Towards an effective moral education in Nigeria
Nigeria is faced with the problems and challenges of pluralism in respect of its ethnic, social, political and religious diversity. This thesis argues that in order to reconcile the conflicting interests and tendencies in the country, an integrated approach to moral education is required. The first chapter clarifies the current situation in Nigeria by showing historically the roots of the present diversity. The second chapter is an introduction to some concepts -- of morality, education, moral education and moral development — which are essential to the later discussion. The third chapter describes and analyses approaches to moral education in traditional Nigerian society, including both content and methods. The fourth chapter is premised on the argument that moral education for national cohesion in Nigeria needs to take account of features of Nigerian society which, while being aspects of the problem, also contain the resources through which a solution can be approached. More is said on the current diversity, including its political and religious aspects, and it is pointed out that both Nigeria's political ideals, as enshrined in its constitution, and the predominantly religious orientation of its people, are resources on which moral education can build. The fifth chapter asks how far theoretical approaches developed in the West can be adapted to Nigeria's situation. Consideration is given to major political, especially democratic, theories; to ethical theories, especially where they focus on virtue; to conceptions of the nature of religion; and to psychological developmental theories. In each case it is argued that there are valuable features in such theories but they cannot be transferred wholesale to the Nigerian situation. The sixth chapter, accordingly, seeks to show how a distinctively Nigerian approach might be developed. This will allow for the possibility of a non-Western form of democracy; for a form of moral education which incorporates what is most valuable in traditional Nigerian practices; and for a religious education which takes account of common factors within a situation of diversity. Finally, an attempt is made in the seventh chapter to sketch a model of an effective and integrated moral education for Nigeria, in terms of the role of the school; the qualities required on the part of the teacher; the qualities of the student; the content of what is taught; and the methods to be used.