Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Should teachers be responsible for teaching morality?

In an ideal world where every child has loving parents who lavish attention and wisdom upon their children, I would say that teachers are responsible for reinforcing the moral values that children learn at home.

However, don't live in a perfect world. While it may be difficult to "create" moral individuals when we lack parental support, I still think that we need to at the very least be impeccable role models for our students. This is all obvious I guess.

I also think that what we sometimes interpret as immoral behavior can be attributed to extreme apathy on the student's part. They don't care if we call their parents, give them detention, expel them or tell them they are destroying their future. I think this is the root of the morality problem. How did it come to be that people don't care? They don't care for others or even themselves. There are various psychology texts written about teenage gang participation. The overwhelming finding is that these teens have no respect for human life. To them it doesn't matter if they die tomorrow or if they shoot someone and go to jail for the next 30 years. Of course, I am just summarizing the findings, but this is what struck me the most.

I think the question becomes now, "how can we teach students respect for others and appreciation of human life, both their own and others?"

If we knew the answer, I think we would live in a very different world.

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