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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 25 2013: Yes, you can teach young people to be moral, however the most strong influence comes from parents at the most early ages of the child development. So once again: Yes, morality is something that must be taught at home. And to answer your last question: I don't think morality is purely innate or purely learned, I believe a small part is innate and the rest is learned.

    If young people seem to be incredibly disengaged form others, and have little sense of what it means to moral, gracious or ethical, and don't care, the blame is on their parents, because they didn't pay enough attention to their kids when they needed it the most. What most parents do, is to endorse their kids to the public education system hoping they don't have to pay too much attention to them, leaving all the load to the teachers, and then, when a teacher becomes strict, they go to the principals office and make a fuzz, complaining about that evil teacher, who dare to correct the poor little child who is so innocent... And I want to make it clear that I am not a teacher, but this is what I see as a common denominator, so in my humble opinion that is why universities are full of students that don't have a clue about what morality or ethics mean, and they don't give a dime.

    Like I said, I believe is possible to teach young people to be moral, however I don't think college students can learn this subjects by theory and lectures, what you require is something more physical.
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      Jan 25 2013: As a parent and a teacher I agree with your assessment...when I taught high school I would get phone calls from irate parents when I gave their kids a bad grade; they blamed everyone - me, the school, society- but never themselves or their child. I do think that in order for there to be a moral society we must first take responsibility for our actions.

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