Children's film as an instrument of moral education
Abstract:This paper explores two philosophical treasures that we often neglect: the moral faculties of children and the pedagogic virtues of film. My thesis consists of three primary claims: (1) when properly educated, children are capable of thinking critically about ethical issues; (2) moral edification ought to have the dual aims of developing this capacity and educating the emotions; and (3) given these aims, the children's film genre is a surprisingly apposite tool for aiding the moral instruction of pre-adolescents. I advance arguments for positions (1), (2) and (3), while considering objections to each view. I conclude the paper by illustrating how one film, the 2007 Disney Production, Bridge to Terabithia, exemplifies the instructional virtues enumerated in (2).
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of California at Riverside, USA
Publication date: 2009-03-01