Perspectives on Learning and their Implications for the Ethics Education Part of Religious Education
Nyckelord:LEARNING, ETHICS EDUCATION, MORAL EDUCATION
Some national syllabuses of religious education (RE) include aspects of ethics. Since ethics education or moral education (ME) as an international research field has been strongly influenced by theories of development and learning, this article examines the relationship between ethics and three major learning theories. Through an exploratory review of publications from the Journal of Moral Education over the last decades, the paper investigates the role of the behaviourist-empiricist approach, the cognitive approach (Piaget), and the situative-sociocultural approach (Vygotsky). The paper shows that behaviourist-empiricist perspectives have received little attention and have been criticised, while cognitive perspectives have been dominant, and situative perspectives have been considered to some extent. During the last two decades, perspectives from neurobiology have been introduced to address morality in ways that point towards an integration of aspects from the previous traditions. This paper briefly discusses the implications of these findings for ME in light of theoretical perspectives on learning and teaching and point out some issues for further investigation.