Morality results from immersion in a social group, and manifests itself in a respect for that group Education is a social phenomenon and consists of a systematic socialization of the young generation. Moral education is the process of internalizing morality into each new generation.
Morality is “a comprehensive system of prohibitions” (42) composed of three elements: o Discipline (constraining egoistic impulses) o Attachment (the voluntary willingness to be committed to groups) o Autonomy (individual responsibility) Education provides children with these three moral tools needed to function in society.
Discipline functions to develop habits and “determine conduct, to fix it, [and] to eliminate…individual arbitrariness" Discipline teaches children to suppress their impulses and be consistent in their conduct Children need to “obey a moral precept out of respect” to its superior power over them
“...Moral life only begins where the collective life beings.“ Through attachment to groups, individuals reach a moral consciousness in which they develop an interest in seeking justice and preventing suffering The school must function to link children to social groups such that they can learn moral values
Children should have an awareness or “consciousness” of the reasons for moral conduct. This consciousness provides the autonomy to understand and explain morality and moral behavior. Teachers should foster autonomy among their students by not preaching or indoctrinating, but explaining morality.
Individuals define morality individually through their struggles to arrive at fair solutions Contrary to Durkheim, Piaget believed that autonomy must involve spontaneous and creative initiative as well as exploration Teachers should encourage students’ personal discovery through problem solving
Kohlberg attempted to reconcile the differences in orientation that existed between the theories of moral growth held by Piaget and Durkheim. “Just community" schools approach o Intended to enhance students' moral development by offering them the chance to participate in a democratic community
For Durkheim, individuals have connections to the state/social institution, but not necessarily to each other Pluralism plays a vital role in contributing to diversity and dynamism in the political community. Durkheim supported a deliberative democratic community and believed that this form of community could bring about social change
Democratic deliberation encourages the investigation of “uncharted customs, obscure sentiments and prejudices that evade investigation” (p. 89) Deliberation is a means to conduct checks and balances on state operations The more democratic a society, “the more that deliberation and reflection and a critical spirit play a considerable part in the courses of public affairs”
Durkheim does not address the contribution of peer social interaction in developing autonomy Durkheim does not elaborate on the rules involved in fostering moral development Durkheim’s theory lacks empirical support Durkheim’s ideas justify 'civic education‘ where public educational systems are used to indoctrinate citizens Durkheim is reductionist to the collective level
1. How does Durkheim align or conflict with our course’s authors? 2. What other critiques do you have of Durkheim’s ideas? 3. How is moral education similar to/different from democratic education? 4. Does democratic education contain an element of indoctrination?