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Moral Voices and Moral Choices: Canadian drama and moral pedagogy

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Abstract:

What is the role of drama in moral education? This article aims to illustrate how watching and responding to plays is a useful pedagogical exercise by which to enhance moral consciousness, so that students can appreciate the value of context in moral reflection. I argue that plays contain compelling studies of moral subjects caught in complex dilemmas, through which the often ambiguous and paradoxical dimensions of moral conduct are exposed. I also suggest that class discussions that involve students in critical assessments of ethical issues addressed in a play are valuable for guiding students to develop a kind of moral reasoning that is based on identifying and evaluating the contextual variables underlying moral choices, before judging moral responses. This is the kind of moral deliberation that is useful for assessing moral agency in daily life. Furthermore, I demonstrate that contemporary Canadian drama offers useful fictional contexts to illuminate the intricate processes of moral response, and I cite concrete examples to illustrate the kinds of moral scenarios recent Canadian plays offer for critical deliberation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/030572499103025

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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