

Traditional moral evaluation relies on artificial and subjective evaluation by teachers, and there are subjective errors or prejudices. To achieve further objective evaluation, students' classroom performance can be identified, and the effectiveness of moral education can be evaluated based on student behavior. Since student classroom behavior is random and uncertain, in order to accurately evaluate its indicators, a large amount of student classroom behavior data must be used as the basis for analysis, while certain techniques are used to filter out valuable information from it. In this paper, an improved graph convolutional network algorithm is proposed to study students' behaviors in order to further improve the accuracy of moral education evaluation in universities. The technique of video recognition is used to achieve student behavior recognition, thus helping to improve the quality of moral education evaluation in colleges and universities. First, the multi-information flow data related to nodes and skeletons are fused to improve the computing speed by reducing the number of network parameters. Second, the spatiotemporal attention module based on nonlocal operations is constructed to focus on the most action discriminative nodes and improve the recognition accuracy by reducing redundant information. Then, the spatiotemporal feature extraction module is constructed to obtain the spatiotemporal association information of the nodes of interest. Finally, the action recognition is realized by the Softmax layer. The experimental results show that the algorithm of action recognition in this paper is more accurate and can better help moral evaluation.

1. Introduction

Moral evaluation is a guide and an initiative to carry out moral education in schools. Moral evaluation is defined in the Dictionary of Education as “the process of making value judgments on the performance of moral behavior of individuals using the acquired moral standards” [ 1 ]. The broad perspective of school moral evaluation content is to examine the ideological, moral, and political qualities of individuals, and the narrow perspective is to examine the moral qualities of individuals. Both focus on the moral cognition and moral behavior of individuals, especially the moral behavior that is more easily observed [ 2 ].

To adhere to “people-oriented” means to maintain human dignity, respect human rights, give full play to human potential, meet human needs, and promote the all-round development of people. By insisting on the college students as the center, we should not only educate them, guide them, inspire them and spur them on but also respect them, understand them, care for them, and help them to develop good ideological and moral qualities and excellent ideological and political qualities, so as to achieve the purpose of moral education and realize the fundamental goal of establishing moral education for people [ 3 ].

In the current reform of quality education, colleges and universities pay more and more attention to the moral education quality cultivation of students, and no longer focus not only on the teaching of students' professional courses but also begin to focus on the overall development of students' comprehensive quality. In order to implement the requirements of quality education cultivation and promote the vigorous development of moral quality education, a matching moral quality evaluation system for college students should be formulated. The traditional evaluation method of students' moral quality has been rather backward, and it is difficult to ensure the fairness and scientificity by simply relying on human for evaluation, which does not meet the needs of quality education, so it needs technology updating. Innovate student moral quality evaluation mode, introduce information technology support, and use big data technology and computer information technology to create a sound moral quality evaluation system for college students. Scientific design and optimization of system structure in order to improve the efficiency of moral quality education in colleges and universities and guarantee the quality of moral quality education for college students.

Literature [ 4 ] constructed the spatiotemporal graph with the natural connections of human joints and proposed the spatiotemporal network model with the graph convolution layer as the basic module. Literature [ 5 ] integrated a discrete multiscale aggregation scheme and the spatiotemporal graph convolution operator called G3D to form a powerful feature extraction structure. Literature [ 6 ] introduces a context-encoded network for enhancing contextual feature relevance and automatically learning the skeleton topology. Literature [ 7 ] incorporates third-order features to effectively capture the relationship between joints and body parts. Literature [ 8 ] introduced a novel progressive multiscale convolution for capturing long- and short-term correlations in the spatial and temporal domains. Literature [ 9 ] used multiscale temporal convolution and exploited the correlation of the original data to better model the channel topology. Literature [ 10 ] describes the skeleton features using Lie groups, then describes the relationship of these features in time order by dynamic temporal regularization, and finally uses multiclass support vector machines for the behavior recognition task. Literature [ 11 ] designs a multifeature fusion coding method based on VLAD. Literature [ 12 ] designs the spatiotemporal weight coding method based on skeleton features. Literature [ 13 ] constructs a motion feature generator based on the existing generative adversarial network framework to perform the learning of judgment optical flow features. Literature [ 14 ] investigates temporal pooling and long-term information dependence of behavioral features on the basis of CNNs. In the literature [ 15 ], the decomposition model of convolutional networks on spatiotemporal sequences is investigated, i.e., the 3D spatiotemporal convolution is decomposed into 2D spatial convolutional kernel and 1D temporal convolutional layer to accomplish the representation and recognition of human behavior. Literature [ 16 ] further investigates the combined strategy of 2D spatial convolution and 1D temporal pooling. Literature [ 17 ] extends 2D convolutional operations into 3D convolution and implements a dual-stream I3D. In the literature [ 18 ], in order to complete the extraction of human behavior on spatiotemporal features, a dual-stream pooling network is designed to further enhance the feature representation. In the literature [ 19 ], a synchronous appearance and relationship module SMART are proposed, and the learning of spatiotemporal features of behavior is accomplished by stacking the model. Literature [ 20 ] designs a multi-Fiber network, each Fiber uses lightweight convolution, and the speed of behavior recognition is greatly improved.

In the process of moral education evaluation in colleges and universities, schools can conduct in-depth mining based on big data and provide reference for student management and education service supply by analyzing student classroom behavior data to achieve overall improvement of education level. In order to make full use of the action features in the human skeleton sequence and achieve lightweight action recognition model with improved recognition accuracy, this paper proposes a lightweight adaptive graph convolutional network combining multi-information flow data fusion and spatiotemporal attention mechanism. The human skeleton-based action recognition is very little affected by factors such as illumination and background and has great advantages over the RGB data-based methods. The joint skeleton data of human body are a topological graph, and each joint point in the graph has different number of neighboring joints. Traditional convolutional neural networks cannot directly use the same size convolutional kernel for convolutional computation to process such non-Euclidean data. Therefore, in the field of skeleton-based behavior recognition, a graph convolutional network-based approach is more suitable. The experimental results show that the recognition accuracy of the algorithm in this paper is high, and it can do the work of moral evaluation better.

2. Methodology

2.1. student behavior algorithm, 2.1.1. graph convolutional network.

In the Euclidean space represented by an image, each pixel in the image is treated as a node, then the nodes are arranged regularly and the number of neighboring nodes is fixed, and the points on the edges can be padding operation. However, in a non-Euclidean space like the graph structure, the nodes are disordered and the number of neighbor nodes is not fixed, and feature extraction cannot be achieved by a traditional convolutional neural network with a fixed size convolutional kernel. A convolutional kernel capable of handling variable-length neighbor nodes is needed [ 21 ]. For the graph, features need to be extracted by inputting a feature matrix I of dimension T    ×  vF and an adjacency matrix G of T   ×   T , where T is the number of nodes in the graph and F is the number of input features per node. The nodal feature transformation formula for the adjacent hidden layer is shown below.

where x is the number of layers, the first layer ( B 0 = IB 0 ). f (·) is the propagation function, and the propagation function varies for different graphical convolutional network models. Each layer B x corresponds to the T × F x -dimensional feature matrix, and the aggregated features are transformed into the features of the next layer by the propagation function   f (Δ), which makes the features more and more abstract.

