ISU Headlines

Book on the moral work of teaching by ISU and BSU professors receives three awards

Posted April 15, 2014

The book “The Moral Work of Teaching and Teacher Education: Preparing and Supporting Practitioners,” by Matthew Sanger, professor of education at Idaho State University and Richard Osguthorpe, a Boise State University professor, has been honored with three awards.

The book was published in 2013 and describes morality as a fundamental part of the teaching profession.Matthew Sanger
It was put on the U.K. Times Higher Education Suggested Reading List for 2013; received the Moral Development and Education SIG (Special Interest Group) Book Award from the American Educational Research Association; and received the Society of Professors Education Book Award for 2014.

Acknowledging the moral nature of teaching allows educators to be more intentional, proactive and aware of the moral messages that are part of their practice, Sanger said. He has been interested in the topic of how to handle morality in education for quite some time. Sanger has focused much of his career, including his graduate work at the University of Michigan, on understanding the topic and its current state of awareness.

With his new book, Sanger adds to what he describes as a currently marginalized literature on the subject. Although the issue of morality in teaching garners little attention in the dominant discourse on education, this book is a step in the right direction.

“We can’t avoid it, so let’s be intentional about it and do it well,” he said.

In education, it is clear that moral issues are part of teaching from kindergarten through university studies, Sanger said. Wherever there is new content to learn, it is necessary to also learn how to integrate it into the surrounding social structure. The moral work of teaching is an integral part of the educational system, but it is seldom acknowledged. That, in part, is the reason for Sanger’s book, which was published by the Teachers College Press in New York.