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Morality and Values In Schools. Definition of Morals Morals are the rules which people use to guide their behavior and thinking. When an individual is.

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Presentation on theme: "Morality and Values In Schools. Definition of Morals Morals are the rules which people use to guide their behavior and thinking. When an individual is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Morality and Values In Schools

2 Definition of Morals Morals are the rules which people use to guide their behavior and thinking. When an individual is dealing with, or capable of distinguishing between, right and wrong.

3 Definition of Values A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable

4 Morals and Values Our children are taught in various environments- at home, at school, at church, at the movies, and they are taught by reading books or magazines, and by television and their friends. Whatever they are taught will guide them in their decision making and their problem solving. If morals are not taught our children will make decisions based on immediate needs and desires, and based on emotions, not on sound judgment.

5 Percent of Adults Who Support the Teaching of Specific Values The findings of one study indicate that the top five values that are thought to be the most important values to be taught are: –Personal responsibility…………97% –Strong work ethic…………………96% –Honesty……………………………………96% –Democracy………………………………95% –Acceptance of people of different races and ethnic backgrounds……………………………91%

6 Some Stats… In a statewide poll of adults in Wisconsin, 91% thought that schools should emphasize character education, teaching students values such as respect for others, personal responsibility, and citizenship.

7 A poll done for the NEA found… Morality and values topped the list of issues of most concern to the American public. The most pressing issues were said to be: –Morality and values % –Education % –Health Care % –Crime % –Taxes %

8 Another NEA poll, the Shell Poll oThe study suggests that the three values that are most endangered in America are respect, responsibility, and honesty. oLarge majorities feel that the nation has become weaker in terms of respect for other people (74%), respect for the law (77%), and respect for authority (86%). o2/3 also say that society’s standards for acceptable behavior are getting worse.

9  There were significant findings in the NEA polls regarding three different questions.

10 Which issue is the most serious problem in America? Moral values………………56% Race relations……………14% The environment……….12% The economy………………..7% National defense…………6%

11 Which of these problems regarding moral standards concern you most? A tendency to blame others instead of taking responsibility % A lack of respect for other people % Too much focus on money and materialism..28% Lower standards of honesty and integrity..24% More permissive sexual attitudes % All of these %

12 What has the most potential to create a positive effect on a child’s moral and ethical standards? Parents…………………72% Peers/Friends…….26% Teachers………………18% Clergy……………………15% TV…………………………….8%

13 Character Education “Let’s get one thing perfectly clear you are a character educator. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, custodian, or school bus driver you are helping to shape the character of the kids you come in contact with. It’s in the way that you talk, the behaviors that you model, the conduct you tolerate, the deeds that you encourage, the expectations that you transmit. Yes, for better or for worse you are already doing character education. The real question is what kind? Are you doing it well or poorly? By design or default? And what kinds of values are you actually teaching?”

14 Character Education Character education often is used synonymously with terms such as moral education, values clarification, and moral reasoning. It has been defined as “the intentional intervention to promote the formation of any or all aspects of moral functioning of individuals.”

15 Traits of Character Education Responsibility Being accountable in word and deed. Having a sense of duty to fulfill tasks with reliability, dependability and commitment.

16 Traits of Character Education Perseverance Pursuing worthy objectives with determination and patience while exhibiting fortitude when confronted with failure.

17 Traits of Character Education Caring Showing understanding of others by treating them with kindness, compassion, generosity and a forgiving spirit.

18 Traits of Character Education Self-discipline Demonstrating hard work controlling your emotions, words, actions, impulses and desires. Giving your best in all situations.

19 Traits of Character Education Citizenship Being law abiding and involved in service to school, community and country.

20 Traits of Character Education Honesty Telling the truth, admitting wrongdoing. Being trustworthy and acting with integrity.

21 Traits of Character Education Courage Doing the right thing in face of difficulty and following your conscience instead of the crowd.

22 Traits of Character Education Fairness Practicing justice, equity and equality. Cooperating with one another. Recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual within our diverse society.

23 Traits of Character Education Integrity A firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. Being honest, trustworthy and incorruptible.

24 Traits of Character Education Patriotism A love for and loyalty to one's country

25 Traits of Character Education Respect Showing high regard for an authority, other people, self and country. Treating others as you would want to be treated. Understanding that all people have value as human beings.

26 Approaches to effective Character Ed. There are many different approaches for providing meaningful character building experiences for your students, but we will concentrate on the following: –The Holistic Approach –The Smorgasbord Approach

27 The Holistic Approach Integrates character development into every aspect of school life. The distinguishing features of this approach are: –Everything in the school is organized around the development of the relationships between and among students, staff, and community. –The school is a caring community of learners in which there is a obvious bond connecting the students, the staff, and the school. –Social and emotional learning is emphasized as much as academic learning. –Cooperation and collaboration among students are emphasized over competition.

