Ethics and Education Essay

925 Words 4 Pages
Ethics and Education

Ethics and Morals are two important words everyone knows, but which very few truly understand. Ethics is defined, in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, as the discipline dealing with what is good and what is bad. Morals are defined, in the same dictionary, as those principles of right and wrong in behavior. For Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far From Home, ethics and morals have similar definitions but extend to include a sense of compassion for others. I agree with his argument that the purpose of schooling is to educate an ethical human being: a person who not only lives his life by facts and knowledge but also by ethics and morals.

The need for schools to address ethics and morals is important
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Since in school are where children interact most often with any adult, it should be standard for schools to have ethics and morals in their curricula.

However, the decision of what ethics and whose morals to include in curricula poses a problem for many schools. With so many different ways of thought and senses of morality, the ability to decide on one standardized set of ethics and morality proves to be almost impossible. The decision is also difficult since morality at times is synonymous with religion and deciding on a particular set of morality can be interpreted as favoring a certain religion within a school. Other problems with this system are a teacher's possible conflict with certain ethical and moral issues they may have to convey to their students. What if a teacher does not believe in a certain ethical guideline in the curriculum or what if they do not believe an ethical decision is required for a certain discipline? A system of ethics which encompasses many beliefs, yet does not isolate one exactly, is the only useful method in a school.

The system of ethics that Kozol proposes does not seem to corner any particular religion and is merely a law-abiding way of life with a concern for the welfare of others. This idea of compassion in education will cause students to be ethical and moral not only outside of the classroom
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