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 in the 1990s,
Due to the emergence of the single-parent family. This new type of family, along with the family with two working parents, has caused the "latch key" child to become commonplace in many schools today. These children end up taking care of themselves since their only parent is still working when they are dismissed from school. As a result, they receive their own ethics and morals either through exceedingly, violent television programs, comic books, popular, (at times pornographic), magazines, and most often from other kids on the street. Such a situation results in children with a warped sense of reality, ethics, and morals, allowing them to easily become susceptible to delinquency. If a child were to have a correct sense of right and wrong, compassion, and self-worth then problems like violence and drugs would diminish in our society. While some believe that the only job of a school is to impart knowledge, schools have historically reinforced the sense of right and wrong that child...
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...aching him to be ethical and moral would be for naught since it would not be applied. If ethical and moral teachings are to be effective lessons it must be stressed that their lessons are to be practiced both inside and outside of the classroom.
While this may be difficult for students to practice at first, depending on how terrible an area they live in, it should be stressed that ethical judgment is important to their becoming mature, capable adults.
The need for ethics and morality in education is more important now than ever before. The emergence of the single and two working parent family have led to the rise of the "latch key" child: the child who basically raises himself due to the absence of parents. Ethics and morality are also necessary in our schools to create individuals who are compassionate towards one another and of the world surrounding them.
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