Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moral Habits of the Heart: Teaching Social Responsibility




The May issue of Educational Leadership is devoted to articles on teaching social responsibility. One might question if it is schools' mission to teach the practice of putting individual interests aside to work together for the common good?

Charles Haynes calls skills associated with social responsibility "the moral habits of the heart". What are your thoughts? Is it schools' job to teach about social responsibility?

When guiding students to become responsible citizens are we infact teaching about social justice? It's an interesting question. Can we do one without the other?

Students today are more cognizant of world affairs than previous generations have been. Author Rahima Wade reminds us, "Technology has brought the injustices of the world to our students' doorsteps." Student's access to information, politics, and injustices are unavoidable. The Educational Leadership articles make the case for beginning to tackle these issues with students in a supportive and informative environment of open discussion.

Our job is to make sure they have the knowledge, the courage, and the habits of heart to take on the injustice and concerns they are confronted with on a daily basis in this new age of mega information and technology.