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Moral education: the learning and teaching of justice in school

Moral education is an important theme from the point of view of the field of morality, since learning and teaching moral values are among the actions that promote the humanization of man, both in its moral sense (answering the question how should I live?), and in the ethical sense (answering the question what life do I want to live?). Moral education can happen within different social contexts. The present research focuses on the school. The study of this kind of education involves several moral themes. The objective of this research was to investigate how those who teach have themselves learned, and how those who learned the moral value of justice teach. For that, we interviewed 20 teachers from the sixth to the ninth year of fundamental education from five private schools of the city of Vitória, Espírito Santo, trying to identify how they thought they had learned about justice during their school lives and how they reckoned they taught this moral value in their pedagogical practices. Our proposal included also to investigate the existence of changes in the practices mentioned above and, if so, to analyze such transformations. The results demonstrate that most teachers describe that they have learned about the moral value of justice through mandatory actions. The way in which they believe they teach about this value is manifested in examples in which imposition is still present, even if related to conversations, revealing that teachers teach the way they learned. This information can contribute to intervene in the pedagogical practice of these professionals and to improve their education, helping to break up the vicious circle of learning and teaching through imposition.

Psychology of morality; Moral education; Justice; Learning about justice


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