Pedagogy of Goodness: Pedagogy of Possibility

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Title: Pedagogy of Goodness: Pedagogy of Possibility
Author: Baum-Tuccillo, Mica
Advisor: Yurdin, Joel; Salkever, Steven
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: What potential role can educational spaces play in an individual's process of developing good moral character? And how does moral character lead to the cultivation of global citizens? This thesis discusses several philosophical foundations from which a pedagogical perspective and method can grow that aims to nurture the human potential for open-mindedness, raised consciousness, connectedness to self and others, capacity to care and, ultimately, to live peacefully, mindfully, and confidently in our shared world. As educators and individuals we must take responsibility for curbing destructive attitudes and moral dispositions by holistically attending to the development of values, attitudes and dispositions, which guide individuals in their practices of dynamic ethical decision-making. Achieving this requires that educational environments provide possibilities for students to practice imagination and immerse themselves in caring relationships with the world. This thesis focuses primarily on the importance of rereflective receptivity, grounding the discussion in Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and several texts by the feminist educational philosopher, Nell Noddings. I briefly explore the differences between action-based and agent-based ethical ideas and argue that a Pedagogy of Goodness requires an agent-centered understanding of ethics. I also included a preliminary discussion of Plato's ideas about teaching virtue. Educational spaces are shaping students in a world of complex cultural diversity and increasing levels of broad cultural contact. Making ethical decisions requires a deepened, compassionate, and imaginative understanding of racial, ethnic, sexual, ideological, and religious identities. This thesis is an attempt, preliminary in many ways, to create hope toward the possibility of a more caring and connected world of global citizens.
Subject: Education -- Moral and ethical aspects
Subject: Teaching -- Moral and ethical aspects
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Baum-Tuccillo, Mica. "Pedagogy of Goodness: Pedagogy of Possibility". 2009. Available electronically from

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