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School of Education professor receives national Kuhmerker Dissertation Award

May 14, 2013

Matthew Hayden, assistant professor of teaching and learning at Drake University, is the recipient of the Association for Moral Education’s (AME) Kuhmerker Dissertation Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertations that inform, develop, or relate to the understanding of moral development, moral functioning or moral education. The AME invites submissions from all fields, including psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and cultural studies.

Hayden received the award for his recent dissertation, “Cosmopolitan Education and Moral Education: Forging Moral Beings Under Conditions of Global Uncertainty.” Hayden’s dissertation questions the current state of moral education and challenges common conceptions of morality. His goal was to show that morality is neither fixed nor ineffably unknowable.

“It is heartening to know that questions about what exactly morality is and how we go about determining what it is are still considered valuable,” says Hayden. “U.S. society has been moving toward a combination of moral legalism, meaning it is only wrong if it is illegal, and relativism, meaning it is okay as long as I truly believe it is, for quite some time, such that moral questions have been seen as either finished questions or unanswerable. I think that both of these positions are wrong, and this dissertation set out to show how and why, as well as to offer an alternative position to both.”

As this year’s recipient, Hayden will present his dissertation and attend an official award ceremony at the AME’s 39th annual conference in Montreal, Canada, October 24–26, 2013.

For more information, contact Matthew Hayden at 515-271-3040 or matthew.hayden@drake.edu.