Skip to main content

Values Education and the Community of Ethical Inquiry

Values Education and the Community of Ethical Inquiry

TEOH Chin Leong


If va lues education is a central aspect of education, how should we conceive of its constituent parts? This essay examines Lickona's answer using the framework of moral knowing, feeling and action. It extends the framework by incorporating Lipman's emphasis on caring thinking as the appropriate cognitive goal when thinking about values. The importance of ethical thinking within an existentially and socially conscious curriculum is then highlighted against the background of the framework via the pedagogy and goals of the Philosophy for Children programme. It is argued that a more complete understanding of the nature of ethical thinking in moral and affective development has important implications for curriculum design, classroom practice and teacher training.


Values education is a large and complex field. The focus here will be on the moral or ethical component of values education, although non-moral values may still have great worth in any comprehensive curriculum package.

Both the explicit and hidden curricula are important in values education. Obviously, the habits and mannerisms of teachers themselves reveal and communicate certain values that can be picked up by students (e.g. sloppiness, lateness, respect for others, care, concern). This means that values education occurs whenever a teacher can be observed by a student or when he or she relates to a child or when children relate to each other, inside or outside the classroom. Thus, if values are communicated outside the curriculum, the educator should examine the hidden curriculum. What kind of moral culture or subculture is being perpetuated in school? Is there a way to foster a more desirable ethical school culture, ethos or environment?

Also, subjects themselves are seldom, if ever, value neutral. Almost all subjects seek the truth and stress accuracy, precision, objectivity, fairness and reflection. More substantively, certain values are integral to the self-conception of certain disciplines—values such as beauty, elegance, imagination, and respect for nature. This gives rise to values-based lessons that can, and should, be taught. Moral values also enter the picture when different perspectives are evaluated. For instance, perspectives must be weighed and evaluated fairly and with due respect for the different positions involved (O'Hear, 1998). Both everyday life and the content of subjects like science, history and social studies also provide fertile ground for the discussion of ethical issues.

What does all this have to do with moral education?

A Brief History of Moral Education

If we look back to the start of the twentieth century, one way virtues were taught then was through stories, for example, “The honest boy and the thief” from the McGuffey Reader. These stories taught simple moral virtues, like honesty, courage and kindness, and it was pretty easy to determine the good guys from the bad, good acts from evil ones, and what the moral of the story really was. In many ways, this approach is still useful, and new children's stories in the same vein have emerged, teaching a basic virtue that is sometimes exemplified in the life of a famous historical person.

However, things changed in America in the 1960s with the “values clarification” movement. Rather than teaching values by pointing to real-life examples of virtue in action or using stories to inspire good conduct, values clarification focused on value neutrality and process. Students had the freedom to choose which values they wanted to adopt or if they wanted to adopt any values at all. If the McGuffey Reader approach was arguably too “leading”, values clarification veered in the opposite direction, very much in keeping with the sociocultural backdrop of America at that time. Values clarification taught that there is no right or wrong or better or worse answers in matters of morality, much as the relativists and subjectivists of today would argue.

Eventually, some proponents of values clarification realised the excesses of their approach and that they should have situated the student's own values within those of the larger society. According to Lickona (1991), the good thing about values clarification was that it provided a large repository of activities that attempted to bridge espoused values with consistent actions based on those values by asking “what would you do” questions. This had the benefit of placing the emphasis on doing something and being clear about the values that drive one's decisions and actions. The main drawback was that students were not asked to evaluate whether those values that were guiding them were worth having in the first place. Values clarification did not provide a framework of ethical criteria or a theory for the evaluation of values. It was merely “a set of methods in search of a theory” (p. 239).

It was left to Harvard psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg in the 1970s to continue the tradition of Piaget and come up with a theory of moral development and evaluation that moral educators were looking for. Kohlberg claimed to have empirically identified the different stages of moral reasoning that all children go through. He then devised a method of stimulating moral development and progression through the stages via the consideration of moral dilemmas. The six stages of moral development comprise acts that are justified on the following bases (Crain, 1985):

Preconventional morality
     Stage 1: Avoidance of punishment
     Stage 2: Individual self-interest and fair exchange

Conventional morality
     Stage 3: Good interpersonal relationships or loyalty
     Stage 4: Maintenance of social order

Postconventional morality
     Stage 5: Individual rights and social contract
     Stage 6: Universal ethical principles

Before critically evaluating Kohlberg's approach, I would like to introduce Lickona's Aristotelian-inspired framework for understanding the ethical self. This is important because understanding the elements of moral being can be helpful in developing a more comprehensive vision of ethical thinking and reasoning. But first, some preliminaries.

