Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

College/School

College of Education and Human Services

Department/Program

Educational Foundations

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Maughn Gregory

Committee Member

David Kennedy

Committee Member

Monica Taylor

Abstract

Informed by Dewey’s account of ethical experience and the nature of philosophical inquiry, my theory of ethical inquiry has four components: body-based reasonableness, moral imagination, emotions as judgments, and ethical content. Bodybased reasonableness is thinking that is critical, creative, committed, contextual, and embodied (Sprod, 2001). Exercising embodied reasonableness in aesthetic education means that we pay critical attention and seek to address the ethical and social aspects of art. We pay attention to fiction that will potentially engage students in a constant process of ethical judgment, depicting characters and situations that call for our moral evaluation. In a similar vein, exposure to certain art can sensitize us to the right reasons and objects for our emotions. Vehicles for ethical inquiry are those by which human situations can be understood and are found in the English Language Arts curriculum and the arts, such as: The Odyssey by Homer, Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky, The Joy Luck Club by Tan, and works by the artists Frida Kahlo and Kiki Smith. Highlighted are the issues of body, sexuality and gender, principal areas of ethical concern and central to adolescence. The pedagogy by which students can adequately address ethical concerns is Philosophy for Children, where characters in a narrative text exemplify discursive modes of thought and the conduct of ethical inquiry.

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