This paper posits that freewill and morality will have to form the basic framework through which students must be educated. The paper shows that the future of education and the essence of education is to teach students that they have the right to freewill in life, but this comes with responsibilities. Thus, they need to be guided to take the most morally upright decisions. This should be done by teaching students to identify ethical dilemmas and moral ordeals and take the right decisions. There are options of absolute and relativist ethics and this must be mixed appropriately. The paper identifies that teachers must build relationship with students to understand this and take the right decisions that will satisfy all stakeholders.
Education is meant to shape the mind, body, soul and spirit of learners and prepare them to become responsible members of the society and productive people within the active working population of a country. There are many possible approaches through which the educational philosophy and worldview can be construed. This paper presents a declarative position that states that freewill and morality should be the central philosophy that will guide the approach, methods and procedures of delivering education for the attainment of optimal results. This position is borne out of the fact that education has to be infused with the core values that are most important and vital to society and will help the next generation of leaders to get the most critical mindsets and a strong moral worldview. Thus, this paper will discuss the ways through which freewill and morality can be integrated into education in order to make it more productive for the entire society and nation as a whole.
Personal Philosophy of Education Guidelines
Freewill is defined as the freedom to choose between alternative options relating to a given issue or manner. Freewill is about the ability of people to make choices in issues relating to moral or ethical ordeals. This therefore encompasses the ability of people to critically analyze and assess issues relating to a moral ordeal in order to choose the best and most positive option in a range of possible options.
Freewill is meaningless unless it enables an individual to make a choice that is morally right and provides the best and most optimal results. This is because freewill goes beyond just self-control and thinking – it is about making the proper choices at the point of a moral ordeal.
There must be reason in the actions and decisions of our students and it must be the origination of an individual’s own principles, independent of foreign influences and must lead to practical reason. This is within the context of the philosophy of Kant, where the idea of right and wrong are clear and unambiguous. Based on this viewpoint, education must be one that will enable learners to get a good understanding of how to identify moral ordeal and ethical dilemmas. This is the first step of training students to learn and become competent in taking the right decisions and making the most appropriate choices.
Aside this, an ideal education system will be one that will force learners to understand and appreciate their responsibility for their choices and the obligations they take upon themselves. This will create a generation of strong willed and hard-working people who will be willing to give off their best and help the society. This comes with helping people to identify their moral obligations and the inherent ability to freely choose the right and most appropriate moral options to meet the needs of society and uphold the values of the country.
Absolutism versus Relativism
In the 21st century, there is a strong debate going on about whether there should be rigid ethics that are taught in schools or relativist and subjective liberal ethics, where right and wrong is not fixed. In my opinion, the teaching of relativist ethics to young members of society will end up being problematic and less ideal for the entire society.
Relativist ethics or teleological ethics are ethics that show that a person is not allowed to take a strong stand on a given issue based on strict and definite laws or ethics. In this ethic, it is all about what makes people happy. Therefore, anything that makes the maximum number of people in society is right whilst anything that affects the happiness of children is wrong.
On the other hand, absolute ethics or deontological ethics are those ethics that are universal and are definite in defining what is right and what is wrong. The nature of absolute ethics is that it comes with specific rules that are non-negotiable. Therefore, there is the need for people, particularly the younger generation to understand what the law is and what the obligations are at any point in time so that they can make the right choices.
Looking at these two approaches, it appears that both deontology and teleology have their role in society. There are times when the rigid and strict approach must be chosen over the relativist approach. There are also other times where the flexible teleological idea and approach must be used to take decisions and make choices.
There is the need for education to promote the identification of an appropriate system through which students can identify which approach must be used to evaluate and analyze different issues. Therefore, the ability to make moral choices and choose the best approach must be introduced to children in order to achieve the best of everything. Education includes the ability to get children to identify the best way of defining what is right in moral terms and the understanding that any choice that is made will come with consequences and responsibilities.
An appropriate educational system must be one that will encourage balance and moderation. Taking an extremely teleological view of issues and matters is likely to lead to problems and issues that will make a young person too care-free and less responsible. This is because teleology allows people to embrace almost any worldview on the basis of happiness. This has proven to be problematic in the past. Therefore, students must be encouraged to identify that they should not use their freewill in a manner that will be too lose and too problematic.