2.1.2. Lightweight Graph Convolutional Network Framework

In order to make full use of the action features in human skeleton sequences and to achieve a lightweight action recognition model with improved recognition accuracy, this paper proposes a lightweight adaptive graph convolutional network combining multiple information streams data fusion and spatiotemporal attention mechanism. Taking the input human skeleton sequence as the research object, we first fuse four kinds of data information: joint point information flow, bone length information flow, joint point offset information flow, and bone length change information flow. Then, an embeddable spatiotemporal attention module based on nonlocal operations is constructed to focus on the most action discriminative joints in the human skeleton sequence after the information flow data fusion. Finally, the recognition results of the action fragments are obtained by Softmax, and the main framework of the network is shown in Figure 1 .

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Network framework.

2.1.3. Multi-Information Flow Data Fusion

At present, the methods based on graph convolution [ 22 ] mostly adopt multiple training under a variety of different data sets and carry out decision-making level fusion according to the training results, resulting in a large amount of network parameters. Therefore, the original joint point coordinate data are preprocessed before training to realize the data-level fusion of joint point information flow, bone length information flow, joint point offset information flow, and bone length change information flow, so as to reduce the network parameters and reduce the calculation requirements. The definition of joint points of human skeleton sequence is shown in formula ( 2 ).

where N is the total number of frames in the sequence, T is the total number of nodes18, and x is the nodes at the moment   n . Before fusing the multiple information streams, a diverse preprocessing of the skeleton sequence s is required. The node information stream is obtained from the coordinates of 18 nodes obtained by the human pose estimation algorithm OpenPose, which is a significant cost reduction compared to motion capture devices. Other information streams are defined as follows.

Bone Length Information Flow: the node near the center of gravity of the body is defined as the source node, and the coordinates are used to obtain the bone length information flow by making the difference between the two nodes, as shown in the formula ( 3 ).

Joint Difference Information Flow: the coordinates of the joint point x of the n th frame are defined as (  Q x , n =( i x , n , j x , n )), and the coordinates of the joint point x of the ( n  + 1)-th frame are expressed as ( Q x , n +1 =( i x ,n+1 , j x , n +1 )). The joint difference information Fflow can be obtained by making a difference between the coordinates of the same joint point in adjacent frames, and the formula is shown in formula ( 4 ).

Change of Bone Length Information Flow: in two adjacent frames, the same section of the bone due to the action changes caused by the different lengths, defined by the formula ( 3 ) the n th frame of the bone length information flow is   H x , y , n , then the ( n  + 1)th frame of the bone length information flow is   H x , y , n +1 , by the same bone length of adjacent frames for the difference to obtain the bone length change information flow. The formula is shown in formula ( 5 ).

As shown in Figure 2 , the multiple data streams are weighted and fused into a single feature vector according to the definitions of articulation point information stream, bone length information stream, articulation point offset information stream, and bone length change information stream. The skeleton sequence dimension is changed from (4 × N × Y × C 1 ) Q to 1 × N × Y × 4 C 1 as shown below.

where the weight ω 1 ~ ω 4 is determined by the joint point offset degree ( σ 1 ( σ 1 ∈ [0° ~ 360°])) and the bone length change degree (  σ 2 ( σ 2 ∈ [0 ~ 100%])). σ 1 is the angle of the line formed by the coordinate point Q x , n in the previous frame and the coordinate point Q x , n +1 in the next frame and the coordinate origin, respectively, and σ 2 is defined as formula ( 7 ).

where the absolute value operation represents the bone length, when σ 1 ≥ 30° and σ 2 ≤ 50%, ω 1 and ω 3 weights are 2, ω 2 and ω 4 weights are 1.

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Data fusion of information flow.

When σ 1 ≤ 30° and σ 2 ≥ 50%, the weights of ω 1 and ω 3 are 1, and the weights of ω 2 and ω 4 are 2. When σ 1 and σ 2 are less than the threshold, the weights are 1. When both σ 1 and σ 2 are greater than the threshold, the weights are 2. By calculating the offset degree of joint points and the change degree of bone length, higher weight is given to the information flow data with large change degree, so as to enhance the representation of action by information flow. Then the fused single feature vector is used to represent the multi information flow data, and the training times are reduced from 4 times to 1 time, which reduces the amount of overall parameters, so as to improve the network operation speed.

2.1.4. Temporal Attention Module Construction

It is also important to ensure the accuracy of action recognition on the basis of the increased speed of network computing. A human skeleton sequence contains all information in the temporal and spatial domains, but only the nodal association information that is discriminative for some of the actions is worthy of attention. The attention mechanism mostly just removes irrelevant terms and focuses on the action region of interest, and the real redundant information comes from other aspects.

The joint point with offset degree σ 1 ≥ 30° of each joint point is defined as the source joint point, and one source joint point is selected at a time, while the other joint points are the target joint points. The local operation method in the neural network can only calculate the correlation between two individually after traversing the target nodes, so that the source nodes lose the global characterization ability. In order to characterize the correlation of all target nodes to source nodes, as shown in Figure 3 . The idea of nonlocal operations is incorporated into the spatiotemporal attention module, and a max pool layer of size 2 × 2 and step size 2 is added after the feature input to ensure that the number of data and parameters are compressed while preserving the original features as much as possible.

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Spatio-temporal attention module.

The spatiotemporal attention module (STA) contains a spatial attention module and a temporal attention module. The spatial attention module (SA) captures the intraframe joint correlation, and the temporal attention module (TA) captures the interframe joint correlation, and finally the two are summed and fused with the input features. The output features of the temporal attention module have the same dimension as the input, and thus can be embedded between the network structures of the graph convolutional network.

The implementation of the module features is divided into 4 steps.

  • (1) The dimension of the infeed feature I is   N × T × C , where T , N , and C correspond to the number of frames, joints, and channels, respectively. The input features of the spatial attention module are represented as k =[ k 1 s , k 2 s ,…, k T s ] ∈ R N × T × C .
  • (2) Embedding the features into the Gaussian function ( θ and   φ , convolution kernel dimension  1 × 1) calculates the correlation of two joints i and j at any position, enumerated by   j , and obtains the weighting of the joints   i , represented as shown below. j x s = 1 C k s ∑ q y f k x s , k y s a k y s , (8)
  • where k x s and k y s denote the features of the nodes x and   y , respectively. The function a is used to calculate the feature representation of the node   y , and ( a ( k y s )= M a s k y s ) M a s is the weight matrix to be learned. The Gaussian function f is defined as shown below. f k x s , k y s = e θ k x s N φ k y s . (9)
  • Where ( θ ( k x s )= M θ s k x s , φ ( k y s )= M φ s k y s ), ( C ( k s )=∑ qy f ( k x s , k y s )) is set as the normalization factor of the correlation representation. In order to reduce the computational cost and maximize the retention of low-order features, a maximum pooling layer of size 2 × 2 and step size 2 is added after the functions θ , φ , and a .
  • (3) The spatial attention information o x s ( o x s ∈ R N × T × C ) is obtained by making the function weighted. o x s = M o s j x s . (10)
  • (4) Denote the infant features of the temporal attention module as k n =[ k 1 n , k 2 n ,…, k T n ] ∈ R N × T × C .The temporal attention information o x n ( o x n ∈ R N × T × C ) is obtained by repeating (2) and (3), and the temporal attention information o x ( o x ∈ R N × T × C ) is obtained by adding and fusing with the spatial attention information and the infant features.

The discriminative spatiotemporal association information of the nodes is obtained by the attention mechanism based on nonlocal operations, and the interference of irrelevant terms in the action region and the input redundant node information is removed, which reduces unnecessary calculations and thus improves the accuracy.

