Teaching Moral Character: Two Alternatives for Teacher Education

Apr. 27, 2008

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 43, Issue 2 April 2008 , pages 156 - 172


Education is a values-infused enterprise. Therefore, debating whether or not teachers should teach values addresses the wrong question.
The main question is how to train teachers for positive character formation.
Two teacher education strategies are presented in this article.
A “minimalist” strategy requires teacher educators to make explicit the hidden moral education curriculum and to reveal the inextricable linkage between best practice instruction and moral character outcomes.
The “maximalist” approach requires preservice teachers to master a tool kit of pedagogical strategies that target moral character directly as a curricular goal.
To this end, the Integrative Ethical Education model outlines five steps for moral character development: supportive climate, ethical skills, apprenticeship instruction, self-regulation, and adopting a developmental systems approach.

Updated: Oct. 02, 2008