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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: Whether or not morals are innate is something for the brain scientists to sort out.

    In my classroom, I teach limited morals: no cheating, no stealing, no lying. I know that many of my kids cheat and steal and lie outside of my clssroom (and occasionally inside it), but they can recite the lessons without internalizing them.

    We discuss the reasons and the advantages gained when we follow morals in the classroom. My job is not to teach morals much beyond that, though. It gets messy quickly if I try. Whose moral standards would I teach? What do I do if I am told to teach a moral standard that opposes my own? Sticky quickly.

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