To be clear what I mean by ethical thinking or reasoning, let me say what I do not take it to be. It is not merely the deductive application of abstract ethical principles or theories to particular situations. Neither does it revolve primarily around figuring out whether Kantian or consequentialist or utilitarian accounts of morality would be the best guides for action. An emphasis on reason does not imply a rationalistic account of morality. Instead, it acknowledges that reasons are necessary if moral judgments, and the people who make them, are to be seen as reasonable. In addition, some form of ethical thinking is not incompatible with conceptions of moral motivation rooted in sympathy, fellow-feeling, benevolence or the “vulnerability and interdependence” of the human condition (O'Hear, 1998; Haydon, 2003).

Some models of moral reasoning are more limited and do not serve us well (see, e.g., Haydon, 2003). A more substantial model like Richard Paul's (2000, 2003), which incorporates an explicit link between ethical reasoning competencies and moral virtues or traits, is needed. Ethical reasoning in a vacuum is pointless if it is not tied to a fuller conception of moral being, where they inform and enrich each other. To this end, values education will be most effective if it is carried out school-wide and infused into different subjects, not just in a character education or philosophy class.

Lickona and the Education of Moral Being

How can we think about the elements of moral being? Lickona (1991) conceives of character in terms of “operative values” or “values in action”. The development of character occurs when “a value becomes a virtue, a reliable inner disposition to respond to situations in a morally good way”. We attain moral maturity when we develop habits related to “knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good” (p. 51). The specific moral qualities under each aspect of character that Lickona argues should be developed in any comprehensive values education programme are as follows (p. 53):

Moral knowing

  • Moral awareness
  • Knowing moral values
  • Perspective taking
  • Moral reasoning
  • Decision making
  • Self-knowledge

Moral feeling

  • Conscience
  • Self-esteem
  • Empathy
  • Loving the good
  • Self-control
  • Humility

Moral action

  • Competence
  • Will
  • Habit

Moral knowing, feeling and action influence and affect each other in the development of character. The value of Lickona's model is that it details a list of moral qualities and competencies that are relevant to values education based on his extensive research in schools. I can only briefly discuss one aspect of his model here.

One of the most overlooked aspects of moral education is the cultivation of moral awareness. Typically, educators present a fully formed or simply framed ethical problem to children for ethical deliberation or else expect the moral quality of events or incidents to be self-evident—to “jump out” at them. They are subsequently disappointed that children can reason convincingly in class but there is no carry-over to real life. What has gone wrong? As Murdoch (2001) argues, “I can only choose within the world I can see” (pp. 35–36). Ethically problematic scenarios are not flagged out for us in real life. We have to be sensitised to them. Children, especially, have to be schooled to be aware of the values-laden landscape before them. They have to be able to see potentially morally problematic aspects of that landscape and how their actions (and inaction) can change the ethical meaning of that landscape. The cultivation of moral perception and moral imagination is a way of combating moral blindness. Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan (1980) and Blum (1994) have written about this extensively, but its significance in educational practice seems to have been largely lost. Yet, there is something profoundly different about a person who appreciates the moral context he or she is working under compared to someone else oblivious to that context.

Murdoch (2001) insightfully reminds us that the moral life is “something that goes on continually, not something that is switched off in between the occurrence of explicit moral choices. What happens in between such choices is indeed what is crucial” (p. 36). She goes on to suggest a moral term attention to describe the moments in between ethical choices. Educators should identify the different ways in which someone can be morally unaware, and the root causes, in order to more effectively cultivate moral attentiveness. Moral reasoning is pointless if we do not first perceive that there is something worth reasoning about. This is not to say that moral perception is non-cognitive. Moral perception itself may require a high degree of ethical thinking, when we imaginatively extend and empathically cast our minds towards, for instance, possible harms caused, injustices committed or obligations that remain unfulfilled. Moral attentiveness is the essence of a robust moral being.

