Educating Moral Citizens. Urban schools as moral communities



    The objective of this research is to examine how urban schools educate moral citizens. My previous research on moral education strongly indicated that moral dilemmas in schools are very context-specific (Tirri 1999). In this research task the theoretical ideas of global citizenship, episteme and phronesis types of moral knowledge, and solidarity are linked with everyday life in schools and examined with empirical data. These themes have been widely discussed with theoretical and philosophical approaches but empirical studies are lacking. Finland has today urban schools in which issues of equality and diversity challenge the educators to pay special attention to citizenship education that promotes not only local but also global citizenship.

    This study is part of Socrates Comenius project (funded for years 2005-2008) in which urban schools are studied as challenging learning environments. The European project includes 9 countries. The Finnish data has been gathered from 4 urban schools in Helsinki and Jyväskylä. We have interviewed the principals of the schools and some key informants from their schools. In addition to qualitative data, we have gathered quantitative data from teachers (N=84) and students (N=429) of the schools. The quantitative surveys have measured cultural, spiritual and ethical sensitivity of the students and teachers. The case studies from each school are analysed using a hermeneutical approach (Gadamer 1976) to better understand the multifocal perspectives in them. A special interest in our data will be shown to the different ways principals, teachers, parents and students refer to the episteme type of moral knowledge with general principles in education of global citizens. Furthermore, we will analyse the applications of “phronesis” type of moral knowledge in the school context and identify situations in which this kind of approach is needed to contrast or complement the episteme type of knowledge.
    Gällande start-/slutdatum01/08/200731/12/2008


    • 516 Pedagogik