The four domains of moral education: The contributions of Dewey, Alexander and Goleman to a comprehensive taxonomy

Ronald Lee Zigler

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This paper seeks to place a neglected dimension of John Dewey's work into its proper context - and in so doing define four domains of moral education. An examination of the influence of F. Matthias Alexander on Dewey reveals that these writers clearly anticipated the research and ideas which Daniel Goleman has recently sought to popularise in his book Emotional Intelligence. Among Goleman's conclusions is the recommendation that the education of moral character needs to consciously address the development of "emotional habits" and foster "emotional literacy". An examination of the contributions of Dewey, Alexander and Goleman points toward an internal as well as an external domain of moral education and development: each of which may be approached directly or indirectly. Consequently, a truly comprehensive model of moral education must address each of these four domains: Direct External, Indirect External, Direct Internal and Indirect Internal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies

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