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Moral education is compulsory in school teaching

Published : Saturday, 29 February, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 633
Md Mahmudul Hassan

Moral education is compulsory in school teaching

Moral education is compulsory in school teaching

A good society can be designed if our children can grow from the very beginning of their life with moral education, which is conceptualized to make them well being in the society. Moral education is basically a training that shows us the right and the way to lead a good life.

In broad sense, 'Moral Education' means an ethical education that helps to choose the right path in life. It comprises some basic principles that can make one perfect, such as truthfulness, honesty, charity, hospitality, tolerance, love, kindness, benevolence, generosity and sympathy.

We must believe that it is uncontroversial to say that schooling is unavoidably a moral enterprise. Indeed, schools teach morality in a number of ways, both implicit and explicit. Schools have a moral ethos embodied in rules, rewards and punishments, dress codes, honour codes, student government, relationships, styles of teaching, extracurricular emphases, art, and in the kinds of respect accorded students and teachers. Schools convey to children what is expected of them, what is normal, what is right and wrong. It is often claimed that values are caught rather than taught; through their ethos, schools socialize children into patterns of moral behaviour.

Textbooks and courses often address moral questions and take moral positions. Literature inevitably explores moral issues, and writers take positions on those issues; as do publishers who decide which literature goes in the anthologies. In teaching history, we initiate students into particular cultural traditions and identities. Although economics courses and texts typically avoid overt moral language and claim to be "value free," their accounts of human nature, decision making, and the economic world have moral implications, as we have seen.

The overall shape of the curriculum is morally loaded by virtue of what it requires, what it makes available as electives, and what it ignores. For example, for more than a century there has been a powerful movement to make schooling and the curriculum serve economic purposes. Religion and art, by contrast, have been largely ignored (and are not even elective possibilities in many schools). As a result, schooling encourages a rather more materialistic and less spiritual culture, a matter of some moral significance.

In the school teaching and learning, the teachers can definitely devise a variety of approaches to values and morality embodied in self-esteem, community service, civic education, sex education, drug education, Holocaust education, multicultural education, values clarification, and character education programs. The students are of course feeling proud of the teachers who emphasize on moral education beside their academic other activities.

We observe that the students today are by the way so much involved into studies and games but somewhere moral teachings become compulsory as it gives them a proper shape and direction as how to act or react during various difficult situations. Moral values need to be inculcated in all age groups especially in young children as it is said young minds are empty just as a plain white sheet so whatever mark we leave the impression remains for years. When it comes for a teacher to inculcate a moral base in their students it takes a lot more as teachers are the ones who shape our thoughts and mind to a large extent.

It is the focal demand of the time that schools today should include the concept of hidden-curriculum which refers to the transmission of norms, values, and beliefs conveyed in the classroom and the social environment. It helps to reinforce the lessons of the formal curriculum but many schools neglect it. They focus more on language, subjects and marks.

At the same time, it can be observed that the students of the particular school are contributing to undesirable behaviours whether it is bullying or cheating on exams. This type of education will barely help a child to face life situations like opinion making, decision making and right course of action. To curb this problem, schools should adapt and offer special classes, seminars, and workshops with an expert counsellor under the guidance of educators who can help in incorporating 'values' lessons into the curriculum in order to foster well-rounded personality development in children.

The teachers also should have every day's target that students will be given moral education, which refers to insisting children to acquire those virtues or moral habits that will help them individually live good lives and at the same time become productive, contributing members of their communities. In this view, moral education should contribute not only to the students as individuals, but also to the social cohesion of a community.
Teachers in the school have a vital role to play in passing on common morality to the next generation. To do this, they must provide the following attributes to the students in the school:

Moral formation:    Teaches should cultivate in children the intentions, feelings and habits of moral subscription. This involves giving children moral guidance, rewarding them for doing right and punishing them for doing wrong, as well as modelling good conduct and modelling appropriate reactions to the conduct of others.

Moral inquiry: Teachers should engage students in discussion and reflection on the nature and justification of moral values. Teachers must ensure, by explicit intervention or gentle steering, that moral inquiry brings to light the justification for common morality. It is vital that children come to understand what morality is for and why it demands the things it does.

Positive behaviours: The teachers should bring moral education into your classroom is by directly speaking about positive behaviours. Sometimes we assume that students know the correct, moral thing to do in any given moment. But do not allow this assumption to cause you to overlook the opportunity to make "Teachable moments" out of situations in your classroom. Openly share with students what the "right" thing to do is, and engage them in a discussion that challenges them to evaluate for themselves what seems the most appropriate course of action.

Commitment:  Teachers have to be committed to say what they positively practice in their lifestyle. It's not just what you say; it's what you do that count. The always will fulfil the commitment if given to the students in the classroom.

Connecting moral aspects to the contents: Sometimes learning certain content is straightforward learning. But teachers should look for those opportunities where aspects of your content raise the moral question or connect to character issues. Students enjoy being challenged to think critically about themselves, and connecting ethical discussions to your content both reinforces their content knowledge and their characters.

Talking to parents: The students are important to the teachers, who may not be the sole adult interested in their students' moral development. So teachers should share their aspirations of the students' characters with parents, converse with parents about how students are doing academically and ethically, and always teachers should make sure they allow parents to remain in the driver's seat of their children's character development.

Progress chart on moral qualities: The teachers should make a chart on some moral aspects for the students and take regular feedback whether they follow it or not. The chart may include; Respect towards others, Personal responsibility, Conflict resolution, Better attendance, Patience, Kindness, Sharing, Self-restraint, Calm, Articulation, Community, contributions, Fairness, Honesty, Compassion and some other moral aspects.

When students are regularly exposed to discussion of these virtuous characteristics and encouraged to assume these qualities, it will result in fewer discipline referrals, improved attendance, better homework completion, decreases in bullying and exclusion, declines in conflicts between students and teachers, more mature understand of tasks, comfort and ownership in the classroom, and other positive elements that impact student learning.

In a word, we can say that, if effectively implemented, Moral Education will equip learners with tools of judgement in various situations leading to making responsible choices and decisions. Therefore, moral education should be an integral part of the school and college curriculum.

The practical learning should take precedence over bookish learning. The environment in which people live, has always influenced patterns of behaviour, attitudes, actions, beliefs, values and ethics. So, without moral education is not at all an education, which rather refers to the hazards of the society, as a quotation says, "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."  -  Theodore Roosevelt
The writer, education researcher and principal, Daffodil International School (DIS), Dhaka

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