Neuroscience of morality and teacher education

In Michael A. Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. Singapore: Springer (forthcoming)
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Given that teachers become primary fundamental exemplars and models for their students and the students are likely to emulate the presented teachers’ behaviors, it is necessary to consider how to promote teachers’ abilities as potential moral educators during the course of teacher education. To achieve this ultimate aim in teacher education, as argued by moral philosophers, psychologists, and educators, teachers should be able to well understand the mechanisms of moral functioning and how to effectively promote moral development based on evidence. Recent findings in the fields of social sciences that have examined how morality is functioning among human beings, moral psychology in particular, provide us with the evidence through experiments and observations. Furthermore, thanks to the development of scientific research methods that enable researchers to investigate the neural-level nature of human behavior, the researchers now can examine neural correlates of moral functioning that constitutes the basis of moral behavior and development. To facilitate the understanding of the field of neuroscience of morality and its educational implications within the context of teacher education, first, the recent trend in the field will be reviewed, and second, how it can provide useful insights to teachers and teacher educations will be discussed.
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