Cascadia Community College Morality Ethics and Moral Imagination Readings Analysis Overview This assignment involves writing about your most significant l

Cascadia Community College Morality Ethics and Moral Imagination Readings Analysis Overview

This assignment involves writing about your most significant learning about each of the course topics (see below) through discussion of each of the assigned readings.

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Morality, Ethics, and the Moral Imagination
Moral Development: Formative Experiences
Moral Development: Families, Culture, Schooling


Cover Page: Heading + Checklist
Thematic sections


Each topic should be addressed and include your learning from ALL of the assigned readings. [You also are welcome to make connections among the readings, films, presentations, and discussions as long as you demonstrate understanding of important ideas in the readings.]
The writing for each topic should be a minimum of 300 words. (You do not need to give the same amount of attention – or words – to each reading.)
Consider what for you are the most significant ideas from the readings.
Be very specific about referring to authors’ ideas or from other sources.
Write in first person so you can explain what you learned.
Papers should have references for all the readings, films, and presentations discussed.
All writing should have citations (author, date, and page number if a quote) when you specifically refer to specific ideas or words.

Please review the syllabus for instructions for the headings ahd cover page and the grading rubric. 1
Slides and Script
Cultural Learning and Moral Development
Cultural Learning &
Moral Development
The Major Triad
When I was in my doctoral program in
social studies education, my first
professional seminar was taught by a
renowned anthropologist who introduced
us to the ideas of his colleague, Edward
T. Hall. Hall wrote many books about how
culture influences our thoughts, feelings,
behavior, and values.
Among these books are The Silent
Language, Beyond Culture, The Hidden
Dimension, and An Anthropology of
Everyday Life. These books
revolutionized the way I viewed human
interactions — and my understanding of
moral development.
The Silent Language introduces the
concept of “The Major Triad” – that
describes the ways in which we learn.
Three Levels or Ways of Learning
• Formal Learning
• Informal Learning
• Technical Learning
Hall’s Major Triad is a theory about ways
of learning — including learning values
(moral and social). This anthropologist
describes three level or ways of learning:
These categories are not really levels as
on a hierarchy, but are dimensions that
could occur simultaneously, although one
form of learning will dominate in any
learning situation.
Formal Learning
— Formal activities are taught by precept and
admonition and there is no question in the mind of
the speaker about where he/she stands, and where
every other adult stands.
FORMAL LEARNING (Moral Values and
Absolute Knowledge and Behaviors)
(See points on the slide.)
— The burden of this communication is that no other
form is conceivably acceptable.
— The details of formal learning are binary, of a yes-no,
right-wrong character. You either break a taboo or
you don’t.
Elements of Formal Learning
(See points on the slide.)
— LEARNING: Often learned when a mistake is made
and someone corrects it; yes-no, right-wrong
— AWARENESS: A society or culture in which people
feel that there is no other way to do things; strong
social pressures to conform.
— AFFECT: Infused with emotion; possibly feeling of
horror or anger to violations.
— CHANGE: Change usually is slow, almost
imperceptible; culture highly resistant to forced
change from the outside.
I encourage you to think about times in
your life when parents, caregivers, or
educators taught you something that
revealed formal learning (perhaps to
share in Conversations).
Examples of Formal Learning
— Day and night
— Lent, Ramadan, Shabbat
EXAMPLE: DRESS — what you wear
when you:
— Day and night
— Lent, Ramadan, Shabbat
EXAMPLE: DRESS (what you wear when….)
— _____
— _____
Are married in a formal religious
Attend a funeral
EXAMPLE: FOOD — what is
acceptable to eat and what is not:
Halal or kosher food
Meat from only certain animals
names for addressing people in your
immediate or extended family:
Not calling parents by first name
Calling respected family friends aunt
and uncle.
People who grow up in formal cultures
would be aware of fairly strict rules about
how family address or treat each other
depending on gender or age.
Informal Learning
(See points on the slide.)
— Informal learning is largely a matter of the learner
picking others as models.
— Whole clusters of related activities are learned at a
time, in many cases without the knowledge that they
are being learned at all, or that there are patterns or
rules governing them.
— Entire systems of behavior, made up of hundreds of
thousands of details, are passed from generation to
generation, and nobody can give the rules for what is
happening [and] only when these rules are broken do
we realize they exist.
Elements of Informal Learning
— LEARNING: Learning from models, imitation;
awareness of preferred way of doing things.
(See points on the slide.)
— AWARENESS: Made up of activities or mannerisms
which once learned are so much a part of daily life
that they seem automatic.
— AFFECT: Anxiety or discomfort may occur when
there are violations – but not strong reaction as when
a taboo is broken.
— CHANGE: Willingness to consider alternatives, but
problem of knowing what is informal in one culture is
formal in another.
Examples of Informal Learning
— in a minute, awhile, a little later, a generation
EXAMPLE: DRESS (what you wear when….)
— _____
— _____
— in a minute
— awhile
