It's Hard to Be Good

Moral Complexity, Construction, and Connection in a Kindergarten Classroom

by Brian McCadden (Author)
Textbook XXII, 130 Pages
Series: Rethinking Childhood, Volume 8


Should our public schools expressly teach morality? If so, which morality? Whose morality? How would we teach morality in school? At a time when many school communities are either trying to «keep morality out of school,» or are implementing character education curricula that focus primarily on modifying individual behaviors, this book argues that schooling is always an inherently moral activity in that children are constantly learning, and expanding, sets of social values in school - they are learning how they are expected to be and act as students and citizens, while at the same time forcing adults to expand their own expectations.
This constant moral education resides not in the content of the curriculum but in the everyday interactions between teachers and students. In this ethnographic exploration of school morality, Brian McCadden describes how these interactions occur and what moral meanings Mrs. Hooper, a kindergarten teacher, and her students make from them. He explores how morality is constructed in school. His aim is to demystify the process of constructing morality so that it may become a more overt, thoughtful, and purposeful aspect of schooling.


XXII, 130
ISBN (Softcover)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Paris, Wien, 1998. XXII, 130 pp.

Biographical notes

Brian McCadden (Author)

The Author: Brian M. McCadden is Assistant Professor of Education at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His research focuses on linking the sociology of knowledge with moral education, in understanding the place of ritual in schooling, and in reclaiming narrative morality.


Title: It's Hard to Be Good