Caring Thinking in Values Education

Lickona's model, however, can be supplemented by what Matthew Lipman calls caring thinking. According to Lipman (2003), multidimensional thinking consists of critical, creative and caring thinking. Caring thinking is thinking about values. There are at least five aspects of caring thinking: appreciative or valuational thinking, empathic thinking, affective thinking, normative thinking and active thinking.

We can think of these aspects of caring thinking as habits of mind related to ways of thinking about values that ought to be developed in students. Some of these aspects overlap with Lickona's model; others do not. In particular, valuational thinking is a process of reflecting on values that are important to students themselves. It is a process of values clarification and values realisation, where students start to actively create and appreciate the values that are important to them and which ought to be important to them. According to Hogan (2006), his research into teenagers in Singapore reveals a strong desire in students to grapple with existential issues related to questions of identity, meaning and worth in their lives. Any moral education curriculum will be a poor one if it did not attempt to highlight and address these issues in a reflective and responsible way. The curriculum should also build in experiences that allow for normative thinking, which bridge the gap between what is the case and what ought to be the case, whether within the lives of the students themselves or in terms of the kind of world they hope to live in. We can use the characteristics and dispositions of moral being identified by Lickona and Lipman to guide us in re-examining our moral education curriculum.

The Community of Ethical Inquiry1

Founded by Matthew Lipman, the Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme and its main pedagogical companion, the Community of Inquiry (COI), afford a context in which to cultivate moral being as it has been defined above. Traditionally, P4C involves specially crafted children's literature that reflects a rich philosophical tradition. Students read the stimulus material and throw up questions for discussion. The COI is a structured way of getting students actively involved in dialogical and critical thinking. Students experience what it is like to discuss issues thoroughly and respectfully in a group setting, and cultivate their own specific thinking competencies in the process. The influence of Dewey and Vygotsky is central to the P4C tradition. However, it has been argued recently that the COI can also help with caring thinking. Affective thinking or the education of the emotions, for instance, can take place within the context of the COI (Sharp, 2004).

The COI itself can be the mechanism for ethical thinking, where students learn values and dispositions like self-control, humility, empathy and habit by engaging in a dialogical and relational process where these values become real for them as “values in action”. To achieve this, we need to be cognisant of how the moral use of the COI differs from its epistemic use. We can see the COI as a crystallisation of the philosophical spirit of inquiry. But it is more than that because it is also the site where ethical consciousness and moral relationships can be cultivated. Of course, the platform that the COI provides for the substantive discussion of ethical issues also allows affective education of a different kind, where students mould their moral sentiments with respect to particular issues via reasoned dialogue in the service of both valuational and normative thinking. The interplay between reason and emotion in the formation of moral judgment is an important lesson for children to learn. For the reasons given above, the COI is an ideal pedagogical structure for moral discourse in the classroom, regardless of the subject being taught. For it to be effective, however, teachers have to develop the competencies required for the facilitation of moral growth.

Is Kohlberg's Model of Moral Development Adequate?

Having identified some possible goals of moral education on the basis of Lickona's and Lipman's work, and the COI as the site for attaining those goals, I want to return to Kohlberg's model of moral reasoning to assess its adequacy.

Kohlberg's use of hypothetical dilemmas in class discussions to move individuals through the six stages of moral development has been one of the major empirically based educational theories of moral reasoning. Lickona himself writes approvingly of Kohlberg's approach. It is worth noting, however, that Kohlberg found his own method less than satisfactory and later developed a new model of moral education based on the just community.2 One problem with Kohlberg's model is that the higher stages of moral reasoning are too one-dimensional, relying as they do on principles of justice. But morality, and moral reasoning, consists of more than matters of justice. Furthermore, given the state of theoretical debate in moral philosophy, it would certainly be premature to regard “justice” or “rights” as having won the day and being anointed the highest level of moral reasoning. Kohlberg eventually admitted that his moral dilemmas did not deal with “special relationships” such as those among friends or family members, the importance of which Gilligan's (1982) research served to highlight. Kohlberg's famous Heinz dilemma, for instance, where a man was forced to steal a drug to save his wife's life, points more evidently to an ethic of care than an ethic of justice (Rest et al., 1999). Yet, this kind of reasoning, which is far from inappropriate, would have ranked lowly at stage 3 on Kohlberg's scale. Given this clash of moral intuition and theory, Kohlberg needed to explain why anyone should choose his theory over our considered intuitions.

