It's Hard to be Good: Moral Complexity, Construction, and Connection in a Kindergarten Classroom
Should our public schools expressly teach morality? If so, which morality? Whose morality? How would we teach morality in school? At a time when many school communities are either trying to keep morality out of school, or are implementing character education curricula that focus primarily on modifying individual behaviors, this book argues that schooling is always an inherently moral activity in that children are constantly learning, and expanding, sets of social values in school - they are learning how they are expected to be and act as students and citizens, while at the same time forcing adults to expand their own expectations. This constant moral education resides not in the content of the curriculum but in the everyday interactions between teachers and students. In this ethnographic exploration of school morality, Brian McCadden describes how these interactions occur and what moral meanings Mrs. Hooper, a kindergarten teacher, and her students make from them. He explores how morality is constructed in school. His aim is to demystify the process of constructing morality so that it may become a more overt, thoughtful, and purposeful aspect of schooling.
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Chapter One Engaging Moral Complexity
Green End Elementary
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activities ADHD adults African-American asked Bowers Brittany cards centers Chapter chil child communicative competence connection crayons cultural demonstrates developmental discourse door dren dualisms epistemology example friends Green End Elementary hand Hispanic Hooper wanted Hooper's class Hooper's classroom Hooper's rule house in order inside instructional intersubjective kindergarten classroom language Let's go walking liminal moments liminal space listen look lunch Maxwell McCadden meeting space monkey bars moral construction moral domains moral education move negotiation Neil norms Okay organizational morality parents personal space Pinedale play playground problems public school qualitative research rality recipe knowledge relational morality relativize resistance ritual role routines rules session sharing sit-upons skills snack social sociology of knowledge song sort Steve story structure talk teacher teaching tell things tion tional morality Toku Tommy transition trying understanding walking