“MelArete” is an educative and research project promoted by the Center of Educational and Didactic Research of the University of Verona in Italy. The word “MelArete” originates from the union of the Greek terms “meléte” (which means “care”) and “areté” (which means “virtue”). The project is aimed at educating children to virtue ethics and exploring their ethical thinking (Mortari and Mazzoni, 2014). The theoretical background is grounded in the Aristotelian and Socratic ethical visions. Important references are also found in the philosophy of care (Held, 2006; Mortari, 2015; Noddings, 1984, 1992) and in the concept of Ricoeur (1990) about the distinction between ethics and morality. The epistemological background of the research refers to “naturalistic inquiry” (Lincoln and Guba, 1985), according to which the phenomenon under study should be investigated in the context where it appears. The project involves children attending kindergarten (5-6 y.o.) and primary school (9-10 y.o.). The experience is aimed at encouraging children to reflect about the concepts of “good” and “care”, about the general idea of “virtue” and about some specific virtues, such as courage, generosity, respect and justice. The activities designed to reach these educative aims and collect data for the research are the following: class conversations, narratives, vignettes, games. Another important activity is the “diary of virtue”, a journal where children reflect on their everyday ethical experience. The qualitative data analysis, that follows an inductive and phenomenological approach (Mortari, 2007), is still in progress. However, we can already present some specific examples that show the richness of children’s ethical thinking.

Children’s ethical thinking: the “MelArete” project

mortari, luigina
;
ubbiali, marco
;
valbusa, federica
2017

Abstract

“MelArete” is an educative and research project promoted by the Center of Educational and Didactic Research of the University of Verona in Italy. The word “MelArete” originates from the union of the Greek terms “meléte” (which means “care”) and “areté” (which means “virtue”). The project is aimed at educating children to virtue ethics and exploring their ethical thinking (Mortari and Mazzoni, 2014). The theoretical background is grounded in the Aristotelian and Socratic ethical visions. Important references are also found in the philosophy of care (Held, 2006; Mortari, 2015; Noddings, 1984, 1992) and in the concept of Ricoeur (1990) about the distinction between ethics and morality. The epistemological background of the research refers to “naturalistic inquiry” (Lincoln and Guba, 1985), according to which the phenomenon under study should be investigated in the context where it appears. The project involves children attending kindergarten (5-6 y.o.) and primary school (9-10 y.o.). The experience is aimed at encouraging children to reflect about the concepts of “good” and “care”, about the general idea of “virtue” and about some specific virtues, such as courage, generosity, respect and justice. The activities designed to reach these educative aims and collect data for the research are the following: class conversations, narratives, vignettes, games. Another important activity is the “diary of virtue”, a journal where children reflect on their everyday ethical experience. The qualitative data analysis, that follows an inductive and phenomenological approach (Mortari, 2007), is still in progress. However, we can already present some specific examples that show the richness of children’s ethical thinking.
ethical education; qualitative research; kindergarten; primary school
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/972858
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