Motivation in Moral Education: the Case for Virtue

Journal of Moral Education 7 (3):158-165 (1978)
Many different forms of motivation may be offered to pupils in moral education. These are criticized as not sufficiently central to morality, too diverse and global, inadequately harnessing emotion to good conduct Virtues are analysed as moral attitudes combining behaviour, belief and feeling. These can be generalized to overcome moral specificity. Teaching virtues goes beyond 'knowledge that' and 'knowledge how' and includes the induction of propensities. 'Single-track' virtues can be taught as habits, 'multi-track' require the blending of will, belief and passion. Virtues are further analysed as having a structure like the sentiment of love and it is proposed that virtues be regarded as the love of a corresponding moral value. Teaching virtue then involves generating the capacity for love, providing models of love of values and making them contagious
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