2.1.5. Spatio-Temporal Feature Extraction Module Construction

In order to extract the features of the skeleton sequence in spatial and temporal dimensions, the dynamic skeleton is first modeled using the spatiotemporal graph convolutional network and a spatial partitioning strategy, and the original expression is shown below.

where I in and I out are the graph convolutional input and output features, respectively, Z is the spatial domain convolutional kernel size, M x is the weight, G x is the adjacency matrix of node   x , ⊙ represents the dot product, and W x is the mapping matrix of nodes given connection weights.

Since all mnemonic actions cannot be accurately identified using predefined skeleton structure data, an adaptive adjacency matrix G x is needed to make the graph convolutional network model adaptive. Therefore, in order to change the topology of the skeleton sequence graph in network learning, the adjacency and mapping matrices that determine the topology in formula ( 12 ) are divided into ( G x , B x ) and L x . The block diagram of the adaptive graph convolution module is shown in Figure 4 , and the output features are reconstructed as shown below.

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Adaptive graph convolutional module.

In Figure 4 , θ and φ are the Gaussian embedding functions in formula ( 9 ), and the convolution kernel size is  1 × 1. The first part G x is still the adjacency matrix of the node x .The second part B x is an additive complement to the original adjacency matrix, which can be updated iteratively through network training. The third part L x is continuously driven by the data to learn the connection weights, and the node correlation can be calculated by formula ( 8 ) and then multiplied with the 1 × 1 convolution to obtain the similarity matrix L x .

Through the above calculation, the adaptive graph convolution module is constructed, and then the spatiotemporal information contained in the skeleton sequence is extracted.

The spatiotemporal feature extraction module proposed in this paper is shown in Figure 5 . The data are normalized by BN (batch normalization) layer after each convolution operation, and then the model expression capability is improved by ReLU layer. The embeddable spatiotemporal attention module STA has been built in Section 2.1.1 , and the features are input to the extraction module to extract the action nodes of interest. Then, the correlation of each joint point of the same frame in the skeleton data is obtained in the spatial dimension by the adaptive GCN, and the relationship of the same joint point of adjacent frames is obtained in the temporal dimension by the temporal convolutional network (TCN). The dropout layer reduces the interaction of hidden layer nodes to avoid overfitting of the graphical convolutional network, and the parameter is set to 0.5, while the residual connection is performed to increase the stability of the model.

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Spatiotemporal feature extracting module.

2.1.6. Overall Network Structure Construction

As shown in Figure 6 , the nine spatiotemporal feature extraction modules B1∼B9 are stacked. In the direction from feature input I to behavior label output, BN layer is used for normalization after skeleton map input, B1∼B3 output feature dimension is Batch × 64 ×  T  ×  N , B4∼B6 output feature dimension is Batch × 128 ×  N /2 ×  T , B7∼B9 output feature dimension is Batch × 256 ×  N /4 ×  T , where the number of channels are 64 The global average pooling (GAP) operation is applied in the spatial and temporal dimensions to unify the feature map sizes of the samples, and finally the data from 0 to 1 are obtained using the Softmax layer for the recognition of human behavior.

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Overall network architecture.

2.2. Moral Education Evaluation System in Colleges and Universities

2.2.1. database design.

In the design of moral education quality evaluation system for college students, the database system is an important material basis for carrying out the work related to comprehensive quality evaluation system for college students, and it plays an important role in the system design and application. Scientific design of database can provide efficient ways and technical support for data storage, avoid data redundancy, and also realize data integrity and unity. The corresponding system can be combined with the basic database structure to build an effective input interface and input format to ensure convenient and effective data input and build a complete basic database for comprehensive student quality evaluation.

2.2.2. System Software and Hardware Design

The hardware design of the moral quality evaluation system for students in colleges and universities should focus on the data collection terminal and data receiving terminal. The specific management software design is the core part of the whole fault management system, which has a direct impact on the system being able to find the data source quickly and accurately in the data information management. In the software design, the data information management program is designed to achieve effective search of data sources, while the simulation program is used to simulate the parameter signals of large electromechanical integration equipment after docking between the management system and the integration equipment to achieve effective data extraction. In this regard, the management software design takes Windows 2000 as the basic software platform, with the help of VC for interface design, and stores the management mode related to the electronic control system through the database management of access to realize the effective system management program design. The sensor, MCU, AD chip, and other components constitute the data acquisition side. The receiving end is also connected by multiple asynchronous serial ports and also connected with LCD, chip, and other components. And the bus is connected to the wireless transmission module, whose function is equivalent to the terminal receiving device, which can transmit the signal to the control center with the help of antenna, and then transmit the received data information to the host location. In the system hardware design, focus on effective control system architecture and good wiring design. And in the system software design, it contains the data acquisition node, coordinator node, and the main controller design. Through the serial port to receive environmental information from the wireless network, do a good job of parsing and processing, and then save the relevant information and transmit it to the GPRS module to receive relevant control commands or other student quality information data with the help of the serial port. The functional design of this system is shown in Figure 7 .

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UML use case diagram for information acquisition module.

3. Result Analysis and Discussion

3.1. algorithm performance comparison.

The model performance of this paper's model is compared with those of literature [ 23 – 27 ] on the NTU RGB + D and N-UCLA data sets, as listed in Tables ​ Tables1 1 and ​ and2. 2 . Also, Table 3 comparison results are presented visually in the form of bar graphs in Figures ​ Figures8 8 and ​ and9. 9 . The comparison shows that the proposed algorithm of this paper has the best performance.

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Compared with different algorithm on NTU RGB + D.

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Compared with different algorithm on N-UCLA.

Classroom action recognition accuracy.

3.2. Analysis of Classroom Behavior Recognition Accuracy

Table 3 lists the classification accuracy rates of 10 types of behaviors commonly seen by teachers and students in the classroom when the model of this paper is used. It can be seen that the classification accuracy rates of most behaviors are over 90%, among which picking up actions and raising hands actions are more easily recognized accurately because of the larger magnitude of the whole body, reaching 98.2% and 98.7% recognition accuracy rates, respectively. For the offending actions (such as playing with the phone), a high recognition rate of 95.3% was also achieved. However, for the recognition of static actions such as writing, although it did not reach the recognition accuracy of other actions, it still had 82.6% recognition accuracy.

4. Conclusion

The behavior recognition technology based on big data can effectively analyze the classroom behaviors of teachers and students, provide support for moral education evaluation in colleges and universities, and improve the efficiency and comprehensiveness of moral education evaluation in colleges and universities. In this paper, we propose a lightweight graph convolutional network combining multi-information flow data fusion and spatiotemporal attention mechanism to address the core problem in the field of moral education effect evaluation and student behavior analysis in colleges and universities, namely, the recognition speed and recognition rate of two types of algorithms for convolutional neural networks and graph convolutional networks are not high. By combining multi-information stream data fusion with adaptive graph convolution and also improving feature utilization by embedding spatiotemporal attention module, the performance of the model in this paper is optimal and also the recognition accuracy is improved substantially when tested and compared on NTU RGB + D and N-UCLA data sets. The design and improvement of this system can help universities to better carry out comprehensive student assessment and improve their human education. The follow-up work can make more improvements in two aspects: improving the accuracy of individual action recognition and continuing to propose a more lightweight model.

Data Availability

Conflicts of interest.

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest.

Study Paragraphs

Essay on Importance of Moral Education For Students

In today’s society, morality and etiquette are both subjective and often defined by the individual. In this article, we will discuss some of the major perspectives on moral education for students.