A related criticism is that Kohlberg assumed the primacy of “foundational principlism” and believed that stage 6 principles could deductively lead to unique and universal answers for questions ranging from the Heinz dilemma to capital punishment (Rest et al., 1999, p. 23).3 But there is no reason why different results cannot issue from the same principles, unless these principles are spelled out more explicitly and are prescriptive all the way down. A common criticism is that foundational principles by themselves may not offer enough guidance for our actions without the introduction, and further elaboration, of mid-level principles or concepts.

Deductive principlism also faces challenges from bottom-up moral reasoning or inductivism, where it is not abstract principles that guide ethical decision making but actual on-the-ground cases. In inductivism, paradigmatic precedent cases are established by consensus, and a common framework for judging future cases is inductively formulated within a web of embedded traditions. This does not mean that we can do away with principles. A combination of top-down and bottom-up moral reasoning, commonly designated the Rawlsian reflective equilibrium model, combines the best of both worlds. The point here is to generate moral judgments on a case-by-case basis, rooted in various histories, traditions and common morality, and then to reflect on them with respect to certain ethical principles. Either the judgments or principles will have to be adjusted in a meaningful way until consistency or coherence (i.e. equilibrium) is attained (Rest et al., 1999).4

The different models of moral reasoning in the philosophical literature have obvious implications for curriculum design because they imply, for instance, the use of comparative case studies to challenge students in analogical reasoning and criteria setting, with the cognitive goal of cultivating valuational thinking and the reflective development of a “values identity”. But if teachers had adopted Kohlberg's model of moral reasoning as the sole or “correct” model, these various modes and goals of moral reasoning may have been discounted.

In addition, the use of Kohlbergian moral dilemmas only partially serves the goal of moral education if we adopt a fuller conception of ethical thinking. This is because hypothetical dilemmas are typically sketchy and provide too little by way of context for students to be able to use them in developing their moral perception or in discriminating between contexts and situations which can have a bearing on the direction of moral reasoning. Real-life scenarios or issues may be a better alternative simply because of the greater level of detail inherent in them. In fact, Kohlberg himself began to see the importance of using real-life dilemmas as opposed to hypothetical ones, but he only managed to try this out in a prison setting and not in school. There are also other elements of ethical thinking pertinent to moral being that moral dilemmas leave out, like creative problem-solving techniques that reframe ethical conundrums and anticipate or prevent ethical dilemmas from even emerging, or active-thinking approaches that lead to efforts to care for those affected by an ethical fallout (Weston, 2007).

The Just Community as Community of Ethical Inquiry

Two outcomes of Kohlberg's work in moral education should be highlighted. Firstly, he found that teachers wanted not only better reasoning from their students but also better behaviour. Secondly, his move towards a just community approach was precisely to address the issue of the hidden curriculum and to foster a participatory and democratic school culture that could respond to real-life issues that students faced (Higgins, 1991).

These two concerns are related. Some educators believe that if you get the thinking right, the appropriate behaviour will follow, and so they cannot understand how there could be a disconnect between moral thinking and action. Kohlberg, however, felt that individual thought and behaviour could be better moulded and developed within a collectivity, where group norms that are of value are self-consciously selected and adopted.

The idea behind the just community is that if students start to become accountable for how they themselves want to live within a school community, they can make their lives more meaningful by, first, identifying issues that are relevant to their lives and which have to be resolved, and, secondly, finding, through reasoned communal dialogue, solutions that they will subsequently agree to live by. In this way, students develop their own community ideals, take ownership for self-governance, and learn democratic decision making via the adoption of a social contract. This potentially has a greater effect on students' engagement and development because their active participation and the actual decisions they make start to have an immediate and direct impact on how they are to live. It is in the space between moral thought and action that responsibility towards the community finds its place, on the basis of the students' own deeply held beliefs and values. Students end up, in a Deweyan sense, “learning by doing”. The challenge for most schools will be to allow for and facilitate this level of change in their own normative structures and to welcome the creation of a new, but also potentially more just and reasonable, socio-ethical environment based on shared communal values which emerge, as it were, from the ground up. The “right” is thus established in relation to the “good”, where appropriate student behaviour is judged according to what has value for the community.

