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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is Value Education?

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Our beliefs about what is right and wrong and what is important in life are called as value.

As regards value education, education in values and education towards the inculcation of values is called as value education. The value education is a universal process which is intrinsic to all the learning and educational activities, whether at home or in a school.

The Times of India, Hyderabad Edition in its issue of Nov. 18, 2001 had written - … values are those principles or standards, which help to better the quality of life. Values codify the dos and don'ts of behaviour. They form the basics of character formation and personality development. the values that spring from within or the core of the heart, like love, compassion, sympathy, empathy, tolerance, etc. lay the foundation for the external practiced values like honesty, discipline, punctuality and loyalty. the most important to remember is that "values are priceless, while valuables are priced." in today's fast paced competitive world, man seems to have compromised on his values, integrity and character, in a bid to earn, use and possess more and more of material wealth. as a result, we see rampant corruption, unlawful activities, inhuman behaviour and immoral consumption, which is slowly breaking the very structure of our society, nation and the world. Therefore, there is an urgent need to re-introduce value based spiritual education dealing specifically with human values", to redesign the fabric of our educational system.

There are different categories of values such as - Universal Values, Cultural Values or Ethnic Values, and Individual or Personal Values.

Universal values are values that can be experienced as life, joy, brotherhood, love, compassion, service, truth, bliss etc. Cultural values are values that are concerned with right and wrong, good and bad, customs and behaviour etc.These values generally mean to maintain social order. These are usually reflected in language, social hierarchy, aesthetics, education, ethics, philosophy, law, economics and social institutions like family etc. Our private principles which are concerned with our personality and individual experiences are called as individual or personal values. These values are shaped by our parents and teachers, and … yes books.

These are the universal values that remain for ever. Teaching of Islam, Christianity and other religions contain universal values as they remain for ever. These values are true in all the ages. Values shape our lives, lead us towards peace, development and success. Values shape our personality and behaviour as well. These lead us on right path and towards right goals. A valueless life cares for nothing.

Human activities of overuse and misuse of natural resources, throwing away of waste on roads, producing high pitched sound through sound systems, blowing loud horns on busy roads, creating all types of pollutions, causing damage to forest and wildlife, terrorizing others for the sake of spoilt interest are examples of activities caused by such persons who live valueless lives. Hence, value education is most important in the present age. This is the reason why more emphasis is being laid down on value education across the world.

According to the National Council of Educational Research and Training - Value education is a process of education. This means that it is a process of inducing learning. Learning is not a passive process of absorption. It involves thinking, reflecting, questioning, feeling, doing, caring, experiencing. Value education, accordingly, is not a process of authoritarian indoctrination of dogmas, exhortation or propaganda. Nor is it the direct inculcation of a body of pre-determined 'right' values in the learners through didactic approaches. The goal is not to promote passive conformity and blind obedience to whatever values are passed on, but to encourage critical and reflective thinking, rational choice and responsible behaviour, respecting the autonomy of the learner. When we are 'value educating', we are putting the learners in situations that enable them to think, to reason, to question, to reflect, to care, to feel concern, to act. The purpose is to trigger discussions and reflections, and to generate creative responses to value situations. Value education is also education in the sense that it is education for 'becoming '. It is concerned with the development of the total personality of the individual— intellectual, social, emotional, aesthetic, moral and spiritual. It involves developing sensitivity to the good, the right and the beautiful, ability to choose the right values in accordance with the highest ideals of life and internalizing and realizing them in thought and action. As such the process calls into play all human faculties—knowing, feeling and doing. Not only should the learner be enabled to know the right and the good, but also to care, to feel the appropriate emotions, concern and commitment and exercise the will to do the right thing. In other words, to 'value educate’ is to develop rational critical thinking, to educate the emotions, to cultivate the imagination, to strengthen will and to train character of the learner.

Key Words: value, religion, cultural, ethnic, wildlife
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