AdvisorFenstermacher, Gary D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThere is a growing interest in the study of the moral qualities of teachers. Many studies emphasize empirical techniques without attention to the philosophical features of moral conduct or focus on the philosophical features without connections to the actual conduct of teachers. This dissertation combines philosophical and empirical inquiry to study the moral conduct of teachers. Using Fenstermacher's distinction among teaching method, style, and manner, the technical and personality characteristics of teachers are distinguished from teacher conduct that expresses moral virtue. This conduct is known as the manner of the teacher. This dissertation investigates how manner may be made explicit, as a philosophical concept and an object of empirical inquiry. The philosophical part examines the conceptual nature of moral action in the classroom, using an Aristotelian ethics as the framework for analysis. The empirical part is a case study of three classroom teachers, whose moral conduct is examined using the Aristotelian framework. This dual philosophical/empirical approach permits inquirers to observe and analyze selected moral dimensions of teaching, then draw conclusions about how the teachers express moral virtue. The empirical part is a qualitative study of three teachers, each interviewed and observed over a one year period. Case studies illustrating the teachers' expressions of moral virtue were developed, followed by a cross-case analysis that revealed common and distinct elements in the teachers' manner. The cross-case analysis suggests that the teachers express virtues in similar ways according to the Aristotelian framework and in particular ways according to their individual style. Further, teachers express more than one virtue simultaneously. The main conclusion one may draw from this study is that it is possible to systematically observe and describe manner in teaching. Suggestions for further research include (1) situations in which the expression of one virtue appears to conflict with another, (2) the difficulties of analyzing the intellectual virtues, and (3) clarifying the relationship between manner and teachers' context, content, and students. A significant implication of this study is that it is possible to attend to manner in ways that permit the development of moral virtue in teaching.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching and Teacher Education