28 The Holistic Approach Values such as fairness, respect, and honesty are part of everyday lessons in and out of the classroom. Students are given ample opportunities to practice moral behavior through activities such as service learning. Discipline and classroom management concentrate on problem solving rather than rewards and punishments. The old model of the teacher-centered classroom is abandoned in favor of democratic classrooms where teachers and students hold class meetings to build unity, establish norms, and solve problems. Obviously this is a “best-of-all-worlds” approach and requires a significant commitment from the administration and teaching staff.

29 The Smorgasbord Approach Building a caring community This approach is about building a community in the school with students playing an active role in shaping the culture and environment of the classroom as well as the school at large. Teach values through the curriculum Give students opportunities to engage in thinking about character and values by asking more higher order thinking questions. Class discussions Includes morally challenging classroom discussion using critical thinking skills and providing a group bonding experience and engaging students in deep, meaningful reflection about the kinds of people they are and want to be.

30 The Smorgasbord Approach Service learning Approach to teaching in which academic goals are accomplished through community service. Explicit instruction in character and values This direct approach is to teach it as a subject within itself, by creating specific character education lesson plans.

31 Character Education: Why are we doing this? Quality character education helps schools create a safe, caring, and inclusive learning environment for every student and supports academic development. It fosters qualities that will help students be successful as citizens, in the workplace, and with the academic curriculum. It lays the foundation to help students be successful in all of the goals we have for our public schools. It is the common denominator that will help schools reach all of their goals!

32 Group Discussion In your opinion, is it being done well or poorly? Do you think it is done by design or default? What kinds of values do you think should be taught?

33 Patriotism What does it mean to be an American? –September 11 has raised this question that few Americans have seriously considered since WWII. –Young people especially need to reflect on patriotism, for they will soon hold the future of our democracy in their hands.

34 Patriotism Most teachers have been urged to mark September 11 with lessons that stress the need for enhanced “tolerance” and “diversity.” Few have lessons about America’s founding principles, or the cost at which our freedom was won.

35 How can our schools encourage patriotism If students are to become patriots they must understand and embrace the principles of liberty, equality and justice on which the nation is founded. They must develop the qualities of character that mark true citizenship: courage, responsibility, gratitude, and self sacrificing devotion to the common good. As educators, our task is to help young people see that America is worthy of their love, and to help them become worthy of their heritage as U.S. citizens.

36 How can our schools encourage patriotism A way to go about doing this is to change the way that our schools teach history government and literature. –Most schools use standard- issue textbooks in history and government classes. Unfortunately these text are generally dry, lacking in detail, and monotonous in style. –Students can never grow to love America by reading these types of text, and need stories that engage their imagination, excites their gratitude.

37 How can our schools encourage patriotism America’s story consists of two major components: principles and people. Our challenge is to bring both to live for students. Even though these are important components, teaching young people to be patriots requires more. It is what the Greeks call a paragon, or character ideal.

38 How can our schools encourage patriotism Many of today’s students difficulty distinguishing between celebrities and heroes. We must acquaint them with America’s great statesmen, lawgivers, military heroes, and social crusaders, lead them to say, “I want to be like that.”

39 How can our schools encourage patriotism Today’s affluent students generally take Americas economic freedom for granted. For this reason, they need to hear the stories of immigrants, who endure great hardships for a chance to live the American dream. Students should also read the inspiring stories of African Americans who despite a heritage of slavery overcame extraordinary obstacles to achieve success.

40 Pledge of Allegiance and it’s controversial issues A federals appeals court ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because the pledge contains the words “under God” The U.S. court of appeals said that the phrase violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of religion.

41 Pledge of Allegiance The court said “a profession that we are a nation ‘under God’ is identical, for the establishment clause purpose, to a profession that we are a nation ‘under Jesus’, a nation “under Zeus’, or a nation under ‘no god,’ because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion.”

42 Pledge of Allegiance The pledge of allegiance is considered to be an important recognition of the freedoms on which the united states was founded and a tribute to those who have defended the ideals of liberty, equality and justice for all.

43 Pledge of Allegiance Virginia State Senator Warren Barry says not enough schools make a regular practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance these days. As a result he says he feels these students don’t have a real appreciation of the Pledge and should know the flag is symbolic of “our freedoms, our liberties, and our culture”.

