Saturday, January 11, 2014

Taste and see

Via the "Stand to Reason Blog": good advice about how to teach morality to children from Daniel Coupland's NRO article:
...[C]an’t we just explain virtuous behavior? Guroian says no.
Mere instruction in morality is not sufficient to nurture its virtues. It might even backfire, especially when the presentation is heavily exhortative and the pupil’s will is coerced. Instead, a compelling vision of the goodness of goodness itself needs to be presented in a way that is attractive and stirs the imagination. A good moral education addresses both the cognitive and affective dimensions of human nature.
Guroian then makes a compelling case for cultivating the moral imagination through children’s literature.
The great fairy tales and fantasy stories capture the meaning of morality through vivid depictions of the struggle between good and evil, where characters must make difficult choices between right and wrong, or heroes and villains contest the very fate of imaginary worlds.
The best way to begin the cultivation of moral character is to immerse children in great stories where virtues are rendered attractive — not in a sticky-sweet or preachy sort of way, but in a way that captures and feeds their imagination. .... [more]
And "Stand to Reason" summarizes:
Teaching children what moral virtues are isn’t enough. You need to let them taste those virtues so they can see they’re desirable. ....
It Takes a Pirate to Raise a Child, Cultivate the Moral Imagination to Develop Character - Stand to Reason Blog

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