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Value education: Inculcating values

What really is education? Education is a systematic attempt towards human learning. All learning is subjective and self-related. Educational activity starts with the individual.

What can empower a nation that, in recent times, has earned the credibility of becoming an intellectual capital of the world? It is education. Education that is value-based. Education that imparts roots and also gives wings.

The fact that all good education is, in essence a process of developing the human personality in all its dimensions-intellectual, physical, social ethical and moral is undisputed and universally accepted. Good education is inconceivable if it fails to inculcate values essential to good life and social well being. Value orientation is integral to all stages of upbringing, formal education, interaction between individuals and social groups.

Values are inseparable from life of the individual. Since education is an essential requirement, an integral point of education, the aims of education, content and methodology is viewed in terms of value development. Human development cannot be conceived in the absence of values. The aim of education is growth or development both intellectual and moral. Education from the value development point of view is a scientific process of developing a desirable form of thinking and ability to deal with issues related to values. Values form a significant aspect of all the areas of development.

The phrase `Value Education' as used in the area of school education refers to the study of development of essential values in pupils and the practices suggested for the promotion of the same. Value education is education in values and education towards the inculcation of values. In its full range of meaning, value education includes developing the appropriate sensibilities _ moral, cultural, spiritual. Value education is essentially `Man Making' and `Character Building'.

Moral or value development is a continuous, cumulative and highly interdependent process touching all the aspects of personality.   Moral development is the axis on which revolves ones personality and character.  Based on its nature, moral development has been studied as part of cognitive development, social learning and psychoanalytic dimensions.  The outcome of the studies conducted by several development psychologists are very useful is deciding about the activities in value education for school children. 

Science and technology are leading to a change and India is a part of the change. India has always led the way and we have the capability to absorb new ideas. The challenge is to see whether globalization can be integrated with our own value system and whether we can create a new model.

Concern for value education is increasing in recent years as a result of crisis of values that our society is currently experiencing. The issue has been projected as one of the national priority in the nation's education. The National Education Policy 1986 declares that the growing concern over the erosion of essential values and increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for readjustment in the curriculum in order to make the education a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values.

The National Curriculum Framework for School Education 2000, (NCERT) observed that schools can and must strive to restore and sustain the universal and eternal values oriented towards the unity and integration of the people their moral and spiritual growth enable them to realize the treasure with in. The school curriculum has to contain components that communicate essential values in their totality.

This revival of interest in value education in recent years in our country appears to have arisen from the growing realization that the complexity of Indian society with a heterogeneous population belonging to diverse cultures, religions and creed preludes the provision for religious education and this situation can be met by introduction of education in values. The recent term `value education' is preferred to the traditional approaches such as moral education, religious education, social and character education, moral and spiritual education.

If moral or value education is to be effectively undertaken, it must be firmly based on the principles of value development. One of the distinguishing features of Indian philosophy is that throughout its long history, it has continuously given the foremost place to values. Our aims of value development and education are derived from this root. The content of communication media serves as the sources of values. Teachers and parents act as models for children to cultivate socially desirable behavioural patterns.

The field of value education is as broad as life itself and touches every aspect of human life, personality and education. Whether or not they offer specific programs, educational institutions provide some kind of value education. In many institutions, the curriculum of value education is formal and direct, while in large majority of schools it is informal and indirect.

The pupils’ learning of values in the school is a continuation of their learning in their family, community and through mass media. Therefore, the school should take into cognizance and utilize all types of social and educational influences affecting the development of values in pupils for value education purpose.

The children in the schools and colleges should be told about the religious concepts such as sin, virtue, faith and duty. The youth should be apprised of their duties in order to inspire them to contribute to the building of a modern and vibrant nation.

The methods and strategies of value education are many and varied the selection of, which depends much upon the values chosen, sources of development of these values and many other limiting factors. The entire school curriculum function is an important source of value education. Values education in schools, therefore, is effected though direct, indirect, incidental methods. Values get transmitted via both the implicit or hidden and planned curriculum. The entire process of value education is a highly comprehensive and complex one that involves a wide range and variety of learning experiences.

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