44 Discussion Should the Pledge be recited everyday? Do our students understand and respect what the Pledge stands for? Do you think that it is unconstitutional to recite the Pledge?

45 Can “Character Education” Reverse Moral Decline? There are many debates about this question with some feeling as though it would make a significant difference, yet others view character education as useless.

46 Character Education Can Reverse Moral Decline “If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance.” –William J. Bennet

47 Character Education Can Reverse Moral Decline Many people have come to the realization that our society is in deep moral trouble. Some of the signs of this include: –The breakdown of the family –The deterioration of civility in everyday life –Rampant greed at a time when 1 in 5 children is poor –A sexual culture that fills our television and movie screens with sleaze –Beckoning the young toward sexual activity at even earlier ages –The enormous betrayal of children through sexual abuse –A report (1992) indicating that the United States is the most violent of all industrialized nations.

48 Character Education Can Reverse Moral Decline With the awareness of these critical issues in our society, schools cannot be “ethical bystanders.” Schools must do something about this societal crisis, therefore, it is necessary to teach morals and values in schools.

49 Theodore Roosevelt stated it best, “to educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” William Killpatrick adds that “the schools are failing to provide the moral education they once did; they have abandoned moral teaching.” Character education was taught in the earliest days of schools through discipline, the teacher’s example, and the daily school curriculum. Why then did Character education decline?

50 Why Did Character Education Decline? –Darwinism Led people to see all things, including morality, as being in flux (continually changing). –Logical positivism Asserted a radical distinction between facts (which could be scientifically proven) and values (which were mere expressions of feeling, not objective truth). –Personalism Celebrated the worth, autonomy, and subjectivity of the person, emphasizing individual rights and freedom over responsibility. Turned people inward toward self-fulfillment –Pluralism of American society Who’s values should we teach? –Secularization of public arena Won’t moral education violate the separation of church and state?

51 Why Character Education Now? Three causes: The decline of the family  Schools have to teach values kids aren’t learning at home and schools, in order to conduct teaching and learning, must become caring moral communities that help children from unhappy homes focus on their work, control their anger, feel cared about, and become responsible students.

52 Why Character Education Now? Troubling trends in youth character  Young people have been adversely affected by poor parenting; the wrong kind of adult role models; sex, violence, and materialism portrayed in the media; and pressures of peer groups.  This is evident by trends in: Rising youth violence, increasing dishonesty, growing disrespect for authority, peer cruelty, bigotry on school campuses, decline in work ethic, sexual precocity, growing self-centeredness and declining civil responsibility, increase in self- destructive behavior and ethical illiteracy.

53 Why Character Education Now? A recovery of shared, objectively important ethical values.  Adults must promote this morality by teaching the young values as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and civil virtue.  “Good character consists of knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good.”

54 Developing Character In order to establish Character Education, each teacher needs to: –Act as a caregiver, model, and mentor –Create a moral community –Practice moral discipline –Create a democratic classroom environment –Teach values through the curriculum –Use cooperative learning –Develop the “conscience of craft” –Encourage moral reflection –Teach conflict resolution

55 Developing Character The school as a whole should: –Foster caring beyond the classroom –Create a positive moral culture in the school –Recruit parents and the community as partners in character education

56 Challenges Ahead The factors that will determine if Character Education will take hold in American schools and succeed are: –Support for schools –Role of religion –Moral leadership –Teacher education  “Educating for character is a moral imperative if we care about the future of our society and our children.”

57 Which Values? Some have argued that it is not possible to reach an agreement regarding which values to teach. Others are concerned about the separation of church and state and believe any attempts to teach values or morality will introduce religion into the classroom. “Whether or not we deliberately adopt a character or moral education program, we are always teaching values. Even people who insist that they are opposed to values in school usually mean that they are opposed to values other than their own.”

58 Values The fact is that there are a lot of values we all share. Nobody argues that discrimination is morally appropriate or that lying is better than telling the truth. “There is no way of teaching subjects without teaching values. So let’s be up front about that and have explicit curriculum. If we don’t, we are going to teach values only in hidden and most devious ways. Let’s have discussions about the values we want to transmit.”

59 Reason to Oppose Character Education Alfie Kohn does not think that Character Education can reverse moral decline because he says that “the techniques of character education may succeed in temporarily buying a particular behavior. But they are unlikely to leave children with a commitment to that behavior, a reason to continue acting that way in the future.

60 “Today, we have children raising children, we have children in overcrowded adult prisons and jails, we have children attending drug and alcohol treatment centers, children suffering and dying from illness and sexually transmitted diseases, children killing themselves and children killing other children. This is what happens when we do not teach our children morals or live as an appropriate example.”

