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Ellen Feig

Professor, Bergen Community College

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Can one teach young people to be moral? Is morality something that must be taught in the home? Is it innate?

Currently I am working on a professional development platform focused on teaching college students ethics and morality. Young people seem to be incredibly disengaged from others, have little sense of what it means to be moral, gracious or ethical and don't care. How can we teach morality or is it something that is innate?

Topics: ethics morality
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  • Jan 23 2013: The basics of morality are taught at an early age, after all. To teach and inform on what's right from wrong is one of the most important roles for a parent raising their toddler. However, those are just the basics. When it comes to being gracious, ethics, and then trying to understand how your morals can define who you are, things tend to become complex. I believe that in some way, these characteristics can be obtained if one is spontaneously exposed to them and chooses to understand their importance. Instead of teaching them on how to be good and do the right thing, I think there'd be more of an effect if (whoever it was being the "sage" in this case) just puts emphasis on the importance of good morals and ethics. To discuss the change it CAN bring in a society, to discuss it's rarity and so on and so forth. Just open the door, they'll do the walking.
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      Jan 23 2013: "Just open the door, they'll do the walking"...........now that is wonderful advice....

      There is also a talk I saw once, where the speaker, addressing college students, makes the point that in life, it is best to teach others with stories, and then let the individuals make their own application.

      I cannot think of any better way to respect another individual's dignity and freedom of choice.

      We humans are a work in progress.....
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        Jan 23 2013: Stories can indeed be a wonderful way to start conversations.

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