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New Perspectives on Young Children's Moral Education: Developing Character through a Virtue Ethics Approach

Author: Tony Eaude
Date: December 17, 2015
Language: English
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Abstract: Challenging many current assumptions about ethics and education, Tony Eaude suggests that a moral dimension runs through every aspect of life and that ethics involves learning to act and interact appropriately, based on an 'ethic of care' and enduring qualities and attributes, to equip children to resist strong external pressures. Drawing accessibly on research in neuroscience and psychology, he discusses how young children learn, highlighting the role of emotion, culture, example, habituation and feedback. Small actions can help to develop agency, empathy and thoughtfulness and a sense of moral identity, with an increasing emphasis on self-regulation, a vocabulary of ethics and intrinsic motivation. Eaude explores how character, virtues and values can help young children and adults to recognize and internalize qualities associated with living 'a good life'. He identifies how adults and learning environments can support these processes and shows why an inclusive approach is needed, rather than focusing on these topics only in particular settings, programmes or lessons. Recognising pitfalls and dilemmas, Eaude argues that an approach based on virtue ethics and an apprenticeship model is suitable in school and other settings, both religious and otherwise, internationally.
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Publisher: Bloomsbury
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