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Moral dimensions of teacher-student interactions in Malaysian secondary schools

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The purpose of this study was to examine the norm conformity and value perceptions of Malaysian secondary school students. To measure adherence to value-based social norms, a values/behaviour questionnaire was administered to approximately 400 Malaysian adolescents. The results showed a self-reported high degree of conformity to social norms. In order to increase understanding of the moral dimensions of schooling, semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and students which gave 'voice' to teachers and students as moral agents. The results indicate that some students view school rules as too rigid and undermining the moral development schooling is trying to promote. The research also shows that the implicit values of respect, justice and fairness are central in Malaysian students' relationships with their teachers. This research shows teachers and students as active constructors of moral meaning and recommends that policymakers, when thinking about moral education reform, consider these views.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Calumet College of St. Joseph Indiana USA

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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