The moral imperative is something that must happen because it is the right thing. In education the moral imperative gets in the way of our own selfish motives. Reforming education is hard, and messy. In my experience, the way we do things in education is largely based on anecdotal evidence. Meaning that we embrace methods that we feel are successful based on how we have been taught and what has worked for us. These methods are not grounded in research. We think they work, and rarely question them. What we perceive as working may not always be truth.
The moral imperative is important to consider, because without it we remain stagnant. Doing the right thing for kids and keeping the focus on kids can be difficult for us adults. Why did we enter this field? We begin to lose sight of progress when we forget about the moral imperative.
At what point do we realize that maybe I am not impacting as many kids as I could?
At what point do we question ourselves and become critical of our practice?
At what point do we begin to look at ourselves in the mirror and not out the window?
For us to really move forward as an education system we have to continue learning. We have to be okay with coming to the realization that what I have been doing is possibly not working. I think we are reaching a pressure point in our district where we are questioning everything. It is an uncomfortable feeling, but a feeling we need to have. Discomfort can be good for all of us.
Mark Edwards a superintendent in North Carolina recently wrote an excellent book titled, "Every Child, Every Day." The slogan in the district really keeps the focus on the moral imperative and doing what is right for every child and reminding ourselves to do it everyday.