„Auch aus Steinen, die einem in den Weg gelegt werden, kann man Schönes bauen.“ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
„Auch aus Steinen, die einem in den Weg gelegt werden, kann man Schönes bauen.“Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Please look into my little booklet "Moral Competence Reloaded"...

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Dear Readers,

This little booklet neither makes claim to being exhaustive nor a highly scientific treatise. It is only about sharing ideas on morality and school in an entertaining way. It is high time that morality was taught.

This booklet tells you (scientifically sound) what morality is, why "morality lessons" should find their way into schools and how such lessons could look like.

You will also get a first insight into the Konstanzer Methode der Dilemma Diskussion® (KMDD®) (Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion) and Moralischer Kompetenztest© (MKT©) (Moral Competence Test - MCT). Multiple characteristics and advantages of this form of teaching can be applied to all subjects and not only to ethics classes.

I deliberately abstain from indicating exact textual sources. I only use footnotes to refer to theoreticians and practitioners respectively representing the relevant concepts. Perhaps you are interested in reading more there and deepening your knowledge. It is only at the end that you will find both an extensive list of references and notes referring to internet resources.

Even if the masculine form has been used for certain groups of people in the individual chapters, it shall be understood to include both genders. 

Have fun with reading and contemplation.

Martina Reinicke

What actually is morality?

To start with, answer the following question:

Who do you want to be? 
(Please, tick.) a good guy [  ] or a bad guy [  ]

I’ll come back to the answer somewhat later. 

At first the question: What actually is morality? 

The search for ‚morality‘ on Google gives 260,000,000 hits thus revealing how great the uncertainty is when it comes to this term. It does not get much better when you search for "Definition of morality" – 68,200,000 hits. And even when you ask "What is morality?" the number of hits still runs into several millions.

Up until recently, morality belonged to the vocabulary used by do-gooders and also described the same somehow. Meanwhile, however, it has become trendy to speak of immorality. Many people complain about immoral conduct and refer to the lack of morality especially when they want to lend weight to huge injustice. It is immoral when bankers get rich at the expense of their customers, immoral, the wheelings and dealings of major corporations cheating car owners and the environment, immoral when children drown in the Mediterranean and hunger in the world exists at all. It is not only that we mix up morality with justice, it remains unclear despite years of school education what the word "Morality" actually means. 

The only subjects dealing with morality are ethics and religion. At least that is the impression you get when you study the curricula of the individual German states. In a nutshell: The task of the students is to acquire moral judgment competence, ethical discourse competence and tolerance. To this end it is reflected, judged, disputed, contemplated, acquired knowledge is applied, and it is hoped we educate better people who feel committed to the values of our constitution. But far from it. Ask your students what morality is. The answer is simple: they do not know. 

But perhaps the knowledge of morality is not necessary. What is certain is: although most people do not want to be bad (or how did you answer the initial question?) goodness plays a secondary role in everyday life. The normal, the mainstream is more important. Who really cares where the products bought come from, how the unfriendly neighbour is doing? Better he leaves you alone. Why do students who themselves had been bullied in the past, of all people, exclude others? How many parents know how their children actually are at school? Personal problems often enough compel us to be ignorant, look away, be hasty and superficial. More often than not there is no time for morality. Seemingly such "neither moral nor immoral being" is facilitated by modern media and social networks: much is possible, much is correct, much is normal, and much is also moral. 

To draw nearer to the term morality, it might be helpful to use the abnormal, extreme, and extraordinary as reference. Put yourself in the following position: 

Case 1[1]

Let us assume you recently completed a German Red Cross training course and know now what to do in case of an emergency. While helping your mother-in-law mowing the lawn at the weekend, you suddenly hear cries from the garden next door. You understand that something bad must have happened. While dashing to the site you see your neighbour’s son who has badly hurt himself with the hedge trimmer. He is covered in blood. You know that a pressure bandage should be applied as quickly as possible. But you also know that the young man is AIDS-infected. You cannot find the protective gloves. If you do nothing, he will bleed to death.
[1] Georg Lind







from 11th to 13th October in Chemnitz



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