The controversy on whether moral education should be taught in schools has escalated for years and stirred numerous debates. In support of moral education, Judd (par. 2) reasons from the context that it would enable learners to take personal responsibility for their actions and self-discipline. As students grow up, they become aware of immoral issues like alcohol drinking and abortion, which society does not support.
As a result, they are able to articulate their attitudes and standards by recognizing moral dimensions to a situation and developing acceptable values individually, hence helping them to change and behave in accordance with the required principles.
According to Merino (39), the majority are afraid that moral education in schools will make some students concentrate on the affairs of political parties, thus reducing their levels of concentration in studies. Markedly, the relationship is a major factor in the development of moral values. In addition, school is a minor society with standards for students’ behaviors and relationships. Therefore, it is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that students grow up morally. In this regard, schools should be instrumental in ensuring that students understand their own moral values and beliefs as opposed to superimposing those of society.
Parents, not schools, are responsible for the moral education of children. Merino (47) notes that students have a tendency of ‘copying’ values and practices from their surroundings. They do not only emulate behaviors from their parents and teachers, but also from other characters in the interaction environment. When they are at home, students interact with their parents day after day, making the process of ‘copying’ a bit easy. Notably, teachers need to focus on their major concern, which is to help students study. Students have cultural differences that might lead to interpretational problems.
Most of the cultures consider behaviors like direct eye contact as disrespect, but in school, it is one of the skills being encouraged. According to Judd (par. 8), moral education in schools has resulted in confusion among the students since what the schools teach as morally right may not accord with what parents perceive as morally right. I do not think any school system should be teaching children values.
The families should show their children the moral values required in their culture and how they need to behave in public. Additionally, if schools were to teach moral values, then teachers could fix opinions and aspects they consider morally right. Instead of attempting to teach moral values, schools should provide an enriching environment for the students to decide their own values.
Even though the whole concept of imparting morals in children at school has received different reactions, children spend most of their early ages in these institutions. In contrary to the stated point that teaching moral values is the responsibility of parents, if teachers teach the right things in classrooms, then, why can parents not trust them with handling the morals of their children? Students make friends in schools; they learn how to be responsible and deal with challenges. The school environment tends to influence students’ behaviors from worse to better.
Thus, if the school is a place to learn honesty and other essential things in life like integrity, then it is the best place away from home to learn moral values. Some parents have relinquished their roles of educating their children the moral values to teachers since they are too busy. Fortunately, someone has to take up that duty to ensure that such children also grow up with moral values, especially in most homes where we have single parents.
If one has some background on where some students come from, he/she would agree that there is a need to introduce moral education in schools, particularly where there is no guidance at home. From this point of view, schools have to teach learners morals in the current world (Judd par. 13).
Imparting moral values in children should be an obligation of the parents. They need to realize that family guidance and moral education among their children is also their responsibility, just as going to work. Besides, their roles of providing constant and visible behavioral models associated with positive character development as well as identifying other traits models they expect from their children are vital in human growth and development (Aslan-Blair par. 3).
The schools’ abilities to teach moral values are limited to some extent since there are certain life experiences that can only be taught by the parents. For instance, the topic of children’s sexual life has become so common considering the materials a child is exposed to at a tender age.
Moral values remain a delicate aspect for parents and learning institutions. The school as a vehicle of “direct instruction” and a social institution embedded with norms, customs, and various ways of thinking of which the teacher is a conveyor plays an influential and important adult role in children’s lives starting from the pre-school years.
On the other hand, parents have to play their roles in ensuring that children are brought up in line with societal norms, beliefs, values, and practices. In sum, teachers should ensure that ethics and code of conduct are taught as required by subject professions that they handle. However, much of the moral value lessons should be left to parents.
Aslan-Blair, Vanessa. Should Schools Teach Values? 2012. Web.
Judd, Judith. Teachers Urged to Set Moral Example for Pupils: Curriculum Advisers Say Schools Should Instil the Importance of Telling the Truth, Keeping Promises and Respecting Others’ Rights. 1993. Web.
Merino, Noel. Should Character Be Taught in School?. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Print.