Ethics in Education – Meaning, Nature, and Development

Ethical foundation and ethics in education may help in building good conduct, values and ideals in the students. Ethics, values and ideals are all related to each other, it is a little difficult to see these three separately from each other. Ethics and moral thoughts get linked with an individual’s ‘express’ part to become ‘conduct’. There can be many reasons that influence this conduct. Out of which the values which form the personality of the person occupies a prominent place. Values provide a human being the ability to make ‘great’ decision of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ all by themselves. ‘Values’ give man the ability to make decisions, rising above the profit-loss of ‘self’. ‘Ideals’ can be understood as the foundation that provides strength to values.

Meaning of Ethics

”Conduct’ has a major role in all walks of life. In human behavior, ‘ethics’ meant same as ‘conduct’. A mentor (Guru) is one who motivates a person or child to receive ethics while the conduct means that which are imitated by an individual. Education is an essential tool or a process for the development of human life. In the Constitution of India, ‘the Right to Education’ is considered same as a part of the ‘Right to Live Life’. By this, by also calling the ‘teacher’ working in the field of ‘education’ as ‘Acharya’ (mentor), we can understand the importance of the conduct of a ‘teacher’. A student learns a lot from the behavior and conduct of a teacher. Just giving lectures in the classroom does not remain the only medium for students to learn. By understanding education as a bigger concept of the art of living, the importance of the teacher’s behavior and mentor’s conduct also increases by itself. It is the repository of social and cultural values that nurture one’s ethics.

Nature of Ethics

Discussion of the nature of Ethics is not a political subject. It is definitely not at a process to impose ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We can understand the nature of ‘ethics’ in a context. For us, the nature of ethics in the field of education can be referred to as the nature of teacher’s ethics and the nature of students’ ethics. The nature of the teacher’s ethics acknowledges all the complexities that are the part of the nature of his professional work. In this same way, the nature of the ethics of the students is also not devoid of complications. The ethics of the teacher prepares him for many difficult decisions and similarly the ethics of the students prepares them for difficult decisions. The society also marks a teacher as a responsible person of the society. While on the one hand the teacher is looked upon for the development of the ability to fight the evils in the society, on the other hand, to preserve the heritage of the society through the medium of education there is an inherent dependence on the teacher. All this becomes part of the nature of the ethics of the mentor (teacher).

Development of Ethics

In the 21st century with the rapidly changing global structure subjects like democracy, citizenship, co-existence and globalization: one soul etc. are helping in the development of the ethics of the human beings. In the ethos of a teacher, it can be observed that how a teacher will treat his students equally? The following points are worth considering in the development of the teacher’s ethos:

1. Development of Human Dignity

Taking care of the dignity of self along with the dignity of the students and developing a sense of mutual respect shows the development of ethics.

2. Study

With a focus on self-study along with being a source of inspiration for students to study, is also a step of development of the ethics.

3. Evaluation Criteria

It is necessary to include different elements of their personality in the evaluation of students. Individual’s personality is not just mental development, it is an integral part of a person’s all-round development in the directions of social, economic, moral, aesthetic, cultural, spiritual etc. which means considering the components of various activities and all-round development of students while evaluating is also an aspect which develops ethics in teachers.

4. Happiness and Contentment

Keeping the happiness of his students along with his own happiness in mind, the conduct of contentment is a manifestation of the ethics development of a mentor. There is no hindrance in this stage of contentment development. Rather the contentment is very important for completing a stage of the development. This satisfaction or contentment provides the energy to move towards the next stage of development.

5. Modernization

Moving towards modernization by putting social and cultural values in line with the nation’s conditions is also a part of developing the ethics.

6. Imagination

If man keeps on following prior made-up concepts, then the human development will become static. Imagination gives the humans the ability to fly to new heights. Thus, the development of imagination is also helpful in the development of ethics.

7. Subject Expertise

Strengthening the expertise of our own subject with time, helps the ethics of teacher become more meaningful.

8. Personal problems

Like all demands, a teacher also has many personal problems. All those problems will also have an impact on his life style. Reducing the negative effects on students due to those problems in their conduct shows the development of ethics.

9. Professional Characteristic of Teacher

Teacher’s work is very different from other professions. Other businesses do not need to build personal relationships with the people with whom they are working in order to do their jobs well. The development of the quality of personal relationships plays an important role in the development of the teacher’s ethos. The development of the teacher’s ethos is the development of the ability to make the most correct decisions in a situation, rather than on the basis of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ decisions.

It is also not easy to talk about the conduct of the teacher, but we cannot keep away from the difficult topics by not talking about them.

Modern society is a technology-centered society; human’s life has become simple and convenient due to the use of technology. Today, a person sitting in one corner of the country, can convey his thoughts or messages with great ease and speed to the person sitting in the corner of another country through technological equipment. Apart from this, social media has brought even more revolutionary changes in it, but it is only one aspect of the coin, there is also another aspect of the coin. The second aspect of this is that it also had a profound negative impact on the social relations and when there a separation or negativity comes in the relationship, then values also erode. When the values are eroded in the society, the society also automatically gets destroyed. When there are values in the lives of social members, therefore the sweetness in social relations and with this sweetness a happy society is formed, it is important for a prosperous society to have values.

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