61 Moral Controversy Sex Education

62 Interesting Facts During the 1960s, schools expelled pregnant students (married or unmarried) and school re-admission after delivery was prohibited. The attitude in the 60s was that a pregnant students was socially contagious and that pregnancy would spread among students. As sex education has increased over the decades the teenage birth rate has declined and no longer are teen mothers punished by denying them an education.

63 However… The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy out of any country in the developed world. Experts say that restriction to sex-ed, contraception, and condoms fuel this rate, while in European countries (who have less than half of the amount of teen pregnancies) teens are given confidential access to contraceptives. In 1996, the teen pregnancy rates were: 93.0 per 1000 in the United States 62.6 per 1000 in England and Wales 42.7 per 1000 in Canada 15.1 per 1000 in Belgium

64 Definition of Sex Education Sex education is education about sexual reproduction in human beings, sexual intercourse and other aspects of human sexual behavior. It is also about developing young people's skills so that they make informed choices about their behavior, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices.

65 Aims of Sex Education Sex education seeks both to reduce the risks of potentially negative outcomes from sexual behavior. For example, unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and infection with STDs, and to enhance the quality of relationships. It is also about developing young people's ability to make decisions over their entire lifetime.

66 Worldwide Controversy Although some sort of sex education is part of many schools' curriculum, it remains a controversial topic in several countries as to how much and at which age schoolchildren should be taught about contraception or safer sex, and whether moral education should be included or excluded. In the United States in particular, the topic is the subject of much controversial debate. Chief among controversial points is whether sexual freedom for minors is valuable or detrimental, as well as whether instruction about condoms and birth control pills reduce or increase out-of- wedlock or teenage pregnancy and STDs.

67 Statistics Only 7% of Americans say that sex education should not be taught in schools. 15% of Americans believe that schools should teach the Abstinence-Only-Until- Marriage Program. 36% believe that Comprehensive Sexuality Education should be taught.

68 Abstinence-Only-Until- Marriage Program Federal funds are available to schools who teach using this method. President Bush has been pushing for this program since he was first instated into office. Emphasizes abstinence from all sexual behaviors and does not cover information on contraceptives, STDs, masturbation, etc.

69 Federal Definition its exclusive purpose is teaching the social, physiological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity; teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school age children; teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems; teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity; teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects; teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's parents, and society; teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances; and teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

70 Problems with this program Very little evidence that teens who go through this program refrain from having sex longer than others. When they do have sex, they often fail to use contraception.

71 Comprehensive Sexuality Education Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a program that starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. It brings up age appropriate sexuality topics and covers the broad spectrum of sex education, including safe sex, STDs, contraceptives, masturbation, body image, and more. Argued that this program does not teach sexual morals.

72 Proponents of this program View it as necessary to reduce risk behaviors such as unprotected sex, and equip individuals to make informed decisions about their personal sexual activity. Additionally, proponents of comprehensive sex education contend that education about homosexuality encourages tolerance, but does not "turn students gay" as some conservatives believe.

73 What about Both? 46% of Americans believe that schools should teach that abstinence is best, but also discuss how and where to obtain contraceptives. Typically, most schools fall in the middle of the two types of programs. Neither one usually provides confidential access to contraceptives.

74 Should morality be included? Proponents believe that curricula which fail to teach moral behavior actually serve to prevent children from making informed decisions; they maintain that curricula should include the claim that conventional morality is "healthy and constructive", and that value- free knowledge of the body may lead to unhealthy and harmful practices. Opponents of this view argue that sexual behavior after puberty is a given, and it is therefore crucial to provide information about the risks and how they can be minimized. They hold that conventional or conservative moralizing will put off students and thus weaken the message.

75 Study of the Effects A researcher named DiCenso compared comprehensive sex education programs with abstinence-only programs. Their review of several studies shows that abstinence-only programs not only did not reduce the likelihood of pregnancy of women who participated in the programs, but that 'abstinence- only' actually increased it. Four abstinence programs and one school program were associated with a pooled increase of 54% in the partners of men and 46% in women. The conclusion of this review was that "the overwhelming weight of evidence shows that sex education that discusses contraception does not increase sexual activity".

76 Final Quote “Education is the responsibility of the schools whether it is about smoking, alcohol, drugs, violence, racial diversity or sex. The assumption that these are the sole responsibility of someone else is a disservice to our children. Parents have a key role in the total education of their children in partnership with the schools. But too many parents fail part of their responsibility resulting in this country's highest teenage pregnancy rate in the industrialized world.” – Charles Gershenson


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