The word moral comes from a Latin root mos, moris and means the code or customs of a people, the social glue that defines how individuals should live together. Moral values are values that express ideas about the good life.
As such, concern for the moral virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, and respect for others, is the domain of moral education. Since young people readily and unconsciously assimilate all types of influences, good or bad, if they do not have proper guidance, it is important that society provides them with a type of education that will make them acquire sound religious and moral principles, and also develop appropriate attitudes and values that will help them to make good choices and decisions in their adulthood. Moral education, then, refers to helping children 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. A moral education system must begin by defining the morals which are most important for not only the individual but for the society as a whole. The system must be designed as such that the individual at a formative stage should distinguish to differentiate between what is good and what is bad.
Here 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. There is need for schools to encourage the youth to understand why people do one thing and not another.
They should be able to make choices in order to become ethically mature adults. But what are the moral values? Do you think moral values are directly related to the sort of clothes we wear and type of life we spend? I do not think so.
I personally feel that if you do not indulge in any kind of bad habit, if you respect your elders and females, if you are true to everyone, if you are a good citizen and a human being in every sense then you are a moral person. To be a moral person every belief and thought should be strong and determined. We must have the courage to do right and fight for the right. One must be trained in the same from the beginning of life. Therefore moral values must be taught and should be an indispensable part of our education system.
Teachers should train every child for his or her future responsibilities. Apart from education, schools should indulge in activities to generate the feeling of brotherhood and love.
Schools must participate in social causes through schools kids. Apart from teachers and schools, parents must play an active role in teaching moral values to their children. Moral inquiry is a journey; opinions and values evolve.
Ask students to keep a journal of their thoughts, questions and opinions -- and encourage them to read it every so often to see how far they have traveled. Strom and Nelson say young people are moral philosophers.
They want to do right. They want to make a difference.
Get the best of Edutopia in your inbox each week. Acknowledge that young people encounter difficult moral questions every day, and they want guidance. Recognize that no subject is morally neutral. Build trust in the classroom. Enlist support from your colleagues and administrators.
Permit ambiguity. Have faith in your students. Fran Smith is a contributing editor for Edutopia.