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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2013v38n1.2

Abstract

Teachers are expected to act ethically and provide moral role models in performing their duties, even though teacher education has often relegated the cultivation of teachers’ ethical awareness and moral development to the margins. When it is addressed, the main theoretical assumptions have relied heavily on the cognitivist developmental theories of Piaget and Kohlberg. A major pedagogical problem in adopting these theories of moral reasoning is that they may not help teachers to act as moral agents in real-life classrooms. This paper argues that one underlying difficulty is the insufficient attention given to the role of emotion in moral reasoning, even though it is increasingly accepted that rationality is laced with emotions and, moreover, emotions are crucial in brain functioning. This paper presents recent empirical findings, viewing them through the lens of dynamic systems theory, and discusses how they may help to inform and strengthen moral cultivation in teacher education.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2013v38n1.2