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Spirituality and Moral Character Development

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Spirituality and Moral Character Development William G. Huitt ... Journal of Instructional Psychology, 25(4), 262-270. Hay, D., with Nye, R. (1998). – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Spirituality and Moral Character Development


1
Spirituality and Moral Character Development
  • William G. Huitt
  • Valdosta State University

Last Revised July 2003
2
Moral Character Development
  • Considered important for 1000s of years
  • Recent revival of its importance
  • Multiple definitions

3
Moral Character Defined
  • . . . engaging in morally relevant conduct or
    words, or refraining from certain conduct or
    words (Wynne Walberg, 1984)
  • . . . a complex set of relatively persistent
    qualities of the individual person, and generally
    has a positive connotation when used in
    discussions of moral education (Pritchard, 1988)

4
Moral Character Defined
  • . . . an individuals set of psychological
    characteristics that affect that persons ability
    and inclination to function morally (Berkowitz,
    2002)
  • Character implies moral character and a
    personality characterized by moral values and
    feelings (conscience), the ability to reason
    autonomously, sensitively, and fairly about moral
    issues (ethical reflection), and the habit of
    acting in a manner consistent with ones moral
    thinking and moral feeling (virtue) (Vessels,
    1998)

5
Character Is Who You Are
I look inside myself to see What kind of person I
want to be. I think and feel and choose And do
the best that I can. In the dark or in the
light It deals with doing the wrong and the
right. Ive got to know and do the right To be
the best me.
6
Character Is Who You Are
Character is who you are Viewed from within or
from afar. Its the person you become And who
youre known to be. Its what you practice
everyday. Its what you do not just what you
say. To be a Brilliant Star Remember, characters
who you are.
7
Character Is Who You Are
I look inside myself to see What kind of person I
want to be. I feel and think and choose And do
the best that I can. In the dark or in the
light It deals with doing the wrong and the
right. Ive got to know and do the right To be
the best me.
8
Character Is Who You Are
Character is who you are Viewed from within or
from afar. Its the person you become And who
youre known to be. Its what you practice
everyday. Its what you do not just what you
say. Remember, to be a Brilliant Star Characters
who you are.
9
Character Is Who You Are
Character is who you are Viewed from within and
from afar Its the person who you become And who
youre known to be. Its what you practice
everyday. Its what you do not just what you
say. To be a Brilliant Star Remember, characters
who you are.
10
Model of Moral Character
Moral Identity
11
Spirituality
  • Fundamental to many conceptualizations of human
    beings
  • Mind (Thinking, Feeling, Committing)
  • Body
  • Spirit
  • Spirituality is considered inherent quality of
    human beings
  • Naturalism
  • Pantheism
  • Theism

12
Spirituality Defined
  • Attempt to understand and connect to the unknowns
    of the universe or search for meaningfulness in
    ones life (Adler, 1932/1980 Frankl, 1959)
  • A relationship with the sacred (Beck Walters,
    1977)
  • An individual's experience of and relationship
    with a fundamental, nonmaterial aspect of the
    universe (Tolan, 2002)

13
Spirituality Defined
  • The exploration of the meaningfulness of our
    lives and our relationships to ourselves, to
    others, to nature, or to a higher power (Hamilton
    Jackson,1998 Hay Nye, 1998)
  • Does not necessarily require a belief in God,
    Great Spirit, Supreme Creator, etc., but does not
    exclude it

14
Spirituality Defined
  • Spirituality not equated with religion
  • Religion refers to organized, institutionalized
    set of beliefs, teachings, and practices
    established to connect groups of individuals to a
    particular expression of spirituality
  • Can be spiritual without being religious and vice
    versa

15
Spiritual Development
  • In summary, spirituality addresses such questions
    as
  • How can we increase meaning in our lives, in
    general, and my life, in particular?
  • Who are we as human beings? Where did we come
    from? How are we related?
  • Are we in control of our lives or is our
    destination a result of fate?

