Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teaching Morality

Here's an interesting idea to discuss: How do we teach morality in a government school? In recent years, schools have been taking on more and more responsibility when it comes to teaching children social skills. Many programs have been developed with this particular goal in mind.

Some parents of children in my class have come to me at a loss as to how to deal with children stealing, or playing inappropriately. As a teacher, I don't always feel competent to help them with their concerns. I know how my parents brought me up, but I was brought up with Christian values and the Bible as a guide. And this advice doesn't work for people from other beliefs. I know how I try to deal with things in my classroom, when they arise, but I feel that this really is an area where parents could be carrying the load.

I have been trying to teach my students more about the meaning of 'respect' over the past couple of weeks. We read a book about respect. We filled out a Y chart of what it looks like, sounds like and feels like. We made posters for our classroom to show how to respect our classroom environment. We made a book of how to respect others in our classroom. I've been using the word throughout the day and rewarding 'respectful' students with stickers and computer time. I've been reminding students if their behaviour is disrespectful. But it seems that all this talk and all this thinking through and planning has had little effect on how the students are behaving. Well...maybe that is unfair. There have been some changes - the classroom is being left much tidier. And it has been a while since someone actually told me that they thought my lesson was boring or refused to join in.

I guess I'm hoping to see some more evidence of respect in terms of how the children treat one another. Maybe that is an area that just requires more training...or more time.

Please leave a comment to let me know how you deal with the challenge of teaching morality.


  1. This is a really good post. I saw where you commented on my blog and that is how I found you. You have some great stuff here. Thanks.


  2. I'm glad you liked it. I enjoy your blog as well. Keep up the great work.


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