Crisis in ethics education schools requires integrated approach to knowledge transfer, skills and practice

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Professor Natascha Kienstra states in her inaugural speech on June 2 that there is a crisis in ethical formation in schools. Kienstra holds the chair of Ethical education at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology (TST). If this formation is addressed at all, it mainly involves the transfer of knowledge and is often spread over various lessons in philosophy, religion, philosophy or citizenship. She argues that this formation should be integrated and accompanied by knowledge acquisition, insights, skills and attitudes.

Ethical education of children and students is important for society and we will have to take care of it, she says. Ethical learning reaches from cognitive learning, through reflection and through judgment, to moral action and moral education. Thus, moral action and philosophy require action and exercises in addition to reflection.

Doubt and debate

Knowledge transfer is a prerequisite. Furthermore, students must be challenged to learn to reflect and debate. Doubting points of view is important in this regard. Then they can begin to develop to formulate philosophical views and practice to learn a virtue, such as tolerance and mercy. Through reflection on these topics, change in actions can therefore grow and lead to moral actions.