Table of Contents

The Importance of Moral Education Essay for Students

Moral education is essential for students to have in order to create good, ethical citizens. It teaches students about right and wrong, values, and the responsibilities that come with having those values. It also helps students make informed decisions and handle difficult situations.

Moral education should start early in a student’s life. Many people believe that moral education starts with kindergarten or preschool, when children are still developing their sense of right and wrong. However, moral education can also be taught in high school or college.

There are many benefits to teaching moral education in schools. For one, it helps students develop a strong character. Character is critical in life, and it’s important for students to learn how to build healthy relationships, cope with stress, and handle adversity. Moral education also teaches students how to think critically and solve problems. This skill set is valuable in any field, but is especially important in fields such as law, business, journalism, engineering, and medicine.

Unfortunately, not all schools provide adequate moral education. In fact, according to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), only about one-third of U.S. schools offer any type of moral education at all (NASP 2013

How to Increase Moral Education for Students

Moral education is an important part of a child’s development. It teaches them how to make good decisions and behave ethically. It also helps them understand the consequences of their actions.

There are many benefits to moral education for students. They learn to think critically and to be self-aware. They also learn how to cooperate and work together. In addition, they learn how to treat others ethically, which can help them become responsible citizens in the future.

Moral education is important for all students, but it is particularly important for students who are growing up in a time when there are more choices than ever before. Today’s children face difficult decisions every day, and they need guidance in making the right ones. Moral education gives them the skills they need to make well-informed choices, and it helps them develop a sense of responsibility and compassion for others.

Moral education is an important part of any student’s education. It can help them become more responsible, compassionate and ethical individuals who are able to navigate the complexities of life with greater ease. In order to develop these qualities, students need to be exposed to a variety of moral theories and arguments. Moral education should not be limited to religious institutions; it should be available in all schools so that every student can benefit from it.

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Mirror shards arranged in the shape of the United States, reflecting a tree and the sky

How America Got Mean

In a culture devoid of moral education, generations are growing up in a morally inarticulate, self-referential world.

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O ver the past eight years or so, I’ve been obsessed with two questions. The first is: Why have Americans become so sad? The rising rates of depression have been well publicized, as have the rising deaths of despair from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. But other statistics are similarly troubling. The percentage of people who say they don’t have close friends has increased fourfold since 1990. The share of Americans ages 25 to 54 who weren’t married or living with a romantic partner went up to 38 percent in 2019, from 29 percent in 1990. A record-high 25 percent of 40-year-old Americans have never married . More than half of all Americans say that no one knows them well. The percentage of high-school students who report “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” shot up from 26 percent in 2009 to 44 percent in 2021.

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My second, related question is: Why have Americans become so mean? I was recently talking with a restaurant owner who said that he has to eject a customer from his restaurant for rude or cruel behavior once a week—something that never used to happen. A head nurse at a hospital told me that many on her staff are leaving the profession because patients have become so abusive. At the far extreme of meanness, hate crimes rose in 2020 to their highest level in 12 years. Murder rates have been surging, at least until recently. Same with gun sales. Social trust is plummeting. In 2000, two-thirds of American households gave to charity; in 2018, fewer than half did. The words that define our age reek of menace: conspiracy , polarization , mass shootings , trauma , safe spaces .

We’re enmeshed in some sort of emotional, relational, and spiritual crisis, and it undergirds our political dysfunction and the general crisis of our democracy. What is going on?

Over the past few years, different social observers have offered different stories to explain the rise of hatred, anxiety, and despair.

The technology story: Social media is driving us all crazy.

The sociology story: We’ve stopped participating in community organizations and are more isolated.

The demography story: America, long a white-dominated nation, is becoming a much more diverse country, a change that has millions of white Americans in a panic.

The economy story: High levels of economic inequality and insecurity have left people afraid, alienated, and pessimistic.

I agree, to an extent, with all of these stories, but I don’t think any of them is the deepest one. Sure, social media has bad effects, but it is everywhere around the globe—and the mental-health crisis is not. Also, the rise of despair and hatred has engulfed a lot of people who are not on social media. Economic inequality is real, but it doesn’t fully explain this level of social and emotional breakdown. The sociologists are right that we’re more isolated, but why? What values lead us to choose lifestyles that make us lonely and miserable?

The most important story about why Americans have become sad and alienated and rude, I believe, is also the simplest: We inhabit a society in which people are no longer trained in how to treat others with kindness and consideration. Our society has become one in which people feel licensed to give their selfishness free rein. The story I’m going to tell is about morals. In a healthy society, a web of institutions—families, schools, religious groups, community organizations, and workplaces—helps form people into kind and responsible citizens, the sort of people who show up for one another. We live in a society that’s terrible at moral formation.

Read: American shoppers are a nightmare

Moral formation, as I will use that stuffy-sounding term here, comprises three things. First, helping people learn to restrain their selfishness. How do we keep our evolutionarily conferred egotism under control? Second, teaching basic social and ethical skills. How do you welcome a neighbor into your community? How do you disagree with someone constructively? And third, helping people find a purpose in life. Morally formative institutions hold up a set of ideals. They provide practical pathways toward a meaningful existence: Here’s how you can dedicate your life to serving the poor, or protecting the nation, or loving your neighbor.

For a large part of its history, America was awash in morally formative institutions. Its Founding Fathers had a low view of human nature, and designed the Constitution to mitigate it (even while validating that low view of human nature by producing a document rife with racism and sexism). “Men I find to be a Sort of Beings very badly constructed,” Benjamin Franklin wrote , “as they are generally more easily provok’d than reconcil’d, more dispos’d to do Mischief to each other than to make Reparation, and much more easily deceiv’d than undeceiv’d.”

If such flawed, self-centered creatures were going to govern themselves and be decent neighbors to one another, they were going to need some training. For roughly 150 years after the founding, Americans were obsessed with moral education. In 1788, Noah Webster wrote, “The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities  ; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head .” The progressive philosopher John Dewey wrote in 1909 that schools teach morality “every moment of the day, five days a week.” Hollis Frissell, the president of the Hampton Institute, an early school for African Americans, declared, “Character is the main object of education.” As late as 1951, a commission organized by the National Education Association, one of the main teachers’ unions, stated that “an unremitting concern for moral and spiritual values continues to be a top priority for education.”

The moral-education programs that stippled the cultural landscape during this long stretch of history came from all points on the political and religious spectrums. School textbooks such as McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers not only taught students how to read and write; they taught etiquette, and featured stories designed to illustrate right and wrong behavior. In the 1920s, W. E. B. Du Bois’s magazine for Black children , The Brownies’ Book , had a regular column called “The Judge,” which provided guidance to young readers on morals and manners. There were thriving school organizations with morally earnest names that sound quaint today—the Courtesy Club, the Thrift Club, the Knighthood of Youth.

Beyond the classroom lay a host of other groups: the YMCA; the Sunday-school movement; the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; the settlement-house movement, which brought rich and poor together to serve the marginalized; Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, which extended our moral concerns to include proper care for the natural world; professional organizations, which enforced ethical codes; unions and workplace associations, which, in addition to enhancing worker protections and paychecks, held up certain standards of working-class respectability. And of course, by the late 19th century, many Americans were members of churches or other religious communities. Mere religious faith doesn’t always make people morally good, but living in a community, orienting your heart toward some transcendent love, basing your value system on concern for the underserved—those things tend to.

