In this article, the researcher gives an account of the importance of values education. The piece de resistance is that character education can curb the growing litany in our society. Character education comes as a solution and is very promising in terms of countering the spread of wrongdoing. Documentation through consulting renowned experts in the field of values education shows that most governments really perceive the importance of highlighting good values in our societies. No matter how this type of education is called, one thing is obvious: the lack of such an education ruins societies. To gain fully from this paper, it’s better to scroll gradually until you finish reading it.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others? — Martin Luther King, Jr.
To begin, value education has interested many researchers and governments have built their patriotic slogans based on some values they consider the cornerstones of their communities. As far as terminologies used to refer to good conduct education are concerned, there is a wide range of terms to mean “value education.” Although many researchers term it “character education”, given the context, the following terms by Kirschenbaum (1995:13-14) seem to make sense too:
- Character education;
- Law-related education;
- Critical thinking;
- Moral education;
- Empathy training;
- Cooperation skills;
- Decision making skills;
- Citizenship education;
- Moral reasoning;
- Sex education;
- Life skills;
- Religious education
Themes mostly cover in values education
Given the list above, it seems as if societies coined appropriate word for “character education” depending on their situations. To avoid confrontations among different religious groups, some countries might use religious education. To curb sexual misconduct cases and avoid related consequences, some countries choose to implement programs about sex education. Many others packet such form of education to good “conduct into life”, “decision-making”, critical, or cooperation skills and the like.
There are themes that are mostly covered in character education. Kirshenbaum (ibid:16-17 ) observes that the following are tackled in any value or conduct education:
- Respect—for others, for oneself, or property for environment;
- Responsibility—Reliable, honest, trustworthy;
- Compassion—kind, helpful, friendly, emphatic, humane, tolerant;
- Self-Discipline–perseverance, thrift;
- Work ethic.
Concerns over litany of vices in our societies
There is a great and adorable indication that governments have invested in values education. If leaders and governments’ core departments endeavor to be sure that the youth and the masses are informed about the do’s and don’ts in their societies, it’s a pace forward to shielding the universe from being recurrently chaotic. There are examples of countries putting focus on character education. Both in US A and UK, there are projects for character building among the youth. These programs/projects gained momentum in 1990’s in USA and effort by the Central government is almost doubled as Bohlin (2005: 1) emphasizes:
Five White House Congressional Congresses on Character, hundreds of thousands of federal grant monies awarded to states and school districts around the country, and five years of a National Schools of Character Awards Program are just some tangible landmarks in this nationwide effort
Probably this stance was taken to fix emerging facts about cases of violence tending escalate that time. It is also a form of supportive remarks to initiatives by anyone operating in values education among young people. Otherwise, it would be hard for individuals, NGOs, or civil society organizations to sensitize the young about good conduct.
In the UK, there was set a ‘new education with character agenda.’ As put in the opening lines, parenting cannot hesitate to double effort when values among the youth sink in what (Bohlin: ibid), quoting Arthur (2002), terms growing ‘litany of alarm’:
increased violence, evidenced by brutal hazings and school shootings, chronic depression and growing incidences of suicide, high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as bullying and sexual harassment at school. These patterns of behavior have raised a groundswell of concern among parents and educators in school communities around the world
In this quote, the writer highlights the growing litany and how this is alarming. Patterns of inappropriate behaviour unheard before were observed in the British societies in those days. But the call is not only on educators and parents in UK, but it is also aired to everyone around the world: they should be alarmed repetitive cases of misconducts around them. And it’s right: everywhere, as we reports, watch on TV, read newspapers, and browse it on internet, unheard wrongdoing cases are at the peak.
There is a root of litany gaining the world and its spread is epidemic-like. But with value education and governments’ will to put more effort through funding character education, those outsiders’ patterns of behaviour and wrongdoing can be contained. Litany does not exclude any child, whether African, American, or English. The good way to shield the young is to give them full exposure to the societal core values: the dos and don’ts. Otherwise unruliness is set to decay everyone not equipped or who does not have a good kit of character education. Only character education can achieve tremendous results, playing then a redemptive role just to cope with such misconduct spread in our respective societies.
Books about the topic: must read ones
- Handbook for Teachers in Human Values Education: Scientifically grounded Teaching Strategies for a Meaningful Life
- Human Values in a Changing World with Bryan Wilson
- Creative Teaching Press Character Education Books, Set of 12