But do we really want to raise children to be 'good'? Is this compatible with raising engaged learners, critical thinkers, active citizens in a democratic state?
Last year all the teachers in my daughter's grade used a 'carrot and stick' system to reward and punish classroom behaviour. Once students acquired a certain number of tickets they could claim a small prize but if they broke a rule they lost tickets and their chance to collect a prize.
My daughter refused, point blank, to participate. In fact, she regularly tore up her tickets. She is in most respects a 'good' student, but in her own quiet and determined way she staged a one person rebellion. And while I would appreciate a little less rebellion on the home front I am proud of her resolve, her refusal to submit to a manipulative scheme that to her felt like an insult.
Today, Sister Megan Rice, an 82-year-old American nun with a long history of activism, is on trial (along with two male accomplices) for taking part in a break in at a top US nuclear weapons facility. She faces a possible 16-year prison term. And in Russia, Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years imprisonment for refusing to just shut up and submit to an unjust regime.
Brave, fierce and free in the truest sense of the word, these are women who I will hold up to my children - and especially my daughter - as role models. They show that to be truly good means being willing to question and actively defy authority when necessary, take risks, and even give up the privileges (small and large) that we benefit from when we meekly submit to the prevailing order.