Children Need to Learn Responsibility and Respect
In addition to the 3 R’s, two key principles that children need to learn in order to to live a successful life are responsibility and respect. As we teach knowledge and information, these areas need to be taught through an ethical frame of reference.
Not all information is equally helpful in learning to become a good citizen. While we encourage good thinking, we also need to encourage good behavior in order to provide a well-rounded education.
“Responsibility and Respect – known among proponents as the fourth and fifth R’s – are increasingly being taught alongside academic subjects as schools try to address what many see as the declining moral fiber of the country’s youth.”
Lori Miller Kase, Reading, Writing, & Respect, Parents Magazine
Wouldn’t it be helpful if we taught subjects like these along with the traditional classes?
- Learning Self-Control (When What You Want to Do Seems Really Fun, But You Shouldn’t Do It)
- How to Be a Responsible Thinker (Thinking Beyond Yourself)
- How To Treat Other People (What Respect Looks Like)
What is the Role of K-12 Education in Moral Education?
Moral education is the key to helping students become responsible citizens. Shouldn’t it be more important to know how to treat other people than to know the exact date something happened in history? One you can look up. The other is harder to learn, but is critical for a civil society.
“Character education has taken many different forms, and has varied monikers- moral reasoning, moral education, character development, and civic education- but the substance behind the names has a common thread. The need for children to become productive citizens in American society is the heart of character education. Moral reasoning is imperative for schools to incorporate to truly reach this mission: an educated citizenry.”
Dolph and Lynca, Moral Reasoning: A Necessary Standard of Learning in Today’s Classroom, Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives in Education
Throughout history, morality transmission has been present in education. Furthermore, many people believe that there is a connection between learning academically and the development of mental power, and the learning of moral values and the development of strength of character. The development of the intellect and of moral character are intimately related. Just as there is an order in nature (the laws of science), in reason (the laws of logic), and in the realm of numbers, so too is there a moral order. One thing we need to do is recover the belief that there is a transcendent, unchanging moral order, and restore it once more to a central place in the educational process. (Nash)
Morality in Education, University of Michigan Department of Psychology, sitemaker.umich.edu
Teaching students how to research, read, write and do math is only part of the picture. Let’s make responsibility and respect equally important components of childhood education – then we’ll be developing the ethical leaders of the future.
Character Education Programs Designed for Children:
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