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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - EDF7555
Tracking Number - 1583

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Current Status: Approved, Permanent Archive - 2008-06-09
Submission Type:
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Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2008-03-27
  2. Department: Psychological and Social Foundations
  3. College: ED
  4. Budget Account Number: 172500
  5. Contact Person: Jennifer Menon Mariano
  6. Phone: 941 3022454
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: EDF
  9. Number: 7555
  10. Full Title: Moral Development and Education
  11. Credit Hours: 4-3
  12. Section Type: D - Discussion (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: Y
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Moral Development and Educatio
  19. Course Online?: -
  20. Percentage Online:
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: Doctoral enrollment or upper year Masters level with permission of instructor
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: This course will examine the dynamics of moral development. We will study the psychological foundations of moral education through examining the empirical research and philosophical work underlying social scientists’ conceptions of morality.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: In the past decade, interest in moral, social and emotional concerns in K-12 education in North America has grown considerably. This concern has come in response to a perceived increase in social problems experienced by children and youth, such as bullyin
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course will service all doctoral programs in the College of Education, and upper level Masters students from all programs within the College of Education may attend with the permission of the instructor. It will also contribute to the breadth offerings of the department of Psychological and Social Foundations.

    A knowledge of moral psychology and the underlying theories impacting moral, character, and socio-emotional education in schools and communities is critical for doctoral level students Currently, most survey courses of educational psychology and child development (such as the three I have taught at USF) touch only briefly on moral development, and usually focus on one dominating perspective, therefore leaving much scope for the further study of the topic. It is rare for the most current research on the subject to be taught together in one course, so that students can develop a broad perspective of the issues in the field. In response to this need, many of the most competitive graduate schools of education offer courses in moral development. For example, Harvard University offers one course, titled "Social and Ethical Development in the Elementary School Years", and another titled, "Social and Moral Development"; Stanford University offers a course titled, "Moral Education"; and the University of Pennsylvania offers a course titled, "Moral Values in the Schools." To my knowledge, no such course is offered by the USF College of Education.

  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Fully credentialed (PhD) faculty member, with a knowledge of theory and research in moral psychology and moral education
  29. Objectives: Objective 1: Students will develop a knowledge of the philosophical foundations of moral psychology and moral education as shown in the work of Durkheim, Artistotle, and Rawls, and will explore their relevance to recent empirical work on moral development. Students will explore what it means to be moral according to various views and will examine what behaviors, attitudes, and circumstances fall within the “moral domain.”

    Objective 2: Students will be able to understand and critically appraise contrasting views of moral development as natural and founded in biology and those that emphasize the use of educational methods to promote.

    Objective 3: Students will develop an understanding of cognitive developmental approaches to moral development by examining the work of Piaget and Kohlberg and classical and recent analyses of moral stage theory.

    Objective 4: Students will understand social psychological research approaches to studying morality, including research on the moral emotions and of morality as it applies to everyday life issues.

    Objective 5: Students will understand of morality as conceived of in the literature on morally relevant self- control in children.

    Objective 6: Students will understand the application of moral development in instruction as shown in Behaviorism and Social-Learning Theory.

    Objective 7: Students will understand morality as the development of character and virtue, as demonstrated in the work of Peterson and Seligman’s Values in Action approach, and the application of this approach in work such as the Virtues Guide.

    Objective 8: Students will understand the role of gender in moral development.

    Objective 9: Students will explore the relationship of religion and spirituality to moral development and the influence of religion on contemporary approaches to moral education.

    Objective 10: Students will understand the debate between proponents of constructivist and traditionalist approaches to moral education. Students will develop a critical understanding of various formal approaches to moral education, including the Values Clarification Approach, those applying cognitive developmental theories, and broad community approaches to young people’s moral development, such as those addressed by the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets Approach, Narvaez’s program, and the Youth Charter approach.

    Objective 11: Students will understand the relevance of the development of antisocial behavior for moral development in childhood and young adulthood.

    Objective 12: Students will understand moral commitment in adults and young people and will examine the school, family, and personal factors influencing the development of such commitments.

    Objectives 13: Students will gain an understanding of the role of culture in influencing morality, by studying research on children’s and adults’ views on moral imperatives and transgressions across cultures.

  30. Learning Outcomes: Students will develop advanced inquiry skills through study of original empirical research studies on moral development, and will demonstrate these skills through the following:

    1. Development of an original research paper or self-designed study (at least 2000 words) on a problem of their choosing relating to moral development or moral education.

    2. Development of a proposal for their research paper or study in consultation with the instructor.

    3. Providing evaluation and critical feedback on their classmates' research projects. 4. Receiving and implementing peer feedback about their own projects.

    5. Presentation in class of the findings of their research paper or study.

    6. Development and discussion of reactions to the readings with other students through web-based posting forums and class meetings.

    7. Completion of a midterm examination requiring responses to essay questions in which approaches to moral development are critically assessed and compared.

  31. Major Topics: 1. Philosophical and conceptual foundations of moral development

    2. The emergence of morality during infancy

    3. Moral development during childhood and beyond

    4. Social-psychological aproaches to the study of morality, such as the moral

    emotions, and morality as it occurs in everyday life and problems

    5. Morality as self-control and morality in social learning theory

    6. Morality as character and virtue

    7. The other side of morality: The development of anti-social behavior

    8. The development of moral comittments

    9. Cultural perspectives on moral development

    10. Gender perspectives on moral development

    11. Morality and its links to religion and spirituality

    12. Approaches to moral education and socio-emotional learning

  32. Textbooks: Piaget, J. (1997) The moral judgment of the child. New York: The Free Press.

    Damon, W. (1988). The Moral Child: Nurturing children’s natural moral growth. New York: The Free Press.

    Colby, A., and Damon, W. (1992). Some Do Care: Contemporary lives or moral commitment. New York: The Free Press.

    Damon, W. (Ed.) (2002). Bringing in a New Era in Character Education. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

    Course Reader available at the USF bookstore, including the following readings:

    Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. In W. M. Kurtines & J. L. G

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases:
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy:
  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests:
  36. Attendance Policy:
  37. Policy on Make-up Work:
  38. Program This Course Supports:
  39. Course Concurrence Information:

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