The Centre is delighted to have welcomed Professor Marvin Berkowitz, Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship, during a recent visit where he met with Centre research staff to discuss the Centre's work and presented in the Centre's bi-weekly seminar series (abstract below).
Title: The Expanding Universe of Character Education: One Man’s Journey
Abstract: From the perspective of an autobiographical 40 year professional journey through various guises of understanding and promoting the positive, pro-social, and ethical development of children and adolescents, this paper explores the ideally interdisciplinary nature of an effective approach. Starting as a social science (specifically developmental psychology) basic researcher, the author slowly encountered challenges to that limited perspective. Epiphanies about and justifications for integrating a developmental psychological approach with ethical philosophy, sociology, and educational science are presented. If one wants to understand the ethical nature of such a person, then ethical philosophy is needed. If one wants to understand how a person becomes an ethical agent, then developmental psychology is required. However, sociology is needed to fully understand the social contextual forces undergirding such development. And ultimately, if one wants to nurture such development, educational science (pedagogy) is also necessary. For a truly comprehensive and effective approach, an integration of all four disciplines is optimal.