Moral Development and Moral Education: An Integrated Approach

Hing Keung Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In this paper an overview of the psychological concepts of morality is presented and the aims of moral education based on these concepts are delineated in details. The affective and cognitive aspects of moral development are integrated in the construction of a holistic moral education program for primary school, secondary school and university students. Four domains of moral education are proposed as follows: human relationships and altruism, moral feeling and psychological needs, moral judgment, and citizenship. In addition, there are ten primary moral characters that we need to help children to develop. These moral characters are: (1) Humanity, (2) Intelligence, (3) Courage, (4) Conscience, (5) Autonomy, (6) Respect, (7) Responsibility, (8) Naturalness, (9) Loyalty, and (10) Humility. Chinese and Western perspectives are employed to elaborate the details of the proposed moral education program as well as the features of the ten primary moral characters. It is claimed that the proposed moral education program and the ten primary moral characters are universal for all cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-326
Number of pages34
JournalEducational Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

User-Defined Keywords

  • moral development
  • moral education
  • moral character education


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