Arthur C. Brooks: Make yourself happy—be kind

An educational approach with German roots that was adopted by Scandinavian societies in the mid-to-late 19th century had a wide influence on America. It was called Bildung , roughly meaning “spiritual formation.” As conceived by Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Bildung approach gave professors complete freedom to put moral development at the center of a university’s mission. In schools across Scandinavia, students studied literature and folk cultures to identify their own emotions, wounds, and weaknesses, in order to become the complex human beings that modern society required. Schools in the Bildung tradition also aimed to clarify the individual’s responsibilities to the wider world—family, friends, nation, humanity. Start with the soul and move outward.

The Bildung movement helped inspire the Great Books programs that popped up at places like Columbia and the University of Chicago. They were based on the conviction that reading the major works of world literature and thinking about them deeply would provide the keys to living a richer life. Meanwhile, discipline in the small proprieties of daily existence—dressing formally, even just to go shopping or to a ball game—was considered evidence of uprightness: proof that you were a person who could be counted on when the large challenges came.

Much of American moral education drew on an ethos expressed by the headmaster of the Stowe School, in England, who wrote in 1930 that the purpose of his institution was to turn out young men who were “acceptable at a dance and invaluable in a shipwreck.” America’s National Institute for Moral Instruction was founded in 1911 and published a “Children’s Morality Code,” with 10 rules for right living. At the turn of the 20th century, Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s institution, was an example of an intentionally thick moral community. When a young Frances Perkins was a student there, her Latin teacher detected a certain laziness in her. She forced Perkins to spend hours conjugating Latin verbs, to cultivate self-discipline. Perkins grew to appreciate this: “For the first time I became conscious of character.” The school also called upon women to follow morally ambitious paths. “Do what nobody else wants to do; go where nobody else wants to go,” the school’s founder implored. Holyoke launched women into lives of service in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. Perkins, who would become the first woman to serve in a presidential Cabinet (Franklin D. Roosevelt’s), was galvanized there.

Read: Students’ broken moral compasses

These various approaches to moral formation shared two premises. The first was that training the heart and body is more important than training the reasoning brain. Some moral skills can be taught the way academic subjects are imparted, through books and lectures. But we learn most virtues the way we learn crafts, through the repetition of many small habits and practices, all within a coherent moral culture—a community of common values, whose members aspire to earn one another’s respect.

A shape of the a person made of a broken mirror reflecting a tree.

The other guiding premise was that concepts like justice and right and wrong are not matters of personal taste: An objective moral order exists, and human beings are creatures who habitually sin against that order. This recognition was central, for example, to the way the civil-rights movement in the 1950s and early 1960s thought about character formation. “Instead of assured progress in wisdom and decency man faces the ever present possibility of swift relapse not merely to animalism but into such calculated cruelty as no other animal can practice,” Martin Luther King Jr. believed. Elsewhere, he wrote, “The force of sinfulness is so stubborn a characteristic of human nature that it can only be restrained when the social unit is armed with both moral and physical might.”

At their best, the civil-rights marchers in this prophetic tradition understood that they could become corrupted even while serving a noble cause. They could become self-righteous because their cause was just, hardened by hatred of their opponents, prideful as they asserted power. King’s strategy of nonviolence was an effort simultaneously to expose the sins of their oppressors and to restrain the sinful tendencies inherent in themselves. “What gave such widely compelling force to King’s leadership and oratory,” the historian George Marsden argues, “was his bedrock conviction that moral law was built into the universe.”

A couple of obvious things need to be said about this ethos of moral formation that dominated American life for so long. It prevailed alongside all sorts of hierarchies that we now rightly find abhorrent: whites superior to Blacks, men to women, Christians to Jews, straight people to gay people. And the emphasis on morality didn’t produce perfect people. Moral formation doesn’t succeed in making people angels—it tries to make them better than they otherwise might be.

Furthermore, we would never want to go back to the training methods that prevailed for so long, rooted in so many thou shall not s and so much shaming, and riddled with so much racism and sexism. Yet a wise accounting should acknowledge that emphasizing moral formation meant focusing on an important question—what is life for?—and teaching people how to bear up under inevitable difficulties. A culture invested in shaping character helped make people resilient by giving them ideals to cling to when times got hard. In some ways, the old approach to moral formation was, at least theoretically, egalitarian: If your status in the community was based on character and reputation, then a farmer could earn dignity as readily as a banker. This ethos came down hard on self-centeredness and narcissistic display. It offered practical guidance on how to be a good neighbor, a good friend.

And then it mostly went away.

The crucial pivot happened just after World War II, as people wrestled with the horrors of the 20th century. One group, personified by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, argued that recent events had exposed the prevalence of human depravity and the dangers, in particular, of tribalism, nationalism, and collective pride. This group wanted to double down on moral formation, with a greater emphasis on humility.

Another group, personified by Carl Rogers, a founder of humanistic psychology, focused on the problem of authority. The trouble with the 20th century, the members of this group argued, was that the existence of rigid power hierarchies led to oppression in many spheres of life. We need to liberate individuals from these authority structures, many contended. People are naturally good and can be trusted to do their own self-actualization.

A cluster of phenomenally successful books appeared in the decade after World War II, making the case that, as Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman wrote in Peace of Mind (1946), “thou shalt not be afraid of thy hidden impulses.” People can trust the goodness inside. His book topped the New York Times best-seller list for 58 weeks. Dr. Spock’s first child-rearing manual was published the same year. That was followed by books like The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). According to this ethos, morality is not something that we develop in communities. It’s nurtured by connecting with our authentic self and finding our true inner voice. If people are naturally good, we don’t need moral formation; we just need to let people get in touch with themselves. Organization after organization got out of the moral-formation business and into the self-awareness business. By the mid‑1970s, for example, the Girl Scouts’ founding ethos of service to others had shifted: “How can you get more in touch with you ? What are you thinking? What are you feeling?” one Girl Scout handbook asked.

Schools began to abandon moral formation in the 1940s and ’50s, as the education historian B. Edward McClellan chronicles in Moral Education in America   : “By the 1960s deliberate moral education was in full-scale retreat” as educators “paid more attention to the SAT scores of their students, and middle-class parents scrambled to find schools that would give their children the best chances to qualify for elite colleges and universities.” The postwar period saw similar change at the college level, Anthony Kronman, a former dean of Yale Law School, has noted. The “research ideal” supplanted the earlier humanistic ideal of cultivating the whole student. As academics grew more specialized, Kronman has argued, the big questions—What is the meaning of life? How do you live a good life?—lost all purchase. Such questions became unprofessional for an academic to even ask.

Read: The benefits of character education

In sphere after sphere, people decided that moral reasoning was not really relevant. Psychology’s purview grew, especially in family and educational matters, its vocabulary framing “virtually all public discussion” of the moral life of children, James Davison Hunter, a prominent American scholar on character education, noted in 2000 . “For decades now, contributions from philosophers and theologians have been muted or nonexistent.” Psychology is a wonderful profession, but its goal is mental health, not moral growth.

From the start, some worried about this privatizing of morality. “If what is good, what is right, what is true is only what the individual ‘chooses’ to ‘invent,’ ” Walter Lippmann wrote in his 1955 collection, Essays in the Public Philosophy , “then we are outside the traditions of civility.” His book was hooted down by establishment figures such as the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.; the de-moralization of American culture was under way.

