Fables can be excellent windows into
the worlds of animals and human beings for children. Moreover, they
are fun to read , discuss, envisage and personalize via storytelling.
There have been many fable theorists who have reflected on the definition
of fable and its different functions. John Locke recommends fables to
teach language at a time when social concern is growing, particularly
in education. In the same way, the fabulist La Fontaine also alludes
to the instructive aspect or value of fables. Antoine Furetière,
one of La Fontaines friends and followers, claims that animals
reprove and correct much more effectively than the teachings of members
of our own species. Fables are sort of instructions disguised under
the allegory of an action with the purpose of moral teaching. One of
the best known theories of moral development is associated with Lawrence
Kohlberg (1971), and it suggests how art might lead to moral development.
Kohlberg claims that there is empirical evidence which shows that there
are universal ontogenetic trends toward the development of morality.
He explicitly rejects views that moral development is the result of
teaching or maturation. He also argues that empirical studies have failed
to confirm the findings of psychoanalytic schools; there are no correlations
between parental modes of handling infantile drives and later behavior
and attitudes. He holds, instead, that moral development is primarily
the result of interaction between the individual and her social environment,
where role taking is of central importance. The aim of this paper is
to show how Easop's fables and the roles of the animals are used to
enhance critical thinking strategies in ELT and to promote moral development.