16
Spiritual Development
  • In summary, spirituality addresses such questions
    as
  • Where did the universe come from? What are its
    origins?
  • Is there a God (in whatever way we define or know
    a Supreme Being)?
  • What is our relationship to God or the Creator,
    if there is one?
  • Is there a continuity of life after this life? If
    so, what is it like?

17
Relational Consciousness
  • Relational consciousness may describe the essence
    of spirituality (Hay Nye, 1998)
  • A type of metacognitive activity that describes
    ever increasing consciousness of growth and
    opportunity consequences for the individual.

18
Relational Consciousness
  • Development is considered moving from
  • simple to complex
  • naïve to sophisticated
  • insecurity to confidence

19
Relational Consciousness
  • Described in terms of the relational aspects of
  • self
  • others
  • nature
  • universal unknowns (including or excluding God or
    Creator)

20
Spirituality Moral Character
  • Relational consciousness as the basis for moral
    character
  • Three categories of spiritual sensitivity
  • awareness-sensing (flow, focus)
  • mystery-sensing (wonder, awe, imagination)
  • value-sensing (ultimate meaning identity)

21
Spirituality Moral Character
  • RC theory explicitly states
  • a cognitive/thinking factor
  • an affective/emotional factor
  • a social factor
  • a transcendent factor
  • RC theory implicitly states
  • a conative/volitional factor
  • a behavioral factor

22
Model of Moral Character
Moral Identity
23
Ecology of Development
24
Impacting Moral Character
  • Work to establish affirming, secure environment
    among family, school, and other institutions
  • Develop explicit curriculum that focuses on
    virtues, moral principles, and social skills
  • moral thinking (knowledge base processes)
  • valuing
  • committing
  • behaving

25
Vessels Curriculum
  • Personal Integrity
  • Kindness (knowing how others feel making others
    feel better)
  • Courage (being strong enough to do right when
    afraid to do so)
  • Ability (having skills to figure out what is
    right and wrong and behave accordingly)
  • Effort (striving for excellence perseverance)

26
Vessels Curriculum
  • Social Integrity
  • Friendship (making and maintaining friends
    treating others as you want to be treated)
  • Teamwork (helping to achieve group goals working
    well with others)
  • Citizenship (following rules and laws trying to
    make self and community better)

27
Example
28
Gardners Intelligences
  • Verbal/Linguistic
  • Logical/Mathematical
  • Visual/Spatial
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic
  • Musical/Rhythmic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalist Intelligence

29
References
  • Adler, A. (1932/1980). What life should mean to
    you. London George Allen Unwin.
  • Beck, P., Walters, A. (1977). The sacred Ways
    of knowledge, sources of life. Tsaile, AZ Navajo
    Community College.
  • Berkowitz, M. (2002). The science of character
    education. In W. Damon (Ed.), Bringing in a new
    era in character education (43-63). Stanford, CA
    Hoover Institute Press.
  • Frankl, V (1959). Man's search for meaning. New
    York Praeger.
  • Hamilton, D., and Jackson, M. (1998). Spiritual
    development Paths and processes. Journal of
    Instructional Psychology, 25(4), 262-270.
  • Hay, D., with Nye, R. (1998). The spirit of the
    child. London Fount.
  • Pritchard, I. (1988). Character education
    Research prospects and problems. American Journal
    of Education, 96(4), 469-495.
  • Tolan, S. (202). Spirituality and the highly
    gifted adolescent. Charlotte, NC Author.
    Retrieved July 2002, from http//www.stephanietola
    n.com/spirituality.htm
  • Vessels, G. (1998). Character and community
    development A school planning and teacher
    training handbook. Westport, CT Praeger
    Publishers. (see http//www.characterthroughtheart
    s.org/main.html)
  • Wynne, E., Walberg, H. (Eds.). (1984).
    Developing character Transmitting knowledge.
    Posen, IL ARL.
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