HOW IMPORTANT IS MORALITY IN EDUCATION?

Abdelhak Mezguidi
Morality in educationEducation has played a very significant role in the development of societies. Through education, many countries, societies, and individuals get developed; however, education faces several distinctive problems in many countries, and Morocco is no exception. Scholars actually have tried to untangle those problems and come up with solutions. In this regard, one of the most significant problems that education encounters, which is by itself a solution, is morals. As a matter of fact, morals are considered as one of the most crucial elements that makes education successful.

Studying the obstacles hindering education has been the major concern of many studies. In contrast to what has been common in the past, that educations problems are extensively due to the deficiency and unwillingness of learners to learn, it is apparent that this belief is no longer true as there are many students who are intelligent and have the will to learn, but are still unable to receive good education. The deficiency and unwillingness of learners could, of course, be a part of the problem; however, they are not the only ones to blame. That is, there are many other factors that may affect the quality of education. In this respect, and generally speaking, most scholars argued that different elements should contribute for a successful education. In other words, achieving an effective education requires much more than one would expect. A successful education then requires from learners, teachers, parents, decision-makers, and even the society as a whole an awareness of what they are required to do to fulfill the needs of good education.

One of the very important things that should be taken into consideration, before tackling the issue of morality, is that, in fact, each context has its particular circumstances that should be taken into account. That is, there should be appropriate methods, strategies, techniques, materials for each particular context. What works well for a given specific context may not work for another, and vice versa. Its more like the system of the traffic rules. Here in Morocco and in the United States for example, you drive on the right side of the road; if you dont observe the traffic rules, you pay the penalty. Whereas, in England and India for instance, you drive on the left; if you dont, you pay the penalty. Thus, even if there is a common shared goal among all these countries which is to organize the traffic system, their traffic rules are different so as to fit each particular country.

We need to make a clear distinction between, on the one hand, what is called pedagogy; and on the other hand, the mastery of a given subject. The mastery of the subject is not what we only need; we need also effective means of how to learn a very subject. At university, there is a number of professors that did not receive any training before starting their job. Therefore, students may have an efficiency to grasp what their professors are trying to explain. I dont deny the fact that there are some professors who are excellent pedagogically. But again, and paradoxically, even if we have teachers, in primary, middle, and high school, who received training before starting their job, we still have the problem of the ineffectiveness of education. Thus, the aforementioned paradoxically situation makes it more obvious that morality is an urgent matter as far as I am concerned.

It should not be neglected that morals have a great effect on education. Of course there are many other factors that we cannot deny such as individual differences of learners and teachers, the style of teachers teaching, motivation, the context, the environment including the social and economic factors. Other factors can be the lack of the necessities such as infrastructure, the difficult weather that is so hot in summer and so cold in winter, the lack of electronic material such as computers, data-shows, and stereos, the misbehavior of learners, among others. As far as I am concerned, with morals in mind, these factors can be challenged to some degree. That is, when morals attend, the teacher, and hopefully all the concerned people, will recognize that s/he has a great role of responsibility in the successfulness of the learning process. This is because of the fact that the teacher has multiple tasks to accomplish. To name some, s/he is the one who contacts students face to face and regularly observe things that are not apparent to decision makers. S/he passes them the knowledge. S/he teaches guides, helps, motivates and trains them. In my point of view, I think that all these tasks cannot be done if morality is not there.

I think that morality is a key element in education, because it is the element that leads to the successfulness of other several distinctive things that are so relevant to education. For instance, it can motivate students when they feel that you are respecting their feelings, opinions, and thoughts. It goes without saying that it can also push the teacher to do his/her best and take his job in the utmost seriousness. To do this, a serious plan is required. This means that the teacher needs to make an analysis of his learners, including the context in which they are learning, by applying the following main steps as defined by Jordan, R.R. (1997).

Firstly, make an analysis of the present situation so as to recognize the deficiencies, lacks, necessities, and needs of the learners. Secondly, make an analysis to the target situation by defining the intended goals based on the present situation and other sources, like experience. Thirdly, make an analysis of the learning situation by looking for the suitable theories, methods, approaches, techniques, strategies, materials and games. Fourthly, create a syllabus that is based on the three aforementioned situations. Fifthly, design materials so as to exemplify the syllabus items. Sixthly, teach the material with respect to the syllabus, editing in accordance to the context. Finally, establish an evaluation procedure to figure out to what extent you are successful in what you have designed and done and to test the learners achievement. One thing that is no less important than the aforementioned steps is, Jordan, R.R. (1997) added, to consider the learner at every single stage. That is, the learner should be the focus of the whole learning process. But here I say morality should be taken at every single stage in designing the course.

So as not to be confused, I am not saying that by doing so, this will lead to the successfulness of the learning process, instead it will lead to the achievement of good results in education. Teachers should be an ideal model on many levels; a model in the mastery of the subject, in the pedagogical domain, and above all in morals. I mean morals in its broad term, including teaching with heart and motivating the students. Morality is not limited to the teacher only, it goes beyond that. It exceeds it to reach the learners, parents, decision makers and the entire society; However, it is so difficult to have morality when it comes to learners of middle and high school, because they are living a period of age in which they find themselves difficult to deal with. It is the adolescence that makes it difficult for some learners to have a kind of morality. I would like to say here that even if some learners may not care about morality, the teacher should. By so doing, to some extent, it will be possible to move toward a better quality of education.

Briefly, for this reason, the problem discussed above requires a serious awareness from teachers, educators, and decision makers, given the fact that morals are a critical factor for a successful education. Education is so relevant to ethics, and ethics has to do with the Islamic religion, an important part of the Moroccan society. This said, we cannot separate education from religion while we are in the classroom doing the job. The classroom should reflect how much we are committed to our religion.

Abdelhak Mezguidi is a former teacher of English in the faculty of science in Meknes, Morocco. Abdelhak holds a masters degree in Applied Linguistics.

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