However, changes in modern society have brought about a decline in the influence of the church. The rapid decay in societal and personal values has made it necessary to find an alternative route to moral education; consequently, schools have had conferred on them, the responsibility of preserving morality and maintaining high standards in the rapidly degenerating world societies.
This new responsibility for schools was not solely the idea of sociologists and philosophers, but more significantly that of parents. Hersh states that parents see schools as being largely responsible for the moral behavior of their children; a view supported by Cummings et al. Hersh sums up the role of the school as that of transmitting knowledge and skills and above all, the values necessary for survival in an ever-changing society.
Certainly, there is no question as to the importance of the school in preparing young people to fit into society and as a result great emphasis has been placed on moral education in schools in recent times.
Moral Values: Importance of Moral Values in Student Life - 2 Essays - aruninedan.tk
It becomes necessary then, to establish some distinct definitions and common aims for moral education worldwide as it must be approached by schools. Hall p. One aim of moral education outlined by Baier is that it should turn all young people into morally autonomous adults by providing then with the capacity to judge for themselves what is morally right.
Another, coming from Wilson is that moral education should aim at equipping young people with a flexibility to cope with new situations such as they must face in a rapidly changing world. Any documented aims and definitions of moral education should serve as guidelines to schools for implementing their moral education programmes. What each individual school must decide on; however, is the approach that best suits its young people and in the long run its society. There have been various approaches to moral education each having its particular weaknesses and merits.
Hall looks at the Hardline Approach which acts upon absolute principles of right and wrong and the Softline Approach which lays emphasis on the rights of the individual to establish his own values relative to a given situation. He regards both approaches as unacceptable in that the former is clearly indoctrination - it does not seek to guide, but rather prescribes a course of action, while the latter tends towards moral relativism which in itself leans towards the present erosion of values. And, of course, teachers and texts should not take positions on where truth lies when we are so deeply divided.
Or consider homosexuality. The health texts we reviewed each mentioned that some people are heterosexual and others are homosexual though not everyone would agree with this way of putting it and that we don't quite know what accounts for the difference. That's it. Like abortion, however, the issue of homosexuality and gay rights is one that is tremendously important for students to understand if they are to be informed citizens and educated about sexuality.
One approach is for educators to decide what is right when we disagree and then teach their views to children. New York City's Children of the Rainbow multicultural curriculum is a rather notorious example; it would have taught elementary school children the acceptability of homosexuality and nontraditional families had not a coalition of religious conservatives rebelled, ultimately forcing the departure of the system's chancellor.
Our objection to this curriculum is not its position on homosexuality; it is that it takes a position at all.
Essay on Moral Values
It is proper and important to teach children to respect the rights of others; name calling and gay bashing are not permissible—and there is broad consensus about this. But we disagree deeply about homosexuality on moral and religious grounds. Given our civic framework, it is not permissible for a public school to institutionalize a moral or religious position on a divisive issue and teach it to children uncritically.
Given our educational framework, students must learn about the alternative positions when we disagree; all the major voices must be included in the discussion. Of course, the New York City case was particularly troubling because the children were so young. What then would an adequate sex education curriculum look like? It must, of course, be age appropriate. Lessons and courses for young children should adopt the character education model, and we must take great care to ensure that we don't encourage premature sexual behavior; character education continues to be appropriate for high school students—so long as it deals with matters about which we agree.
Indeed, we are inclined to think that adolescents need moral guidance in matters of sexual morality rather more than they need freedom. They must learn to think about sexuality in moral terms. We have also argued, however, that we need to educate mature students regarding some matters of great importance about which we disagree deeply.
Importance of Moral Values in Student Life – Essay 2.
When we do this, however, we must educate them liberally, including all of the major voices—religious as well as secular—in the discussion. We have already noted that one disagreement is over whether to teach abstinence only. Unhappily, our differences here appear to be irreconcilable. We do believe that some of the controversy would dissipate if sex education were truly liberal. If it would take seriously moral and religious ways of thinking about sexuality, then discussion of condoms would be less likely to be understood as legitimizing promiscuity.
