Imagination at the center of moral action: developing a deeper understanding of how to educate for teacher excellence

Ruhi Tyson


Abstract. It is not uncommon to find arguments for why teaching is a moral practice in which the virtues and wise judgment of a teacher play a prominent role. What is less often explored are the ways in which an aesthetic element - imagination - plays a part in this. From a practical perspective, this enacted teaching is often accessible, in retrospect, through narratives. This paper will begin with a short outline of the general issue from an Aristotelian perspective. This is briefly related to Rudolf Steiner’s concepts of moral intuition, imagination and technique as well as Friedrich Schiller’s aesthetic philosophy. Following that, I will be concerned with a discussion of ways in which this can be realized as part of a teacher education curriculum, focusing especially on the practical aspects of this kind of knowledge and on its imaginative-aesthetic character. The results are a richer conceptualization of what virtue and good judgment entail and suggestions for how this can be made part of teacher training.

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