Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Two central questions are raised: at a college level, what should be our educational goals and methods in the realm of moral development? and, what curricular or instructional model is most logically consistent and ethically acceptable with the mission and philosophy of liberal education? The major purpose of this study is to answer these questions and develop one reasonable, clearly defined model of college-level moral education.;As a normative inquiry into the goals of moral education, this philosophical study rests on the assumption that statements of moral value can be rationally understood and taught and is guided by an awareness of the major findings in social scientific research on moral development and education and practical use of the conceptual analysis of educational terminology.;In order to answer the central questions, it is argued that the ideal of liberal education (its inherent logical and ethical criteria as well as a developed set of explicit curricular goals) can help determine legitimate curricular goals and methods that are focused on moral development. An extended definition of liberal education is developed through reference to widely accepted historical statements and examination of contemporary principles and goals.;Five contemporary models of undergraduate moral education are next identified and described in detail: values clarification, wholistic, humanities, normative ethics, and cognitive-developmental. The specific criteria for liberal education are then critically applied, evaluating the respective strengths and weaknesses of each model. It is argued that the normative ethics and cognitive-developmental models are most closely connected with the historical aims and contemporary goals of liberal education.;The study concludes with a detailed analysis of the two selected models. Reasons for their integration are developed, pedagogical methods and resources which emerge from their combination are outlined, and a summary of this approach to selecting and developing an acceptable model of college-level moral education is offered. In closing, it is stated that college students can legitimately be taught to reflect on morality, to be committed to the rational analysis and selection of moral values and lifestyles, and to act in accordance with their convictions.



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