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Morality, Ethics and Good Work: Young People's Respectful and Ethical Minds*

  • Scott Seider
  • Katie Davis
  • Howard Gardner
Chapter

Abstract

We contend that the formation of the contemporary mind should emphasize the development of respect and ethics. Individuals with respectful minds welcome differences between themselves and other individuals and groups and seek to work effectively with all parties. Individuals who possess ethical minds acknowledge their membership within numerous local, national, and international communities; they consider the effects of their actions upon these communities. The multiple intelligences of human beings – particularly logical–mathematical intelligence and the personal intelligences – are the core capacities upon which policymakers and practitioners must call when seeking to foster young people's respectful and ethical minds. Here, we offer a number of experiences that can enhance relevant facets of young people's logical–mathematical and personal intelligences and help them to employ their intelligences in prosocial ways.

It is difficult to turn on the news or open a newspaper in twenty-first century America without learning of yet another high-profile ethical lapse. The millennium began with the demise of Enron, Arthur Andersen and WorldCom in some of the largest cases of corporate fraud in our nation's history. Since that inauspicious beginning, dozens of our nation's top athletes have been caught using illegal drugs to gain a competitive advantage in sports such as baseball, cycling, and track; leading academics and intellectuals have published books with passages plagiarized from other sources; and congressmen, senators, and cabinet members have been implicated in a bribery scandal involving illegal lobbying and campaign contributions. In The Cheating Culture, David Callahan (2004) described these and more mundane examples of unethical behavior as having become routine over the past 2 decades. Likewise, interviews with hundreds of young professionals by our colleagues at the Good Work Project have revealed that, as they enter the real world, many young adults believe the competition to get ahead necessitates such ethical compromises (Fischman et al. 2004). Scholars have found a similar mindset to be prevalent amongst high achieving high school students as well (Howard 2007; Pope 2003).

Keywords

Moral Judgment Young Worker German Citizen Multiple Intelligence Moral Exemplar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston University School of EducationTwo Sherborn Street or Two Silber WayUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Graduate School of Education

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