Often times, in our search for the perfect moment of absolute learning, we fail to see the beauty of the stumbling blocks, the little steps that falter and fall backwards and the unsure moments of ‘I can’t do it’. Education has sadly become a race towards perfection and the highest possible grades. It is as much about the moral grain of the being, the accountability and responsibility towards oneself and towards society, about being the liberal citizen of the world and moving with the times as it is about grades. It is important for a teacher to see all his students as achievers and if they imbibe knowledge rather than acquire it, spare a thought for the have-nots in their journey towards success, think that peace, harmony, giving back to society and care for Mother Earth are not duties delegated to some specialists but to them, the ‘Aha’ feeling a good teacher will feel that he has been successful in playing his part in educating them in the real sense of the term.
With the world changing rapidly it is creating unknown challenges, opportunity and unpredictability. We as educators are trying to educate a generation without being aware of the different kind of jobs which will be available 10 years. Hence, what are the skills needed to survive in the globalized world? Yet we are trying to reform, improve and work on an attainable solution. We are well aware that these challenges will require new thinking and collective action.
Schools of tomorrow need to be different… even at the present moment, one can see students struggling at school, though we have progressed but still the focus in schools of student excellence is on what a child scores in his tests/exams. Looking at the scenario around it seems that as a society we have failed somewhere in imparting non–formal and formal education to its masses. There is a great need to equip present education being imparted to children with values of life in order to make them good human beings. Society is witnessing a loss of moral compass along with symptoms like growing cynicism, hatred towards others, moral decline in private and public life, increased isolation, increase of violence, greed, racism and many more.
The importance of value-based education cannot be undermined and if changes are not incorporated soon society at large may be doomed in the long run. Children imbibe vales all the time from parents, peers, teachers, but what is important is that we make an effort to ensure that schools teach the right values from their childhood.
In ancient times, students were taught what life was really about. They were taught how to live their lives and to conduct themselves in the world. They developed strong minds and could easily withstand hardships or face any obstacles. They were dedicated to truth and were not afraid of death.
Over the years, research has indicated that teachers’ attitudes and interactions in the classroom make a difference in student’s learning of values. Mutual respect, appreciation, kindness, courtesy contribute to positive classroom climate. The most effective teachers are the ones who model the values they want their students to learn. Modelling is a powerful learning medium because it can either reinforce or negate what is learned through the formal curriculum. Students will learn the values if teachers model these values themselves. Modelling of desirable values by the teacher therefore is considered to be an essential pre-requisite. Adopting strategies like questions, stories, anecdotes, games, experiments discussions, dialogues, value clarification, examples, analogies, metaphors, role play, simulation are helpful in promoting values during teaching learning. Planning of value education requires professional development of teachers, and their training and planning at both the school and teacher training level. It may not be so difficult but it definitely involves conscious effort. It may come with orientation, practice and continued focus. A system of education where teaching is restricted to instruction and learning to pass the examination will not deter the committed and inspiring teachers and school personnel to march ahead with force and enthusiasm to implement this important curriculum intervention for the cause of valueoriented education.
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