Value Education in Shaping the Mind
Value education is not a recent concept. Most of the educational systems include value education as an important part of their curriculum. They include a) Living Values b) Human Values c) Family Values. Countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and United Kingdom have made Value Education a part of their Educational Programmes. But how far it is practiced is the question.
In the contemporary world, we suffer from information explosion and are consumed by the influence of technology where the rational mind takes over the emotional mind. So value based education system has taken a backseat and a result oriented system has taken the driver’s seat. Thus, our preoccupation with the techno-world has made us almost mechanical beings.
The overwhelming fast pace of life has taken a toll on our mental peace. The demands that complex modern life imposes on us cause great fear in people from all walks of life. This sense of fear and stress is felt by the student community too, creating emotional imbalance especially among college students.
Destructive elements have made inroads into modern lifestyles where incidents of crime, greed and lust degrade the concept of truth, honesty, sincerity and ethics that we hold as valuable. The question is how to mould and defend themselves against exploitation of any sort, mass education and inculcation of values are compulsory factors.
Our education should not only help us earn our bread and butter but should be one that makes our life. So it is our duty to choose the one which will lead to wholesome development. Students should be trained to keep the goodness and finesse of traditional values and not to be consumed by modern lifestyles.
Developing Positive Values at home:
Charity begins at home. Most of the values we learn are developed in our formative stage which begins at home. So it is the duty of parents to make the child a valuable asset of the society.
Parents are the first role models for the children. They should teach their children distinction between right and wrong, sense of patience, tolerance and integrity of mind. Parents should feed the minds of the children the young minds, resurrect a mindset which will help rebuild their value system in the right direction.
Our educational institutions today are built on confusion and chaos. Different educational institutions have different value based frameworks. There is no common consensus with regard to value based education across the country. Including spiritual dimensions in the curriculum should help the mind building process of the youth of the present generation. Today, curriculum is cross-disciplinary extending from psychology and sociology to neuroscience and biology. So we have to re-think and see them from a multidisciplinary perspective. In this backdrop comes the importance of minding the affairs of the learners when they are young.
The young are the pillars of our generation. A country is not built by bricks but by minds. In order to help our youth protect their own rights and responsibilities, with positive thoughts as they grow and become adults.
Creating Positive Values in the Educational Institutions:
- Just as parents play a major role at home, teachers and the environment in the educational institutions play a big role in helping students inculcate a positive mindset. Teachers are role models in schools and colleges and so the learners look up to them for many things.
- Shiv Khera, a great motivator, mentions that the character building process should remain the prime purpose of education which helps the students imbibe a sense of self-awareness which will lead to self development. This could lead to societal development which is a collective development in the process.
- Sense of fairness and justice should be incorporated in the rules and regulations of educational institutions.
- Counselling of students should be a part of the curriculum.
- Team work and sharing attitude should also be made a practice.
- Concepts of balanced interconnectedness and respect should be incorporated in schools and colleges where values like self respect, self acceptance, self knowledge and self development can be taught.
- Value based syllabus should be the part of the education system at all levels.
Inculcating Positive Values in the Learners:
- We live in a world of multifaith society (Wright, 2000). Learners should be made aware of values that different cultures and traditions follow.
- Alongwith cognitive rationalities like logic, analysis and linearity, emphasis should be laid on subjective subjects like emotions, intuition and relationships. Intuition leads to creativity in the mind.
- Help them face and rise up to the realities of real life situations.
- Help them fight loneliness, rejection, defeat and failure.
- Encourage them to practice small acts of courage in the process of learning which can be speaking up for truth when required in the school environment.
- Sense of wisdom or application of knowledge should be taught.
- Help them value good principles of life and develop a sense of loyalty, integrity and trustworthiness.
Expressions and Exercises that help build a Positive mindset
Neuroscience has revealed that emotion is intimately linked to cognition and is responsible for the maintenance of brain cells including our body’s immune system.
- Some amount of self illusion creates positive impact on imaginative minds. Illusion increases performance.
- Laughter, humour and jokes also have a beneficial effect on the immune system. It is believed that polite social laughter produces psychological benefits.
- Positive body language should be taught. Exposure to various languages and cultures also helps.
- Physical exercise helps the brain grow more effective cells. A positive attitude should be taught. This can be reinforced by the power of faith as mentioned by Norman Peale from where one derives energy.
- Yoga and meditation can also be a part of body and mind building process. Our religion plays an important role in influencing activity in the mind.
- Above all these is the use of the Power of Prayer. Parents and teachers should use prayer therapy which can create positive energy to produce positive results. It can change our life and teach us to think creatively because prayer sharpens our mind.
Inculcating positive values would help re-build and retrieve our traditional values of life in the midst of crisis where our sense of morality is endangered from all directions as we are all sucked into the tech-drunk world.
- David Gamon and Allen D Bragdon. Building Mental Muscles. New Delhi: Viva Publishers.(2003)
- Shiv Khera. Living with Honour. Delhi: Macmillan Publishers India Ltd. (2003).
- Norman Vincent Peale. The Power of Positive Thinking. London: Vermillion.(2004).
- A Pushparajan ed. Value Crisis on the Way Out. Indian society of Gandhian Studies. Madurai:(2002)
- H Mackay. Knowing Right from Wrong: How to Decide For yourself. Australia: Hodder Headline. (2004).
- J Miller. Education And Soul. Albany, NY: New York Press. (2000).
K P Jills, he is an experienced, enthusiastic and focused teacher and an administrator who is committed to safeguarding and promoting the education and well-being of children and young people at all times. A passionate teacher for the last 23 years in the Northeastern part of India and in TamilNadu, he is presently serving as Principal of Krishnaswamy Vidyanikethan, a CBSE school and a branch of Krishnaswamy group of Institutions at Cuddalore. He is an expert in training the teachers on Life Skills and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, adhering to the norms and reforms of CBSE.