On the other hand, promoting excessive absolutism also causes young people to become too rigid, conservative and less progressive. This could problematic cause society to be stagnated and development could be delayed. Therefore, students must have the ability to understand the time to use this approach and method and how to balance it with other flexible approaches to examining and reviewing moral choices.
Instructional Practice – Instituting Freewill and Morality
Epistemology is important to define the best way and approach to instill the art and science of a given field to students. At this point, it is important to address the approach and medium through which education will teach students to understand morality and apply their freewill in the best way and manner possible.
In this process, learners should understand that there are ethical issues and problems which require some kind of critical thought and analysis. Therefore, in my personal view, it might be more appropriate to integrate an Ethics section within every major course students study in an educational system. Therefore, there must be a section of all practical courses including Accounting, Management, Law, Engineering, Science, Arts and all other courses. There must be discussions and specialized sections where moral and ethical issues must be presented in order to show students some important things including:
Responsibility and how authority and delegation works in the real life organizational setting;
The concept of stakeholders and how they are affected by choices and decisions made by people;
Accountability and the impact and obligation to carry out the delegated responsibility to important duties.
These must be presented in the most basic and the most infinitesimal form to get students to understand the first principles of moral ordeals and ethical dilemmas. These important pointers must be defined and presented to students in various hierarchies. Thus, the definitions of the ideas identified above will be the most basic and the most important. Then, there is the need to build on these basic pointers in order to draw a stronger appreciation of ethics and freewill.
In more advanced courses, students must be introduced to more practical ethical decision making models. These will include the presentation of real-life scenarios with no right or wrong answers. Students should be encouraged to build the ability to make a critical evaluation of all relevant matters in a given issue and matter. This will help to draw conclusions and build life-long abilities that will help students to identify moral processes and procedures of using the ability to take decisions that will be problematic.
In teaching about freewill and morality, a teacher will have to find innovative ways of presenting practical issues in a way and manner that will be appreciated by all. This will be done by the teacher defining what is best and of the most significance to the class at any point in time. This is something that requires competency. As such, a teacher will have to build the competency and continuously improve and enhance his or her skills in order to continue delivering high quality interactions and delivery services.
Learners will have to cooperate by asking significant questions when the platform is opened. This is necessary because learners will have to open up and present their own personal worldview in order to boost interactions and get the teacher to understand the worldview the students hold. Through this, the teacher can formulate a better approach and methodology to educate and improve the thinking ability and moral judgment skills for these learners.
Diversity, Freewill and Morality
Diversity is directly relevant on two main levels. First of all, the classroom setting is bound to consist of different peoples. In the 21st Century, different students come from different backgrounds. Therefore, there is the need for the teaching of freewill and morality to be done within a context of pluralism. This is because trying to impose a homogeneous viewpoint will lead to various forms of issues and problems.
On the second level, it is recommended that studies of freewill and morality in ethical dilemmas and moral ordeals must be done within a stakeholder oriented context. This is because decisions often affect different classes of people. Therefore, it is my belief that the most ideal educational philosophy must be one that will be done with the hope of getting students to understand diversity itself and the fact that changes and modifications are done within a broad framework and context.
The Role of Parents
Parents are very important in developing the moral and ethical capabilities and competencies of students. Parents have the ability to guide their children. Therefore, there should be occasional projects that will bring on parents and help them to contribute. They can contribute by providing important inputs in assignments or showing up in classrooms to help and assist in certain activities and processes.
Free will and morality are important and vital in developing a member of society. Free will comes with creating the notion of the right to make choices and the obligation to face up to the consequences of every moral choice a person makes. Morality is about defining what is right and it comes with two main approaches – a deontological approach and a teleological approach. Both approaches come with their strengths and weaknesses. None of them is right or wrong. They must both be blended based on the realities of every situation. Therefore, education has to be about helping students to choose which approach is best and most appropriate in every situation. This should be done by teaching students about authority, responsibility, stakeholders and accountability. This must be done by building strong teacher-learner relationships, integrating diversity and parents in the entire process.
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