Over the course of the 20th century, words relating to morality appeared less and less frequently in the nation’s books: According to a 2012 paper, usage of a cluster of words related to being virtuous also declined significantly. Among them were bravery (which dropped by 65 percent), gratitude (58 percent), and humbleness (55 percent). For decades, researchers have asked incoming college students about their goals in life. In 1967, about 85 percent said they were strongly motivated to develop “a meaningful philosophy of life”; by 2000, only 42 percent said that . Being financially well off became the leading life goal; by 2015, 82 percent of students said wealth was their aim.

In a culture devoid of moral education, generations grow up in a morally inarticulate, self-referential world. The Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith and a team of researchers asked young adults across the country in 2008 about their moral lives. One of their findings was that the interviewees had not given the subject of morality much thought. “I’ve never had to make a decision about what’s right and what’s wrong,” one young adult told the researchers. “My teachers avoid controversies like that like the plague,” many teenagers said.

The moral instincts that Smith observed in his sample fell into the pattern that the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre called “emotivism”: Whatever feels good to me is moral. “I would probably do what would make me happy” in any given situation , one of the interviewees declared. “Because it’s me in the long run.” As another put it, “If you’re okay with it morally, as long as you’re not getting caught, then it’s not really against your morals, is it?” Smith and his colleagues emphasized that the interviewees were not bad people but, because they were living “in morally very thin or spotty worlds,” they had never been given a moral vocabulary or learned moral skills.

Most of us who noticed the process of de-moralization as it was occurring thought a bland moral relativism and empty consumerism would be the result: You do you and I’ll do me. That’s not what happened.

“Moral communities are fragile things, hard to build and easy to destroy,” the psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes in The Righteous Mind . When you are raised in a culture without ethical structure, you become internally fragile. You have no moral compass to give you direction, no permanent ideals to which you can swear ultimate allegiance. “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how ,” the psychiatrist (and Holocaust survivor) Viktor Frankl wrote, interpreting a famous Nietzsche saying. Those without a why fall apart when the storms hit. They begin to suffer from that feeling of moral emptiness that Émile Durkheim called “anomie.”

Expecting people to build a satisfying moral and spiritual life on their own by looking within themselves is asking too much. A culture that leaves people morally naked and alone leaves them without the skills to be decent to one another. Social trust falls partly because more people are untrustworthy. That creates crowds of what psychologists call “vulnerable narcissists.” We all know grandiose narcissists—people who revere themselves as the center of the universe. Vulnerable narcissists are the more common figures in our day—people who are also addicted to thinking about themselves, but who often feel anxious, insecure, avoidant. Intensely sensitive to rejection, they scan for hints of disrespect. Their self-esteem is wildly in flux. Their uncertainty about their inner worth triggers cycles of distrust, shame, and hostility.

“The breakdown of an enduring moral framework will always produce disconnection, alienation, and an estrangement from those around you,” Luke Bretherton, a theologian at Duke Divinity School, told me. The result is the kind of sadness I see in the people around me. Young adults I know are spiraling, leaving school, moving from one mental-health facility to another. After a talk I gave in Oklahoma, a woman asked me, “What do you do when you no longer want to be alive?” The very next night I had dinner with a woman who told me that her brother had died by suicide three months before. I mentioned these events to a group of friends on a Zoom call, and nearly half of them said they’d had a brush with suicide in their family. Statistics paint the broader picture: Suicide rates have increased by more than 30 percent since 2000, according to the CDC.

Sadness, loneliness, and self-harm turn into bitterness. Social pain is ultimately a response to a sense of rejection—of being invisible, unheard, disrespected, victimized. When people feel that their identity is unrecognized, the experience registers as an injustice—because it is. People who have been treated unjustly often lash out and seek ways to humiliate those who they believe have humiliated them.

Lonely eras are not just sad eras; they are violent ones. In 19th-century America, when a lot of lonely young men were crossing the western frontier, one of the things they tended to do was shoot one another. As the saying goes, pain that is not transformed gets transmitted. People grow more callous, defensive, distrustful, and hostile. The pandemic made it worse, but antisocial behavior is still high even though the lockdowns are over. And now we are caught in a cycle, ill treatment leading to humiliation and humiliation leading to more meanness. Social life becomes more barbaric, online and off.

If you put people in a moral vacuum, they will seek to fill it with the closest thing at hand. Over the past several years, people have sought to fill the moral vacuum with politics and tribalism. American society has become hyper-politicized.

David Brooks: America is having a moral convulsion

According to research by Ryan Streeter, the director of domestic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, lonely young people are seven times more likely to say they are active in politics than young people who aren’t lonely. For people who feel disrespected, unseen, and alone, politics is a seductive form of social therapy. It offers them a comprehensible moral landscape: The line between good and evil runs not down the middle of every human heart, but between groups. Life is a struggle between us, the forces of good, and them, the forces of evil.

The Manichaean tribalism of politics appears to give people a sense of belonging. For many years, America seemed to be awash in a culture of hyper-individualism. But these days, people are quick to identify themselves by their group: Republican, Democrat, evangelical, person of color, LGBTQ, southerner, patriot, progressive, conservative. People who feel isolated and under threat flee to totalizing identities.

Politics appears to give people a sense of righteousness: A person’s moral stature is based not on their conduct, but on their location on the political spectrum. You don’t have to be good; you just have to be liberal—or you just have to be conservative. The stronger a group’s claim to victim status, the more virtuous it is assumed to be, and the more secure its members can feel about their own innocence.

Politics also provides an easy way to feel a sense of purpose. You don’t have to feed the hungry or sit with the widow to be moral; you just have to experience the right emotion. You delude yourself that you are participating in civic life by feeling properly enraged at the other side. That righteous fury rising in your gut lets you know that you are engaged in caring about this country. The culture war is a struggle that gives life meaning.

Politics overwhelms everything. Churches, universities, sports, pop culture, health care are swept up in a succession of battles that are really just one big war—red versus blue. Evangelicalism used to be a faith; today it’s primarily a political identity. College humanities departments used to study literature and history to plumb the human heart and mind; now they sometimes seem exclusively preoccupied with politics, and with the oppressive systems built around race, class, and gender. Late-night comedy shows have become political pep rallies. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died unnecessarily during the pandemic because people saw a virus through the lens of a political struggle.

This is not politics as it is normally understood. In psychically healthy societies, people fight over the politics of distribution: How high should taxes be? How much money should go to social programs for the poor and the elderly? We’ve shifted focus from the politics of redistribution to the politics of recognition. Political movements are fueled by resentment, by feelings that society does not respect or recognize me. Political and media personalities gin up dramas in which our side is emotionally validated and the other side is emotionally shamed. The person practicing the politics of recognition is not trying to get resources for himself or his constituency; he is trying to admire himself. He’s trying to use politics to fill the hole in his soul. It doesn’t work.

The politics of recognition doesn’t give you community and connection, certainly not in a system like our current one, mired in structural dysfunction. People join partisan tribes in search of belonging—but they end up in a lonely mob of isolated belligerents who merely obey the same orthodoxy.

If you are asking politics to be the reigning source of meaning in your life, you are asking more of politics than it can bear. Seeking to escape sadness, loneliness, and anomie through politics serves only to drop you into a world marked by fear and rage, by a sadistic striving for domination. Sure, you’ve left the moral vacuum—but you’ve landed in the pulverizing destructiveness of moral war. The politics of recognition has not produced a happy society. When asked by the General Social Survey to rate their happiness level, 20 percent of Americans in 2022 rated it at the lowest level —only 8 percent did the same in 1990.

