University of Leicester
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Heroic ethics and story in the middle school.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 09:15 authored by Freda Margaret. Mowl
Part I analyses the traditional pattern of heroic ethics into six components: splendour, honour, expertness, wisdom, courtesy and companionship. Its importance in contemporary life and the archetypal quality of its components are discussed. Part II reports experimental work in eighty-two English primary and secondary school classes, grammar schools included. Hero stories were much enjoyed. They stimulated lively free drama and a rise in individual standards of written work of over forty per cent for both girls and boys in the third primary year upwards. Ethical discussions were thoughtful. Children rated the semantic differential, developed by C.E. Osgood et al., before and after the classwork. Statistical examination showed that the evaluation of violence did not increase. Further, the rating of anti-social behaviour decreased and approval of loyalty in friendship and self-sacrifice rose; "both may he ascribed to the stories and discussions. The concepts were related to heroic ethics and covered a wide field from revenge to compassion. All age groups overwhelmingly approved desirable notions, but opinion was divided upon the more primitive such as guile. Ratings of deprived children were not morally inferior. The semantic differential furnished evidence that the key to mature morality may lie in perception of the good as strong, which may be increased by religious education and conviction. Perception of the good as weak and inactive may he an immature mode diminished in amount by Christian influence. Rating of the differential was closley examined, including an experiment in oral administration. Further examination of results, largely statistical, suggested intricate differences in development, due to variables like intelligence, but within the framework of gradual moral development from childhood to mature adulthood. They also supported the homogeneity of the population and plans for middle schools from nine to thirteen.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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