— a little later
— a generation
EXAMPLE: DRESS — what you wear
when you:
Hang out with your friends
Attend a sports event
Go shopping
Note that years ago in the United States
(before the 1960s) it was common for
many women to wear cloth gloves when
traveling, shopping, attending Church,
and going to parties. So, what today is an
informal social value in American culture,
could have been a formal directive in
earlier generations.
Technical Learning
— Usually transmitted in explicit terms from the
teacher to the student, either orally or in writing.
– but not values)
(See points on the slide.)
— Often it is preceded by logical analysis and
proceeds in coherent outline form.
— Technical learning also begins with mistakes and
corrections, but it is done in a different tone of
voice, and the student is offered reasons for the
— A critical trait of the learner in technical learning
is the ability of the learner to follow instructions.
Elements of Technical Learning
LEARNING: Preceded by logical analysis;
transmitted in explicit terms or instructions;
reasons given for correction.
AWARENESS: Fully conscious behavior.
AFFECT: Little or none; aim to be unemotional
to be effective.
CHANGE: Usually involves small changes within
an operation, less likely to be huge systemic
(See points on the slide.)
Examples of Technical Learning
— nanosecond, cosmological decade, Julian year,
lunar month
EXAMPLE: DRESS (what you wear when….)
— _____
— _____
Cosmological Decade,
Julian Year
Lunar Month
EXAMPLE: DRESS — what you wear
when you are:
A surgeon in an operating room
An astronaut repairing a space
Changing the oil in an engine
Threading a sewing machine
Excavating a foundation
Some Major Triad Complications
(See points on the slide.)
— Intercultural communication: Hard to know what is formal or
technical within other cultures – can violate deeply felt norms
without realizing it.
Major points about my conclusions about
moral development from The Silent
Language are on this slide.
— Teaching values: If there is a desire to internalize crucial
formal norms, then parents or teachers should not explain
formal behavior in the same way one goes about outlining
the reasons for technical behavior This is a signal to the child
that there is an alternative, that one form is as good as
Notes: One of Hall’s memorable
intercultural communications examples is
his story about a dominant culture
agricultural expert trying to institute a
program of early-spring plowing near the
Taos Pueblo and not understanding that
this plan affronted spiritual beliefs about
Mother Earth. For the expert, this would
be a technical issue but for the Native
Americans living there, a formal value at
— Inappropriate rigidity: Parents and teachers may teach
informal or technical norms with formal affect – strong
emotional reaction – rather than teaching about or allowing
room to imagine alternatives.
Notes: I think it’s important that adults
avoid the rigidity of making everything
taught to children a big deal by reacting
with strong emotions. On the other hand,
when we are concerned about children
not having values or going against their
parents’ values, it may be that adults
have gone to another extreme — by not
showing feelings – by acting completely
rational in all circumstances.
Examined Life Philosophers 1
Cornell West
Cornel West is an American philosopher, academic, activist, author, and public intellectual. He is
currently the Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Prior to his appointment at Princeton, he was
the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor at Harvard University teaching in Afro-American Studies
and Philosophy of Religion. He received his AB from Harvard University and his MA and Ph.D. from
Princeton University. He taught at Yale, Union Theological Seminary and Princeton University where he
was Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies. His books include: Prophesy Deliverance: An
Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity, Post-Analytic Philosophy, Prophetic Fragments, The
American Evasion of Philosophy, The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought, Race Matters.
Avital Ronell
Avital Ronell an American philosopher who contributes to the fields of continental philosophy, literary
studies, psychoanalysis, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics. She was born in Prague
where her parents were Israeli diplomats. She has taught at the University of California at Berkeley and at
New York University from 1995 to the present. Her books include: The Test Drive, Stupidity (2001),
Finitude’s Score: Essays for the End of the Millennium), Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania), The
Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech), Dictations: On Haunted Writing.
Peter Singer
Peter Singer is an Australian moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics
at Princeton University and a Laureate Professor at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
at the University of Melbourne. His works include Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of
Animals, Democracy and Disobedience, Animal Rights and Human Obligations, Practical Ethics, The
Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, The Moral of the Story: An Anthology of Ethics Through
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Kwame Anthony Appiah is a British-born Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist
whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African
intellectual history. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His books include:
Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, The Ethics of Identity, The Honor Code: How Moral
Revolutions Happen, Experiments in Ethics, In My Father’s House: Africa in the philosophy of Culture.
