UDC: 37.062 JEL: K4; I20 SCIENTIFIC REVIEW PAPER
Journal of Women's Entrepreneurship and Education 2011, 1(2):65-72 Page 65
Ethical Values in Education and Society
Carl Edwin Lindgren World Academy of Art and Science, Fellow, Royal Society of Arts;
President, American College of Interdisciplinary Sciences
LaWanna Lease Blount Fellow Royal College of Teachers; American College of Interdisciplinary Sciences
Today, many educators, administrators, and parents are concerned over the startling rise in teen violence. Theories are expounded and old concepts are discarded. Still, within most school systems, violence, disrespect, and moral decay are quickly becoming the norm. This article provides some insight into how these concerns may be addressed within the school environment by teachers, parents, and administrators.
Introduction One of society's most important duties should be the teaching of ethical values, i.e. "the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation."1 The noted scientist and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer stated, "Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality."2 Dr. Schweitzer further states: The presupposition of morality is to share everything that goes on around us, not only in human life but in the life of all creatures. This awareness forces us to do all within our power for the preservation and advancement of life. The great enemy of morality has always been indifference.3 Whether studying mathematics, English or physics, ethical teachings can, in one way or another, be incorporated into the lesson plan. Today's muddle of lesson plans, meetings, new curricula, specialization and restrictions leaves teachers and administrators little time for teaching honesty, ethics, values or integrity. In fact, many educators believe that these topics are better covered by religious teachings. However, unlike religion which is based on faith and beliefs, ethics is more a "system of principles of conduct for man as a social being …"4 and deals with the realm of actualities. Other educators believe that values must be instilled by parents. However, during the most developmental period of a child's life, the role of the teacher is paramount. Although students are told not to cheat on exams, most other value comments are ignored. Even comments regarding cheating are shrouded in fear, embarrassment and getting caught, and not on character development and lofty principles. 1 Ethics Glossary, Ethics Research Center, http://www.ethics.org/resource/ethics-glossary accessed 1 January 2011, n.p. 2 Albert Schweitzer and C. T. Campion, The Philosophy of Civilization: Part I, the Decay and the Restoration of Civilization : Part II, Civilization and Ethics (Prometheus Books, 1987), 57. 3 Albert Schweitzer, Reverence for Life: Sermons 1900-1919 (Ardent Media, 1979), 119. 4 Byron C. Mathews, "Sociology in Ethical Education," Appleton's Popular Science Monthly,...