It will be noted that Kohlberg's just community, where a positive moral culture is developed, has structural and pedagogical similarities with the COI. The just community is the COI writ large and applied to the entire school as a community.

Instead of Kohlberg's six-stage model, the preferred mode of ethical reasoning will be along the lines given by Matthew Lipman, Robert Fisher and, especially, Richard Paul (see Appendix) and occurring within the COI, although I have tried to show in my discussion above that this does not exhaust the realm of ethical thinking. Crucially, ethical thinking should be done within the context of an existentially and socially conscious curriculum, with an emphasis on purposeful dialogue and meaning-making, not merely knowledge acquisition or information processing (Hogan, 2006). Moral development can then be gauged according to a richer set of criteria than Kohlberg's, for instance, by also emphasising growth in autonomy, caring and empathic behaviour, connectedness to others, moral imagination, complexity in ethical thinking, and “seeking what is good, right or fair for (other) people” (Fisher, 2003a, p. 63), among other manifestations of ethical being.

Lickona's emphasis on character education is one approach to moral education. I do not claim that Lickona, Lipman or Paul would agree with the way that I have appropriated, integrated or even interpreted their approaches. But each of them offers important insights into values education. In the space given, I have only been able to briefly sketch several elements of a more comprehensive framework for ethical thinking. My hope is that I have managed to give some food for thought to both philosophers and practitioners interested in educating the child as a moral being.

Appendix: Moral Reasoning Skills

Richard Paul's moral reasoning strategies (1993, pp. 251–252)

  1. Moral affective strategies
    S-1Exercising independent moral thought and judgment
    S-2Developing insight into moral egocentrism and sociocentrism
    S-3Exercising moral reciprocity
    S-4Exploring thought underlying moral reactions
    S-5Suspending moral judgment
  2. Cognitive strategies: moral macro-abilities
    S-6Avoiding oversimplification of moral issues
    S-7Developing one's moral perspective
    S-8Clarifying moral issues and claims
    S-9Clarifying moral ideas
    S-10Developing criteria for moral evaluation
    S-11Evaluating moral authorities
    S-12Raising and pursuing root moral questions
    S-13Evaluating moral arguments
    S-14Generating and assessing solutions to moral problems
    S-15Identifying and clarifying moral points of view
    S-16Engaging in Socratic discussion on moral issues
    S-17Practising dialogical thinking on moral issues
    S-18Practising dialectical thinking on moral issues
  3. Cognitive strategies: moral micro-skills
    S-19Distinguishing facts from moral principles, values and ideals
    S-20Using critical vocabulary in discussing moral issues
    S-21Distinguishing moral principles or ideas
    S-22Examining moral assumptions
    S-23Distinguishing morally relevant from morally irrelevant facts
    S-24Making plausible moral inferences
    S-25Supplying evidence for a moral conclusion
    S-26Recognising moral contradictions
    S-27Exploring moral implications and consequences
    S-28Refining moral generalisations

Essential moral virtues cultivated through ethical reasoning include moral humility, moral courage, moral empathy, moral integrity, moral perseverance and moral fair-mindedness.

Matthew Lipman's reasoning skills applicable to value questions
(1988, pp. 201–216, abridged)

  1. Working with consistency and contradiction
  2. Knowing how to deal with ambiguities
  3. Formulating questions
  4. Grasping part—whole and whole—part connections
  5. Giving reasons
  6. Working with analogies
  7. Formulating cause—effect relationships
  8. Concept development
  9. Generalisation
  10. Ability to recognise and avoid—or knowingly utilise—vagueness
  11. Taking all considerations into account
  12. Recognising interdependence of ends and means
  13. Knowing how to deal with informal fallacies
  14. Operationalising concepts
  15. Defining terms
  16. Identifying and using criteria
  17. Instantiation
  18. Constructing hypotheses
  19. Contextualising
  20. Anticipating, predicting and estimating consequences
  21. Classification and categorisation

Robert Fisher's moral reasoning skills for developing a moral point of view (2003b, p. 84)