Examined Life. (2009). [video-recording] Sphinx Productions in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada in
association with Ontario Media Development Corporation; Knowledge Network and TVO present; producer, Bill Imperial,
producer. (NFB), Lea Marin; written and directed by Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist Films.
Theories of
Moral Development
Implications for Moral Education
Theories of Moral Development
Social-Emotional Prerequisites
Affective Development
Psychoanalytic Theory
Social Learning & Social Cultural Learning
Anthropological Moral Development Theory
Cognitive Development
VII. Behaviorism
Social-Emotional Prerequisites
Themes: Social-Emotional Needs, Existential Needs, Nurturing
• Humans must satisfy crucial socialemotional needs to function beyond
egocentric behavior.
• Existential Needs: rootedness, unity,
effectiveness, excitation and
• Educators need to nurture children’s
natural sympathetic and empathic
instincts; focus on happiness,
creativity, and concern for others; they
should teach young children a strong
sense of universal humanity.
Affective Development
Themes: Empathy, Sympathy, Nurturing, Connectedness
• Emotions are catalysts for moral behavior
• Empathic understanding is developmental
• Ethic of care is founded upon the inherent
interdependence existing between
• Care includes: caring for the self, for the
inner circle, for strangers and distant others,
for animals, plants, and the Earth, for the
human-made world, and for the world of
School must actively foster socialemotional development and opportunities
to attain positive growth in an
environment of caring, not of competition.
Psychoanalytic Theory
Themes: Conscience, Impulse Control,
Reality-testing, Attachment
• Importance of attachment to caregiver; a sense of contact,
connection, trust and empathy are built first.
• Social constraints of family teach postponement of
• Identification with parent is why children adopt society’s
moral values as represented by that parent.
• Development of ego allows people to develop rational ideas,
including understanding their environments realistically.
• Conscience is experienced as affective discomfort; e.g.,
guilt, apology, empathy for the victim.
• Teachers can be moral teachers, but a child will not attain
the same attachment to a teacher as to the primary
caregiver and may not internalize the teacher’s values.
Social Learning & Social-Cultural
Learning Theory
Themes: Observing, Modeling, Social Interaction
• Importance of observing and modeling the
behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of
• Learning is due to interactions of the person,
modeled behavior, and the social environment.
• Social interaction leads to continuous changes in
children’s thought and behavior that can vary
greatly from culture to culture.
• Often the basis of character education that
focuses on dominant cultural values regardless
of children’s backgrounds.
Development Theory
Themes: Cultural Norms, Religion,
Child-Rearing Practices, Internalization
of Values
• As explained by informal modeling (social learning theory) and
internalization of values (psychoanalytic theory), when important adults
react to children’s behavior, humans learn the values from their cultures.
• Because of childhood experiences, humans develop deep emotional
reactions in response to their own transgressions (shame and guilt
• Cultural values are deep-seated and not likely to be changed by strategies
initiated in classrooms and schools that are not in sync with the students’
• Teachers must learn the values of their students and must work with
communities to connect values modeled and taught in the classroom with
those taught in the culture.
Cognitive Development
Themes: Rationality, Reasoning, Justice, Moral
Autonomy, Perspective-taking, Democratic
• Higher moral reasoning can be stimulated through exposure
to higher-level thinking (if not too high a level to be
comprehended). Not all people get to higher stages of
• Moral development occurs through social interaction. The
discussion approach is based on the insight that individuals
develop as a result of cognitive conflicts – experiencing
puzzlement (disequilibrium).
• Important to present children and adolescents with moral
dilemmas for discussion to help them to see the
reasonableness of more advanced thinking.
• Schools should become democracies nurturing moral
development by providing children with opportunities for
cooperative decision-making
and a concern for justice.
Themes: Discipline, Management, SelfControl
• Emphasis on pro-social behavior.
• Importance of learning logical consequences of
own actions.
• Learning from rewards and punishments.
• A system of rewards and removal of rewards for
pro-social behavior – provides more dignity
than coercion.
• Not focused on helping children to think about ethical issues
or to feel concern for others. Yet, this is the most common
form of moral education in classrooms and schools in the
United States.
Module 3 Preparation
Moral Development: Formative Experiences
Damon, Ch. 2 Empathy, Shame, & Guilt: The Early Moral Emotions
Damon, Ch. 3 Learning about Justice Through Sharing
Damon, Ch. 4 Parental Authority & the Rules of the Family
Theories of Moral Development
Born to Be Good? Moral Development in Children (52 min.)
Module 4 Preparation
Moral Development: Families, Culture, Schooling
Damon, Ch. 5 Interacting as Equals: Cooperative Play in the Peer Group
Damon, Ch. 6 Culture, Gender, & Morality
Damon, Ch. 7 Fostering Children’s Moral Growth
Cultural Learning and Moral Development (Slides & Script)
Listening to Children: A Moral Journey: (first 4 vignettes) Introduction, Robert, Haley, Dave (42 minutes)

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