Towards an architecture for teaching virtues, values and ethics

Heasly, Berise Thérèse (2012) Towards an architecture for teaching virtues, values and ethics. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


In this thesis, I look towards a new architecture for teaching an eventual curriculum about virtues, values and ethics. I address three sources of research: the voices of teachers who are teaching thinking and thinking skills; the authors who address the various themes and sub-themes emerging from the thesis questions; and an auto-ethnographical retrospective, which marries my experiential learning, formal qualifications and classroom experience. The focus is on what has happened in education, what is best for teachers; what can be gleaned from the experts’ voices, what consequently is helpful in the curriculum, and what can be delivered by teachers to enrich students’ learning. Three leading twentieth -century theorists contribute to what counts as virtues, values and ethics. Research findings, personal experiential learning, formal qualifications and my own classroom instruments provide a foundation from which to reach incrementally towards the architecture for the teaching about virtues, values and ethics. My theory of edu-tensegrity is derived from the architectural concept of tensegrity, which uses tension and compression as a building strategy (e.g., London’s geodesic millennium dome; Melbourne’s soccer stadium); models inductive thinking rather than deductive thinking; and employs dialectic, trilectic and quadrilectic logics. Educationally, this applies to push-pull factors in decision-making and moral agentry – for both teachers and students. My conclusions show that such factors, labelled Categories of Influence, model trilectic logic, necessarily present in the detailed responses, response-abilities and responsibilities, that inform teachers’ planning, execution and facilitation of the teaching of applied thinking skills: to promote excellence and efficiency that builds architecture that will reach towards a virtues, values and ethics curriculum for the twenty-first century and beyond.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Current > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Current > FOR Classification > 2201 Applied Ethics
Keywords ontology, epistemology, cognition, decision-making, consensus, democracy, thinking, curriculum change, curricula, secondary education, high schools
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