HOW HAS

This essay HOW HAS has a total of 4122 words and 28 pages.


HOW HAS
THE ROLE OF MORAL EDUCATION WITHIN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
CHANGED IN BRITISH SOCIETY?


"RELIGION AS THE ACKNOWLEDGED EXISTENCE OF A HIGHER POWER TO WHOM HUMANITY
CAN RESPOND IN A VARIETY OF WAYS THROUGH THE PRACTICE OF A SYSTEM OF RITUAL
OBSERVANCES OR WORSHIP...THIS SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE IS FIRMLY ROOTED ON
EARTH BY AN ETHICAL DIMENSION, A CODE OF VALUES WHICH HUMANITY REQUIRES FOR
AN ORDERED LIFE ON ITS PLANET." (TULASIEWICZ 1993)






RATIONALE

Moral education is becoming an increasingly popular topic in the fields of
psychology and education. Media reports of increased violent juvenile
crime, teen pregnancy, and suicide have caused many to declare a moral
crisis in society. While not all of these social issues are moral in
nature, there is a growing trend towards linking the solutions to these and
related social problems to the teaching of moral and social values in
schools.

















"Whatever is good education is moral education." (Moran, 1986)





DEBATES SURROUNDING MORAL EDUCATION


Moral Education or Moral Development can be traced as far back to the early
twentieth century, to men such as Emile Durkheim and Jean Piaget. Durkeim
saw ME as being taught through education and society, whereas Piaget saw
the Moral Develpoment (MD) of a child as cognitive - how a child's moral
knowledge and understanding change with age. Although Durkheim and Piaget
had differences of opinion on many things, they agreed on one major point;
that Christianity was an obstacle to ME. They believed that ME should be
unhindered by dogmatism and intolerance. Christianity was seen as being a
morality based on fear. Therefore, from its twentieth century beginning, ME
and MD excluded religion. John L. Elias (1989) discusses four main debates
about the relationship between RE and morality:
1. Religion and morality are independent of each other.
2. Religion and morality are the same.
3. Religion is necessary for ME as it provides moral standards and an
incentiveto be moral.
4. Religion and morality compliment each other.
In regard to point one, some philosophers argue that religion and morality
are two distinct forms of discourse. ME cannot be based on religion and RE
cannot be a substitute or supplement for ME. They also point out the fact
that some forms of religion lead to harmful moral development and
behaviour.
Philosophers, arguing the case for point two, belief that morality
has no other justification except with a religious faith. This argument is
made on religious grounds as the rules and principles of moral behaviour
are based on the revelation received through sacred texts and moral
teachers such as Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Buddha.
In regard to point three, some philosophers belief that religion and
morality have the same goals; to promote moral principles and moral
behaviour. Religion becomes a symbol for the highest human ideals and
values.
Philosophers who agree with point four, belief that religion is
neither necessary nor sufficient for the justification of morality, but
that the two are mutually related. ME should appeal to both rational
prnciples and to religious teachings.


"British Protestantism has traditionally had a strong moralistic strain and
ordinary people have tended to summarise Christianity by Christ's second
great commandment 'Love your neighbour' (at least to some extent) while
rather neglecting the first, 'Love God,' except at times of crisis like
birth, marriage, death or Dunkirk." (Gedge, 1975)



HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF MORAL EDUCATION WITHIN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

After the 1944 Education Act, schools continued to incorporate the Bible as
'moral instructor' within British schools; as was previously 'enforced' by
the London School Board in 1870. Since 1944, there have been developments
of ME within RE, throughout the 20th century. However, in 1955, a Humanist
psychologist called Margaret Knight, opposed this method of ME in RE and
broadcast on BBC 'Morals without Religion'. This led to the thought that
maybe there was no immediate connection between RE and ME:

"Moreover, deteriorating figures for juvenile delinquency and crime in
general were said to cast doubts on the effectiveness of a moral education
based on religious instruction." (Gedge, 1975)

In spite of this, in 1969 a pamphlet entitled, 'Humanism and Christianity:
the common ground of Moral Education', was published by James Hemming, a
Humanist educational psychologist and Howard Marratt, a Christian RE
lecturer in a college of education. Their publication was a summary of
discussions held between a group of Christians and Humanists who were
involved in education. Even though there were those who saw no religious
basis for ME and those who based ME on a biblical content, there was an
increasing number who believed

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