Thinking skillKey question
Imagination: considering all factors,
    motivations and consequences
Have we thought of….?
Empathy: thinking of others,
     reasoning through analogy
How would you feel if….?
Universalising: testing the
     implications of a rule
What if everybody….?
Anticipating consequences:
     considering ends and means
What if you do….?
Sensitivity to context: accounting
     for special circumstances
     and instances
Does it matter when/where….?
Hypothetical reasoning:
     exploring alternative possibilities
What alternatives are there?
Giving good reasons: supporting
     judgments with reasons
Is it a good enough reason?
Testing for consistency between
     actions and beliefs
Is the action consistent with beliefs?
Projecting an ideal world:
     examining moral, social and
     cultural ideals
Is it a world you'd like to live in?
Projecting an ideal self: examining
     the moral view of oneself
Is that the person you want to be?


1 I have taken the phrase community of ethical inquiry from the title of Sprod's (2001) excellent book. I use it here in the deliberately dual sense of the term, implying that both the substance and the process of inquiry are ethical in values education.

2 I would like to thank Ling Choon Chi for first calling my attention to Kohlberg's concept of the just community.

3 But see Lickona (1991, p. 242), who disputes this reading of Kohlberg.

4 See also Margolis (1994) for a critique of Kohlberg.


Blum, L. (1994). Moral Perception and Particularity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crain, W. (1985). Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Fisher, R. (2003a). Philosophy for children: How philosophical enquiry can foster values education in schools. In R. Gardner, J. Cairns & D. Lawton (Eds.), Education for Values: Morals, Ethics and Citizenship in Contemporary Teaching (pp. 50–66). London: Kogan Page.

Fisher, R. (2003b). Teaching Thinking: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom. 2nd ed. London: Continuum.

Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Haydon, G. (2003). What scope is there for teaching moral reasoning? In R. Gardner, J. Cairns & D. Lawton (Eds.), Education for Values: Morals, Ethics and Citizenship in Contemporary Teaching (pp. 27–37). London: Kogan Page.

Higgins, A. (1991). The just community approach to moral education. In W. M. Kurtines & J. L. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development. Vol. 3: Application (pp. 111–141). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hogan, D. (2006). How should I live? Disparate reflections on education, meaning-making and the postmodern existential condition. In W. K. Ho (Ed.), Philosophy in Schools: Developing a Community of Inquiry (pp. 130–172). Singapore: Singapore Teachers' Union.

Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. New York: Bantam Books.

Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lipman, M., Sharp, A. M., & Oscanyan, F. S. (1980). Philosophy in the Classroom. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Margolis, J. (1994). Does Kohlberg have a valid theory of moral education? In M. Lipman & A. M. Sharp (Eds.), Growing up with Philosophy (pp. 240–255). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

Murdoch, I. (2001). The Sovereignty of Good. London: Routledge.

O'Hear, A. (1998). Moral education. In P. H. Hirst & P. White (Eds.), Philosophy of Education: Major Themes in the Analytic Tradition. Vol. 4: Problems of Educational Content and Practices (pp. 11–26). London: Routledge.

Paul, R. (1993). Critical Thinking: What Every Student Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Paul, R. (2000). Critical thinking, moral integrity, and citizenship: Teaching for the intellectual virtues. In G. Axtell (Ed.), Knowledge, Belief and Character: Readings in Virtue Epistemology (pp. 163–175). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Paul, R. (2003). Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Rest, J., Bebeau, M. J., Bebeau, M., Narvaez, D., & Thoma, S. J. (1999). Postconventional Moral Thinking: A Neo-Kohlbergian Approach. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sharp, A. (2004). The other dimension of caring thinking. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy in Education, 12(1), 9–15.

Sprod, T. (2001). Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education: The Community of Ethical Inquiry. London: Routledge.

Weston, A. (2007). Creative Problem Solving in Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Further Reading

Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. New York: Bantam Books.

Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sprod, T. (2001). Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education: The Community of Ethical Inquiry. London: Routledge.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Values Education and the Community of Ethical Inquiry." Philosophical Reflections for Educators. . 18 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Values Education and the Community of Ethical Inquiry." Philosophical Reflections for Educators. . (January 18, 2019).

"Values Education and the Community of Ethical Inquiry." Philosophical Reflections for Educators. . Retrieved January 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.