When most people talk about a school curriculum, they think about math, science, social studies, and language courses. Seldom do I hear or read about moral values as being part of the curriculum. The problem is that the neglect of teaching moral values in schools is hurting our students and causing problems in society. If a person has never learned any moral values, how is she or he able to discern the difference between right and wrong? That is basically the essence of moral values education. Why Moral Values for Students?
As parents and educators, we should all advocate the teaching of moral values in our schools for the following reasons:
1. Preparing Our Children For Future Roles In Society:
Knowledge gained in school is only one goal of education. The primary goals of education should be enabling students to gain knowledge and moral values. Our kids will need both in preparing themselves to be good parents and citizens in society.
2. Many Parents Aren’t Teaching Moral Values:
If all parents were teaching their children moral values in the home, it would not be necessary for the schools to do this work, The sad fact is that a lot of kids are not learning from their parents the difference between right and wrong. This is because most mothers and fathers in their busy work days spend only a few hours with their children. In many families there is only one parent and no other role models for kids to follow.
3. There is Too Much Violence and Dishonesty in Society:
Every day students are exposed to violence, dishonesty, and other social problems in the media and the real world. How many times have we heard about school shootings? What about other times when students are caught cheating on exams? Then, too, we read about bullying in school and fights between gangs. If moral values were taught in schools, we would have fewer of these problems.
4. To Counter Bad Influences in Society:
Unfortunately, many of the role models of young people are setting bad examples. These bad examples range from sexual promiscuity, degrading of women, advocacy of violence, and the condoning of dishonesty in order to succeed.
5. Moral Values Will Stick With You For Life:
It’s amazing the amount of math and science knowledge I have forgotten since my school days. I haven’t, however, forgotten moral value lessons learned in school. One of these moral lessons was learned while I was a varsity football player. Our team had just lost a tough game, because the referee had ruled we were stopped inches away from scoring a touchdown. When our school principal had heard a lot of my teammates complaining about how the officiating had caused us to lose the game, he came on the team bus after the game and said that in life the referee never beats you. Top Seven Moral Values:
It would serve society well if the following seven moral values for students were taught in educational institutions:
1. Unconditional Love and Kindness:
In most cases, if you love someone, he or she will love you back in return. This, however, is not the real meaning of love. Love should be unconditional. With more love in the world, kindness will follow and replace cruelty.
Students must be taught that dishonesty and cheating is wrong, and will get you nowhere in the future. As a student, one is only hurting himself or herself by cheating, because this action will eventually catch up to you in the end with bad consequences.
3. Hard Work:
When I was young, I learned that success was one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Nowadays, so many students want to cheat and cut corners in their studies, because they are lazy and don’t place any value on hard word. This thinking must change.
4. Respect For Others:
Unfortunately, in our highly competitive dog eat dog society, many people will trod on others to get ahead in life. Respect for others should include respecting different religions, races, sexes, ideas, and life styles.
To achieve a common goal, it is necessary for all people to work together. If this is not done, a few people may profit, but the end result for everyone will be a failure. I still believe in the motto, “united we stand and divided we fall.”
Compassion is defined as being sensitive to the needs of people. If there were more compassion in the world, there would be less homeless, hunger, wars, and unhappiness.
Jesus Christ taught us to forgive our enemies or people who hurt us. Anger in most cases is caused by an unwillingness to forgive. There would be less violence and fighting in school if students could learn this moral virtue.
I teach in a Catholic school in Thailand, and learning moral values is built into all of our lessons. Actually, ten percent of the student’s grade is based on how well she practices moral values inside and outside the classroom. This would be an excellent policy for other schools to adopt.