Read: What the longest study on human happiness found is the key to a good life

America’s Founding Fathers studied the history of democracies going back to ancient Greece. They drew the lesson that democracies can be quite fragile. When private virtue fails, the constitutional order crumbles. After decades without much in the way of moral formation, America became a place where more than 74 million people looked at Donald Trump’s morality and saw presidential timber.

Even in dark times, sparks of renewal appear. In 2018, a documentary about Mister Rogers called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was released. The film showed Fred Rogers in all his simple goodness —his small acts of generosity; his displays of vulnerability; his respect, even reverence, for each child he encountered. People cried openly while watching it in theaters. In an age of conflict and threat, the sight of radical goodness was so moving.

In the summer of 2020, the series Ted Lasso premiered. When Lasso describes his goals as a soccer coach, he could mention the championships he hopes to win or some other conventional metric of success, but he says, “For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”

That is a two-sentence description of moral formation. Ted Lasso is about an earnest, cheerful, and transparently kind man who enters a world that has grown cynical, amoral, and manipulative, and, episode after episode, even through his own troubles, he offers the people around him opportunities to grow more gracious, to confront their vulnerabilities and fears, and to treat one another more gently and wisely. Amid lockdowns and political rancor, it became a cultural touchstone, and the most watched show on Apple TV+.

Even as our public life has grown morally bare, people, as part of their elemental nature, yearn to feel respected and worthy of respect, need to feel that their life has some moral purpose and meaning. People still want to build a society in which it is easier to be good. So the questions before us are pretty simple: How can we build morally formative institutions that are right for the 21st century? What do we need to do to build a culture that helps people become the best versions of themselves?

A few necessities come immediately to mind.

A modern vision of how to build character. The old-fashioned models of character-building were hopelessly gendered. Men were supposed to display iron willpower that would help them achieve self-mastery over their unruly passions. Women were to sequester themselves in a world of ladylike gentility in order to not be corrupted by bad influences and base desires. Those formulas are obsolete today.

The best modern approach to building character is described in Iris Murdoch’s book The Sovereignty of Good . Murdoch writes that “nothing in life is of any value except the attempt to be virtuous.” For her, moral life is not defined merely by great deeds of courage or sacrifice in epic moments. Instead, moral life is something that goes on continually—treating people considerately in the complex situations of daily existence. For her, the essential moral act is casting a “just and loving” attention on other people.

Normally, she argues, we go about our days with self-centered, self-serving eyes. We see and judge people in ways that satisfy our own ego. We diminish and stereotype and ignore, reducing other people to bit players in our own all-consuming personal drama. But we become morally better, she continues, as we learn to see others deeply, as we learn to envelop others in the kind of patient, caring regard that makes them feel seen, heard, and understood. This is the kind of attention that implicitly asks, “What are you going through?” and cares about the answer.

I become a better person as I become more curious about those around me, as I become more skilled in seeing from their point of view. As I learn to perceive you with a patient and loving regard, I will tend to treat you well. We can, Murdoch concluded, “grow by looking.”

Mandatory social-skills courses. Murdoch’s character-building formula roots us in the simple act of paying attention: Do I attend to you well? It also emphasizes that character is formed and displayed as we treat others considerately. This requires not just a good heart, but good social skills: how to listen well. How to disagree with respect. How to ask for and offer forgiveness. How to patiently cultivate a friendship. How to sit with someone who is grieving or depressed. How to be a good conversationalist.

These are some of the most important skills a person can have. And yet somehow, we don’t teach them. Our schools spend years prepping students with professional skills—but offer little guidance on how to be an upstanding person in everyday life. If we’re going to build a decent society, elementary schools and high schools should require students to take courses that teach these specific social skills, and thus prepare them for life with one another. We could have courses in how to be a good listener or how to build a friendship. The late feminist philosopher Nel Noddings developed a whole pedagogy around how to effectively care for others.

A new core curriculum. More and more colleges and universities are offering courses in what you might call “How to Live.” Yale has one called “Life Worth Living.” Notre Dame has one called “God and the Good Life.” A first-year honors program in this vein at Valparaiso University, in Indiana, involves not just conducting formal debates on ideas gleaned from the Great Books, but putting on a musical production based on their themes. Many of these courses don’t give students a ready-made formula, but they introduce students to some of the venerated moral traditions—Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, and Enlightenment rationalism, among others. They introduce students to those thinkers who have thought hard on moral problems, from Aristotle to Desmond Tutu to Martha Nussbaum. They hold up diverse exemplars to serve as models of how to live well. They put the big questions of life firmly on the table: What is the ruling passion of your soul? Whom are you responsible to? What are my moral obligations? What will it take for my life to be meaningful? What does it mean to be a good human in today’s world? What are the central issues we need to engage with concerning new technology and human life?

These questions clash with the ethos of the modern university, which is built around specialization and passing on professional or technical knowledge. But they are the most important courses a college can offer. They shouldn’t be on the margins of academic life. They should be part of the required core curriculum.

Intergenerational service. We spend most of our lives living by the logic of the meritocracy: Life is an individual climb upward toward success. It’s about pursuing self-interest.

There should be at least two periods of life when people have a chance to take a sabbatical from the meritocracy and live by an alternative logic—the logic of service: You have to give to receive. You have to lose yourself in a common cause to find yourself. The deepest human relationships are gift relationships, based on mutual care. (An obvious model for at least some aspects of this is the culture of the U.S. military, which similarly emphasizes honor, service, selflessness, and character in support of a purpose greater than oneself, throwing together Americans of different ages and backgrounds who forge strong social bonds.)

Those sabbaticals could happen at the end of the school years and at the end of the working years. National service programs could bring younger and older people together to work to address community needs.

These programs would allow people to experience other-centered ways of being and develop practical moral habits: how to cooperate with people unlike you. How to show up day after day when progress is slow. How to do work that is generous and hard.

Moral organizations. Most organizations serve two sets of goals—moral goals and instrumental goals. Hospitals heal the sick and also seek to make money. Newspapers and magazines inform the public and also try to generate clicks. Law firms defend clients and also try to maximize billable hours. Nonprofits aim to serve the public good and also raise money.

In our society, the commercial or utilitarian goals tend to eclipse the moral goals. Doctors are pressured by hospital administrators to rush through patients so they can charge more fees. Journalists are incentivized to write stories that confirm reader prejudices in order to climb the most-read lists. Whole companies slip into an optimization mindset, in which everything is done to increase output and efficiency.

Moral renewal won’t come until we have leaders who are explicit, loud, and credible about both sets of goals. Here’s how we’re growing financially , but also Here’s how we’re learning to treat one another with consideration and respect; here’s how we’re going to forgo some financial returns in order to better serve our higher mission .

Early in my career, as a TV pundit at PBS NewsHour , I worked with its host, Jim Lehrer. Every day, with a series of small gestures, he signaled what kind of behavior was valued there and what kind of behavior was unacceptable. In this subtle way, he established a set of norms and practices that still lives on. He and others built a thick and coherent moral ecology, and its way of being was internalized by most of the people who have worked there.

Politics as a moral enterprise. An ancient brand of amoralism now haunts the world. Authoritarian-style leaders like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping embody a kind of amoral realism. They evince a mindset that assumes that the world is a vicious, dog-eat-dog sort of place. Life is a competition to grab what you can. Force is what matters. Morality is a luxury we cannot afford, or merely a sham that elites use to mask their own lust for power. It’s fine to elect people who lie, who are corrupt, as long as they are ruthless bastards for our side. The ends justify the means.

