VALUE EDUCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
1. Concept, Meaning and Definition of Value Education
- Education strives for all-round development of human beings. An overall personality development entails not just the intellectual and physical development but also emotional, social and spiritual development.
- It is in here (emotional, social and spiritual development), where value education becomes essential. In the context of any formal education system, value education is concerned with making morality a concern for students. Let us look at some of the definitions of value education:
According to C. V. Good:
“Value-education is the aggregate of all the process by means of which a person develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of the positive values in the society in which he lives.”
Another definition (author unknown) of value education is "learning about self and wisdom of life" in a self-exploratory, systematic and scientific way through formal education.
In other words, value education is about ‘what is’ as with “what ought to be” or “what ought to be done” in “what situation”. It is about educating heart and mind about the right emotions and feelings. It is also about inculcation of virtues and working on vices to pursue morally approved ends.
2. Dimensions of Value Education
There are so many dimensions to value education. We will highlight some of these dimensions:
- Social dimension: In any society (including India), social norms, institutions and values determine how social processes work. They provide the code of conduct. In fact, social values are the blueprint for daily life.
- Educational dimension: In India, education has been seen as a prime vehicle for the moral development of an individual. Education does this by reinforcing values and providing the ability to use ‘reasons’ to judge ends.
- Cognitive dimension, conative and affective dimension: Value education is the overall development of students. To equate it with just moral development would be erroneous. To say that ‘morality is caught’ would be wrong as well as a lot of cognitive and affective energy go into it.
3. Value Education and Policy Documents related to Education
- The National Conference on Minimum Curriculum Standards for Primary Stage organised by NCERT in 1970 highlighted the need and importance of value education. It considered that inculcation of moral and spiritual values which are central to India culture. The values they recognised for inculcation were honesty, kindness, charity, tolerance, courtesy, sympathy, and compassion.
- In 1976, NCERT organised another seminar “The National Seminar on Primary and Work-Oriented Education, in the context of International Education year. The year emphasised the importance of the Gandhian philosophy of education. Gandhi considered that education should be about the training of mind (intellectual), heart (spiritual) as well as the hand (manual labour or knowledge of local handicrafts).
- The National Policy on Education, 1968 (also known as Kothari Commission) observed that the expanding knowledge and growing power in modern society must be combined with the strengthening and firming of the greater sense of social responsibility and deeper gratefulness for moral and spiritual values. It, therefore, recommended the need for direct instruction of moral values in schools. The later policies also considered value education to be given priority along with knowledge of various subjects.
- The National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 strongly advocates values like cooperation, respect for human rights, tolerance, justice, responsible citizenship, diversity, reverence towards democracy and peaceful conflict resolution.
- Recently, NCERT further highlighted the need for inculcating values like equality, fraternity and justice for an inclusive society. The culture of inclusivity has become important more than ever considering the level of multiculturalism that India society has in specific.
4. Elements of Value Education
Some elements at the heart of value education are:
a. Positive Thinking: This is an important element of value education as it allows students to have a positive mind and self-image that doesn’t value just oneself but other life forms also.
b. Compassion: Being compassionate is an important element that value education entails in it. It also includes all those efforts that do not harm anyone, any efforts to inculcate love, kindness and empathy.
c. Inner Peace: Understanding of self at a deeper level is important for developing strong bonds with other life forms. Because only when one is at peace with oneself, he or she can be at peace with the world. Therefore, seeking inner peace should be a quest for value education.
d. Cooperation: Value education seeks to inculcate feelings of cooperation, sharing, mutual help, and team-building to students as these virtues are important of harmony. At the same time, these qualities also help to lessen the spirit of competition among students.
e. Human Dignity: Value education would be incomplete without inculcating the respect for human dignity among children as well as adults. This is based on the concept of Human Rights and Justice. Awareness and consciousness of such values are important for having a peaceful neighbourhood, community and nation.
f. Non-violence: This is one of the main components of value education. This includes avoidance of non-violent actions along with a need to resolve conflicts peacefully with peers and other fellow human beings outside the school community.
g. Caring for the Environment: This is another important element which has become very popular these days in the context of declining living conditions of our planet and climate change. Teaching about conspicuous use of natural resources and minimising the use of fuels should be part of good value education. Students must also be taught the power of three Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
h. Yoga and meditation: The recent changes in the curriculum has emphasised a lot on physical as well as mental well-being by teaching yoga and meditation to students and adults.
I hope these study notes will help the students in UGC NET 2021 Exam.
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