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Tending the Heart of VirtueHow Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination$
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Vigen Guroian

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152647.001.0001

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Awakening the Moral Imagination

Awakening the Moral Imagination

(p.17) 1 Awakening the Moral Imagination
Tending the Heart of Virtue

Vigen Guroian

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores some of the serious shortcomings of contemporary education as regards to the moral instruction of children and the role fairy tales and fantasy stories might play in improving any deficiencies in moral instruction. The great fairy tales and fantasy stories capture the meaning of morality through vivid descriptions of the struggle between good and evil, where characters must make difficult choices between right and wrong or heroes and villains contest the very fate of imaginary worlds. The great stories avoid didacticism and supply the imagination with important symbolic information about the shape of the world and appropriate responses to its inhabitants. Moral living is about being responsive and responsible toward other people.

Keywords:   fairy tales, fantasy stories, children, moral education, didacticism, moral living

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