Those of us who oppose these authoritarians stand, by contrast, for a philosophy of moral realism. Yes, of course people are selfish and life can be harsh. But over the centuries, civilizations have established rules and codes to nurture cooperation, to build trust and sweeten our condition. These include personal moral codes so we know how to treat one another well, ethical codes to help prevent corruption on the job and in public life, and the rules of the liberal world order so that nations can live in peace, secure within their borders.

Moral realists are fighting to defend and modernize these rules and standards—these sinews of civilization. Moral realism is built on certain core principles. Character is destiny. We can either elect people who try to embody the highest standards of honesty, kindness, and integrity, or elect people who shred those standards. Statecraft is soulcraft. The laws we pass shape the kinds of people we become. We can structure our tax code to encourage people to be enterprising and to save more, or we can structure the code to encourage people to be conniving and profligate. Democracy is the system that best enhances human dignity. Democratic regimes entrust power to the people, and try to form people so they will be responsible with that trust. Authoritarian regimes seek to create a world in which the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

Look, I understand why people don’t want to get all moralistic in public. Many of those who do are self-righteous prigs, or rank hypocrites. And all of this is only a start. But healthy moral ecologies don’t just happen. They have to be seeded and tended by people who think and talk in moral terms, who try to model and inculcate moral behavior, who understand that we have to build moral communities because on our own, we are all selfish and flawed. Moral formation is best when it’s humble. It means giving people the skills and habits that will help them be considerate to others in the complex situations of life. It means helping people behave in ways that make other people feel included, seen, and respected. That’s very different from how we treat people now—in ways that make them feel sad and lonely, and that make them grow unkind.

This article appears in the September 2023 print edition with the headline “How America Got Mean.” When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.


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    Kristján Kristjánsson - University of Birmingham, UK, and Editor, Journal of Moral Education 'Together, these essays position moral education at the heart of human existence, invigorating our sense of what is at stake in the aspiration to behave better in day-to-day and collective life. The result is a powerful demonstration that reflecting ...


    The lack in moral values and the unhealthy attitudes of students is the main reason of having problems in several schools. They have been realizing the importance of moral education in school. Moral Values are the worthy ideals or principles that one follows to distinguish the right from the wrong. These ideals or virtues are considered worthy ...


    MORAL VALUES IN EDUCATION. S. Kaur. Published in Tạp chí Nghiên cứu dân tộc 25 March 2019. Education, Philosophy. Schools have long been seen as institutions for preparing children for life, both academically and as moral agents in society. In order to become capable, moral citizens, children need to be provided with opportunities to ...

  8. Defining Moral Education

    One task for moral education in the modern college or university, then, is to articulate and scrutinize the moral ends of our shared enterprise. Truth seeking, a willingness to think deeply about alternative positions and arguments, to be swayed by evidence and argument, to acknowledge our intellectual debts to others, and to judge others on ...

  9. Teaching Ethics in Schools: A new approach to moral education

    2012. Teaching Ethics in Schools provides a fresh approach to moral education. Rather than conveying a set of mandated values, codes of conduct, behaviour management plans or religious instruction, moral education is presented as an essential aspect of study throughout the school curriculum. Ethical concepts from the history of philosophy are ...

  10. PDF What Is "Moral Education"?

    There is no exis- tence without society. Consequently, morality is a system of behaviors reecting what societies regard as "right" or "wrong". For Durkheim, modern moral education is the activity of transmitting good and right behaviors of a society to its future citizens. He regarded the teacher as a "secularized" priest or prophet ...

  11. Teaching strategies for moral education: a review

    Published 30 January 2008. Education, Philosophy. Journal of Curriculum Studies. We present the results of a literature review of studies on teaching strategies for moral education in secondary schools (1995-2003). The majority of the studies focus on the 'what' and 'why', i.e. the objectives, of curriculum‐oriented moral education.

  12. Moral Education and the Schools

    Let us for the purposes of this essay consider moral education, as the Free School Society did in 1820, to mean that which influences the "habits and characters" of the rising generation, or, in John Dewey's phrase, "ideas of any sort whatsoever which take effect in conduct and improve it, make it better than it otherwise would be."

  13. Schools Are Failing To Develop Students With Moral Identities

    According to Gallup polling, Lahey added, 90 percent of adults support the teaching in public schools of honesty, acceptance of others, and moral courage, among other character traits. What adults ...

  14. PDF Moral Education: Current Values in Students and Teachers' Effectiveness

    the implicit and unplanned aspects of preparing students teachers for moral education. (Willemse, M., Lunenberg, M., Korthagen, F., 2005). The purpose of this study was based on the hope that the findings from moral psychology will lead to best practices in moral education. The moral and character education literatures were

  15. Journal of Moral Education

    The Journal of Moral Education (a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee) provides a unique interdisciplinary forum for the discussion and analysis of moral education and development throughout the lifespan. The journal encourages cross-disciplinary research and submissions across the human sciences and humanities that use a range of methodological approaches and address aspects of moral ...

  16. Why Moral Education Is Important?: An Essential Guide

    It defines an individual's personality. A person may be classified as a moral or immoral person. Moral education helps to eliminate or minimise the vices like jealousy, greed, etc. Inculcating or adopting moral values can positively impact one's self, and it can build a positive attitude and develop self-confidence.

  17. Yes, Schools Should Teach Morality. But Whose Morals?

    Since the 1990s, many states passed legislation requiring some type of moral education in public schools. Indiana, for example, required schools to teach the virtues of honesty, respect for the ...

  18. (PDF) What Is "Moral Education"?

    modern moral education is the activity of transmitting good and right. behaviors of a society to its future citizens. He regarded the teacher as a. "secularized" priest or prophet charged with ...

  19. Research on the Evaluation of Moral Education Effectiveness and Student

    1. Introduction. Moral evaluation is a guide and an initiative to carry out moral education in schools. Moral evaluation is defined in the Dictionary of Education as "the process of making value judgments on the performance of moral behavior of individuals using the acquired moral standards" [].The broad perspective of school moral evaluation content is to examine the ideological, moral ...

  20. Importance of Moral Education Essay For Students

    The Importance of Moral Education Essay for Students. Moral education is essential for students to have in order to create good, ethical citizens. ... Unfortunately, not all schools provide adequate moral education. In fact, according to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), only about one-third of U.S. schools offer any type ...

  21. Spiritual Development as an Educational Goal

    The promotion of pupils' spiritual development was first explicitly stated at the beginning of the 1944 Education Act. Local governments were tasked to ensure schools "contributed to the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development" of their respective communities (Education Act 1944, s2.7[UK]).

  22. Moral Education in the Schools: A Developmental View

    No Access Five Papers on Values and Education. Moral Education in the Schools: A Developmental View. ... Journal of Moral Education 37, ... Ljiljana Miocinovic Moral education: School as a just community, Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja, ...

  23. Why Americans Are So Awful to One Another

    Schools began to abandon moral formation in the 1940s and '50s, as the education historian B. Edward McClellan chronicles in Moral Education in America : "By the 1960s deliberate moral ...

  24. The Implementation of Local Wisdom-Based Character Education in

    The majority of people believe that character education based on local wisdom in primary school may help children acquire moral values, great behavior, and character for students who embody society's culture and character. However, the question is what sort of learning model may be used in teaching character in primary schools. The fundamental purpose of this study is to investigate the ...