What Are the Benefits of Moral Education?

Moral education benefits children by training them in the habits and virtues that allow for good lives in social environments. A moral education doesn’t focus on benefiting an individual in seclusion; rather, it benefits both the individual and the community by establishing skills that create social cohesion.

Some of the moral virtues that underpin a moral education include honesty, responsibility and respect for others. In the 1980s, “moral education” was repackaged essentially as “character education.” Many academics felt uneasy with the religious implications attached to the notion of morality, and consequently shifted to “character education” methodologies that focused on forming good habits and eliminating bad habits.

One popular approach to character education is called “the infusion approach.” This approach opts to infuse character formation into all studies that fall within the purview of the education system, instead of creating an isolated discipline in which students receive concentrated character instruction. This coupling of intellectual development and character education is often reflected in a school’s mission statement and development plans. One method that is critical to the infusion approach is to select a curriculum that simultaneously provides academic and character education. This can include the study of books and historic figures that convey moral lessons.