Still, if schools require such courses, they should include opt-out or opt-in provisions. We suspect that if parents were convinced that educators took their moral and religious views seriously, fewer would have their children opt out. We recognize that adequate materials are lacking and most teachers are not prepared to include religious perspectives on sexuality in their classes.
It is no easy task to make sense of the soul when discussing abortion in a health class, sacramental understandings of marriage in a home economics class, or the sinfulness of promiscuity in a sex education class. Sex education teachers usually have backgrounds in health education, psychology, and the social sciences rather than the humanities or religious studies, and they may have no background in religious studies to help them make sense of religious perspectives on sex education.
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This is, once again, reason for a required course in religious studies or a moral capstone course that provides a sufficiently deep understanding of religion to enable students to make sense of religious interpretations of morality and sexuality. Still, for both civic and educational reasons, some attention to religion in sex education courses is absolutely essential.
Finally, we note that other teachers will sometimes find themselves drawn into both sex education and moral education. Much fiction, for example, deals with sexuality—dating, love, marriage, integrity, adultery, homosexuality, and the family. As we argued in Chapter 6, the study of literature is important for the insight and perspective it provides on the inescapable existential questions of life—a good number of which bear on sexuality.
Moreover, it is tremendously important that teachers in a variety of courses provide students the moral resources for thinking critically about the portrayal of sexuality in popular culture. Finally, a few reminders. Pluralism and relativism. In Chapter 2 we noted that one of the most difficult tasks for teachers is to convey to students the difference between pluralism and relativism. The civic ground rules of our democracy and the ideal of liberal education require that we respect the pluralistic nature of our society and take seriously the various participants in our cultural conversation about what is morally required of us.
But teachers must not take this to mean that all moral positions are equally good or true. For the most part, moral disagreements are about what the truth is, what justice truly requires. It is true, of course, that within some important intellectual traditions the idea of moral truth makes no sense, and older students should be introduced to such traditions too—though even here there is often a pragmatic moral consensus about some important basic virtues and values.
The fact that we disagree about the nature of morality doesn't mean there are not better and worse ways of thinking about it. People sometimes claim that because religious accounts of morality are absolutist , religion, by its nature, cannot tolerate dissent. This has, of course, been a common religious position; it has also been a common secular position in the 20th century among Nazis and communists, for example.
Some religious traditions have placed considerable emphasis on free conscience, however, and if some religions have claimed to know God's law with considerable certainty, others have emphasized humility. Just as scientists can believe in objective truth and yet favor an open society in which we debate what that truth is, so religious folk can believe in moral truth and yet favor an open society in which we pursue it openly, with humility.
Religious diversity. If there are shared moral values that cut across religions, we also need to remember that there are also differences among religions, and it won't do to say that they all agree about morality.
Long and Short Essay on Moral Values in English
As we've just suggested, some traditions favor religious establishments and are intolerant of dissent, while others value freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state; some religions have required nonviolence, others have called for holy wars; some have emphasized love and mercy, and others justice and retribution; some have required chastity and poverty, yet others have sanctified marriage and wealth.
Some religions have understood morality in terms of God's law, others in terms of love, or grace, or tradition, or liberating the oppressed. Religious conservatives have often grounded morality in Scripture, whereas religious liberals have often held that through continuing moral and religious experience, reason and reflection, we can progressively acquire deeper insight into morality and reform our traditions.
Some conservatives believe that people are so sinful that only the threat of hell or the experience of divine grace can move them. Liberals often have a somewhat more optimistic view of human nature in which we have at least a significant potential for doing good apart from supernatural intervention. Teachers must be aware of the complexity of their subject. We often think of morality in terms of personal virtues such as honesty, responsibility, and integrity—in part, perhaps, because such virtues are relatively uncontroversial, in part because they are congenial to an individualistic society.
But there are dangers in uncritically conceiving of morality as a matter primarily of personal virtue.
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Historically, morality has been intimately tied to visions of justice, social institutions, and ways of thinking about human suffering and flourishing. Indeed, given the ubiquity of suffering and injustice, it is hard to think of a more important task for schools than moral education broadly conceived. Of course, much that students study in history and literature classes does address the nature of suffering, injustice, and the human condition.
One purpose of moral education is to help make children virtuous—honest, responsible, and compassionate.