Is moralization above all the principles most important for a teacher?Is moralization above all the principles most important for a teacher?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is difficult to speak in absolutes in terms of what teachers should do.  There are some absolutes that must be followed, but overall, I think that there are distinct areas where different teachers hold different beliefs.  This will be one of them.  I believe that it is important for students to understand teachers' own moral dispositions, but it is equally important for teachers in a public schooling setting not force their own moral beliefs down the throats and minds of their students.  The classroom is not a pulpit, and teachers should be in the business of helping to mold the minds of critical thinking students and not training dogmatic zealots who follow what teachers tell them.  If moralization includes forcing students to adhere to their own moral code without allowing them to think critically about what components need to make up their own moral code, then I do not think that moralization is the most important principle for a teacher to follow.  Teachers should be comfortable with talking and discussing morality and the code of ethics that citizens in a globalized world should follow.  Yet, this should not include forcing students to appropriate a teacher's own moral code.  Rather, it should be about how students can think critically about the world and their place in it as emerging moral agents.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I hope this question is transferred to the discussion board where it properly belongs.

I agree with Post #1 only to a limited extent. A teacher should not necessarily impose his/her own value judgments on students, as these differ from person to person; still, one of the most important things we teach students is the "unwritten curriculum." It need not be the Ten Commandments, or any particular maxim, but we should teach and model the fact that honesty is the best policy, cheating and hurting other people is wrong, and although we all make mistakes, we should be ready to accept responsibility for them.  I have often told new teachers whom I mentored that every moment they spend in the presence of a student is a teaching moment, not just a "teachable" moment. Students will see your action and reaction to every situation and make a value judgment as a result. The best teacher is example, so teachers should ALWAYS set a good example for students, not simply enable them in making their own decisions.


literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the most important thing to do is model good behavior for our students. If good teachers model good behavior then everything else typically falls into place.

I have always believed that it is hard to separate who a teacher is as a person and as a teacher. Good people exude all the proper things in life: morality, empathy, integrity, respect, etc.  By being a good person, students can learn from how a teacher carries them-self, how they deal with problems, and how they (well) live life.

How many times have we sen the "bad" teacher on the news.  They struggled with who they were as a person and as a teacher. I honestly feel that all the good characteristics of a teacher can be modeled through ones own disposition. I mean, if a students sees a picture of a teacher drinking, but they demoralize the fact in the classroom, what example does that set for the student?

For me, it is simply about modeling who we really are as human beings- everything elae should simply fall into place.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it's unfair that teachers are held to higher moral standards than anyone else. Teachers are being fired now because of being in pictures on Facebook where they are someone was holding a beer. As long as a teacher is being respectful and professional on the job, what they do in their private lives shouldn't be placed under a microscope.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


I think that teachers should understand moralization, and understand how to teach their students how to act morally. I am not sure if this is the most important skill a teacher can have, but teachers definitely do have to act morally and serve as role models for their students.

dfgergerger | Student


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