Moral Education through Children’s Literature: A Critical Analysis of Historical Approaches

Activity: Academic and Industrial eventsConference, workshop or symposium


The educational utility of stories is thought to be substantial; stories have long been considered an ideal vehicle for teaching children as they can captivate and inspire, and stimulate learning through vicarious experiences. It is unsurprising therefore that stories are often told with the intention of teaching moral lessons and desirable behaviours conducive to living well with others. Moral themes were prominent within children’s literature produced during the 18th - 20th centuries. By the early 20th century, many variations of moral stories were published within collections designed to be read to children by parents and teachers, including classical fiction, fables, biblical stories, personal accounts, fantasy stories and fairy tales. In addition to these collections, handbooks were produced which outlined methods of moral instruction. These methods incorporated, or exclusively used, stories to teach qualities of “good” character, manners and behaviours. This presentation will offer a critical analysis of the beliefs underlying the use of stories as a morally educative vehicle during this period and will highlight some of the enduring themes that resonate with moral education today.
Period9 Jul 2019
Event titleSchool of Education Research and Scholarship Conference : "Research That Matters"
Event typeConference
LocationBirmingham , United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal