Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 621–633 | Cite as

The Role of Trustworthiness in Teaching: An Examination of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

  • Michael S. Katz


The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that trustworthiness plays in the ability of teachers to function as moral role models. Through exploration of Muriel Spark’s novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I explain some of the central features of trustworthiness as a moral virtue and suggest how these features are critical to developing moral relationships between teachers and students. I show how and why the character of Miss Jean Brodie fails to embody trustworthiness, and how moral philosophy and psychological insight are bound up with teachers’ efforts to treat students well and to behave in ways that morally warrant the trust most of us typically grant them. Finally, I propose some of the important implications this analysis has for teacher education.


Teacher–student relationships Moral role-modeling Caring Fairness Kantian respect Indoctrination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San José State UniversityPalo AltoUSA

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