In the present paper we developed a pedagogical discourse about educating children to virtues. Indeed, in order to promote the moral education we hypothesized that it should be meaningful to go to the ancient moral philosophy and precisely to the Socratic and Aristotle’s philosophy. From an Aristotelian standpoint virtues can be acquired by practice, i.e. by training ourselves to put virtues into practice in the daily circumstances. However, as Socrates teaches us, a good action presupposes that we know both the subject and the object of action. Thus, acting according to virtue presumes that one dedicates her/himself to examine first of all what virtue means. Our theory of ethic education to virtues requires to conceive an educative environment as a context where students can both examine the virtues (cognitive approach) and being encouraged to put them in practice (experiential approach). To gain this extent, we transformed this thesis in an educative experience and we realised a research on it. The study was a two years research with primary school children. The research involved 319 children of 18 different primary classrooms from several schools based in Verona (Italy). We carefully thought the research activities in order to investigate children’s thoughts and perceptions on virtues (research perspective), in a way that our research process could enhance their understanding on this matter (educative perspective). In particular, we used games and stories to engage children in reflections in order to get an insight on their understanding on ethics. We also discussed with them about meanings related to virtue to grasp and develop their ethical thinking. In order to show the deeper understanding displayed by the children about virtue, some results are presented and discussed. Furthermore, implications for an ethical curriculum are explored.

Discovering Virtues with Children. An Experience for an Ethical curriculum

MORTARI, Luigina;MAZZONI, Valentina
2012

Abstract

In the present paper we developed a pedagogical discourse about educating children to virtues. Indeed, in order to promote the moral education we hypothesized that it should be meaningful to go to the ancient moral philosophy and precisely to the Socratic and Aristotle’s philosophy. From an Aristotelian standpoint virtues can be acquired by practice, i.e. by training ourselves to put virtues into practice in the daily circumstances. However, as Socrates teaches us, a good action presupposes that we know both the subject and the object of action. Thus, acting according to virtue presumes that one dedicates her/himself to examine first of all what virtue means. Our theory of ethic education to virtues requires to conceive an educative environment as a context where students can both examine the virtues (cognitive approach) and being encouraged to put them in practice (experiential approach). To gain this extent, we transformed this thesis in an educative experience and we realised a research on it. The study was a two years research with primary school children. The research involved 319 children of 18 different primary classrooms from several schools based in Verona (Italy). We carefully thought the research activities in order to investigate children’s thoughts and perceptions on virtues (research perspective), in a way that our research process could enhance their understanding on this matter (educative perspective). In particular, we used games and stories to engage children in reflections in order to get an insight on their understanding on ethics. We also discussed with them about meanings related to virtue to grasp and develop their ethical thinking. In order to show the deeper understanding displayed by the children about virtue, some results are presented and discussed. Furthermore, implications for an ethical curriculum are explored.
9789460918353
Moral Education; citizenship education; Educational Research
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/477956
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