Education and Human Values- Part 3
Education conducted in its true spirit, should lead to the development of human personality in all its richness – intellectual, physical, social, moral and spiritual. Tragically, such is not the case in reality. For a variety of socio cultural reasons, the affective objectives of education concerned with the development of feelings, values and attitudes have, in recent times, suffered serious neglect in our educational institutions. The consumerist and commercial ethos of our times have made education degenerate into a process of information transmission with its prime goal achievement of material success in a competitive world. When one talks of ‘Value Education’, one wishes to draw attention to this deplorable neglect of the more important qualitative dimensions of education, the development of social, moral aesthetic and spiritual aspects of human personality. Education, perused rightly should heighten a person’s awareness of one self and one’s relationship with the outside world of nature and other human beings. Value education in this light, becomes an aspect of overall qualitative transformation of education as existing education has gross by undermined its central concern of the full development of a person’s consciousness.
Value education, we should note is education. Although this sounds tautological, what is meant is that it is not a process of authoritarian indoctrination of dogmas, catechism exhortation or propaganda. On contrary, value education is a process of interacting with the total human being with a view to develop capacities of reflective thinking and independent judgment on issues that are of critical concern to one self and to humanity. It is not a process of helping the individuals to think freely and critically, to act responsibility and with courage and conviction. The goal is not to promote passive conformity and blind obedience to whatever values are passed on but to encourage critical thinking and responsible behavior. Responding to a value situation blindly out of habit, fear of authority or in difference to tradition, convention or custom is, of course, a stage in one’s value development. But eventually it should give place to independent appraisal of a situation after rational deliberation and principled judgment and this what value education primarily aims at.
Secondly, value education is education for “becoming”. It is an encounter with the total personality of the individual keeping in view all aspects of personality development – the intellectual, social and emotional, will and character. It involves developing sensitivity to and awareness of what is right, what is good, what is beautiful, ability to choose to right values in accordance with ones conception of the highest ideals of life and internalizing and realizing them in thought and action. As such, the process of value education calls into play all human faculties – knowing, feeling and doing. Not only should the learner be enabled to know the right and the good, but also to feel the appropriate emotions, concern and commitment and exercise the will to do the right thing. This is not to suggest that these different factors function independently or that they can be trained in a predetermined sequence or in isolation. Quite the contrary, our value responses to situations are rooted in a strong and complex network of connections with what we think, feel and do. In other words, value education of emotions, cultivation of imagination, strengthening of will and training of character