Perceptions of the Concept Moral Courage: The Stories of Religious and Secular Teachers in the Israeli Ethnocentric Educational System


Moral courage of teachers in Israeli education system has an additional value, because the Ministry of Education has complete control in determining policy and educational activities in the country (Baratz & Reingold, 2010). Kidder formulates it: "Moral courage is the courage to be moral" (Kidder, 2005, p. 10). That is to say, moral courage is the bridge between talking about values and actually implementing them. In the teaching context, moral courage means that teachers must have the desire and the ability to discuss ethical issues in order to awaken their students' awareness (Klaassen, 2007; Kidder, 2005). The purpose of the current study was to assess the dimensions of morally courageous activity within school life by qualitatively analyzing 49 Israeli teachers' defined self-narrative, which they felt could shed light on elements of educational moral courage. The research population was composed of 17 teachers working in a publically-funded Jewish secular schools; 14 teachers working in a publically-funded Jewish religious schools; 10 principals working in a publically-funded Arabic schools and 8 Arabic teachers working in a publically-funded Jewish secular schools. The findings indicated that the interviewees’ responses expressed a profound understanding of the concept of moral courage. The findings also revealed that the interviewees from all the groups claimed that the Israeli educational system is characterized by instructional price tags for teachers' morally courageous behavior. Never the less there is a fundamental difference concerning the willingness of the educators from the different groups to display morally courageous behavior.

Author Information
Roni Reingold, Achva Academic College, Israel
Lea Baratz, Achva Academic College, Israel
Hannah Abuhatzira, Achva Academic College, Israel

Paper Information
Conference: ECERP2015
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Education

This paper is part of the ECERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon