The moral lives of young people in poverty are shaped by structural injustices and poor schooling. As a result, they are less likely to have moral development that correlates directly with their physical maturation. Much of the moral development literature, however, focuses on youth in the Global North, where moral growth is often portrayed as a series of deliberate choices. But while the options for young people in townships are broader, the act of choosing is also more limited.
The environmental conditions for moral capital development in townships in South Africa are hardly conducive to learning. Unemployment rates are high, and social spending is inadequate. Young people are hungry and often drop out of school early. In addition, electricity costs are high, making it impossible for families to work late into the night. Many have to leave early for work before dawn. This lack of basic needs prevents young people from engaging with cognitive educational content.
The materialistic character of capitalism is sometimes deemed immoral by critics. However, these critics misunderstand the nature of this social system. It is only the individual’s free will that shapes moral behavior, which is the key to moral education. When individuals have the opportunity to make mistakes, they can develop wisdom and learn the proper behavior. As governments increase their influence, this freedom is reduced.
As a result, moral education should focus on developing cognitive skills, developing agency, and developing a sense of moral responsibility. In addition, moral education should focus on promoting virtue. This can benefit young people by shifting the focus from past to present, which can help them improve their moral capital. Furthermore, discussions of one’s own capabilities will more likely be animated than discussions of their own limitations.
Globalization and liberalism have made progress but remain plagued by certain forms of individualism, which undermine the highest moral ambitions. The global citizen education system seems to be trapped in this ideology. So, how can we address this problem? By fostering global consciousness, students will be better prepared for global citizenship.
Moral economists have criticized the idea that rural life is better. In addition to criticizing feudalism, they have also linked the idea of the Noble Savage with Hobbesian explanations of human nature. The latter view is often perceived as brutish. The idea of the moral economy as a way to promote capitalism has remained, but in a different form.
Increasing awareness of the world as a whole can lead to an understanding of humankind as a common people. Similarly, it can lead to a sense of obligation. According to Roland Roberston, global consciousness can be defined as a global community of common humanity. It introduces new rights and obligations.
A moral ecological lens provides a framework for understanding these interactions. Individual effects contribute to the system in unexpected ways. Through this lens, one can understand multiple moral positions, competing influences, and complex antibodies that are at work in an unintended way.
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