Some current methods of ethic education for students – Approach from a lecturers’ role

Abstract. Ethic education for students is a part of the comprehensive education process and responsibility of the whole society where education at school plays a leading role. The actual situation of ethic education in universities and colleges is inadequate, even though school leaders and lecturers clearly understand the meaning and important role of ethic education for students. However, due to both subjective and objective limitations, ethic education for students has not been efficient yet. From this actual situation, this article focuses on analysis and suggestion of some methods to improve efficiency in ethic education for students with an approach from the role of lecturers who involve in teaching, modeling, and building healthy ethic environment.

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HNUE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2017-0137 Educational Sci., 2017, Vol. 62, Iss. 6, pp. 129-137 This paper is available online at SOME CURRENT METHODS OF ETHIC EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS – APPROACH FROM A LECTURERS’ ROLE Pham Viet Thang Faculty of Politics - Civic Education, Hanoi National University of Education Abstract. Ethic education for students is a part of the comprehensive education process and responsibility of the whole society where education at school plays a leading role. The actual situation of ethic education in universities and colleges is inadequate, even though school leaders and lecturers clearly understand the meaning and important role of ethic education for students. However, due to both subjective and objective limitations, ethic education for students has not been efficient yet. From this actual situation, this article focuses on analysis and suggestion of some methods to improve efficiency in ethic education for students with an approach from the role of lecturers who involve in teaching, modeling, and building healthy ethic environment. Keywords: Ethic education for students, ethic educationmethod for students, integrate ethic education, build ethic environment. 1. Introduction The process of integrating into the world economy has enabled all individuals to utilize their abilities and strengths, especially students – the workforce with high qualification and enthusiasm, good skills and capacity of learning new things. Among changes in economic-social life, a large potion of the youth and students experience active changes, make efforts in learning, and try to contribute to the family and society. However, there still exists a potion of students with inadequate behavior, degradation, and downgrade in morality and way of life, and increase of social evils and criminals etc. According to the statistics of the Center for criminology research and criminal investigation (People’s Police Institute), young criminals continuously increase in criminal number and behavior (41% is from age 18 to under 30). It is possible that this phenomenon is due to various causes in which the education cause is a crucial one. In Vietnam, the issues of ethic education for the young generation in general and for students in particular also receive attention and research from educators. In Citizen Awareness training [1], Pham Khac Cuong concluded that education and training for a human with ethics, knowledge, and skills was the priority condition for developing the human resources for sustainable development. Many different research works also explored this issue, such as: Education of political virtue, ethics, and way of life for students of universities-colleges of Raja Roy Singh [2]; Education for the system of ethic and humane values [3] and Interference of factors affecting education and personality development in today’s age – methodology basis of education science research and practical education activities (2010) [4] of Ha Nhat Thang; research of Nguyen Duy Quy about Received date: 27/2/2017. Published date: 15/4/2017. Contact: Pham Viet Thang, e-mail: vietthang271077@yahoo.com.vn 129 Pham Viet Thang Social ethics in our current society – problems and solutions [5]; Dang Quoc Bao with his research Establishing school model for conducting education of ethics-laws-way of life/discipline for the young generation in current situation [6] etc. All these facts bring forward the requirement to properly understand the role of ethic education for students in today’s stage. Within the scope of this article, the author would like to introduce some methods to enhance the effect of ethic education for students with the approach from lecturers’ viewpoint. 2. Content 2.1. Ethic education and ethic education content 2.1.1. Ethic education Long time ago in the East, Kongzi (551-479 BC) specially valued ethic education. Despite of his great ambition in politics, his path was towards ethic education, with high evaluation of humaneness, righteousness, loyalty, and filial piety (rule of virtue). After eliminating limitations, “self-cultivation” was the ideology throughout his education philosophy. In the West, the philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) believed that ethics and knowledge defined each other, which meant that one’s ethics based on his/her knowledge and human became ethical after having knowledge. Aristoste (384 -322 BC) believed that the God did not enforce to have completely ethical citizens, but it was the discovery of needs on earth that created a complete human in ethical relationship. Petxtalodi (1746 - 1827), one of the representative educators of XIX century, highly evaluated the role of ethic education. He believed that the central role of education was ethic education for children, with the love for human as the most general basis. This love originated from the family, with the love for parents and siblings coming first, then the love for friends and everyone in the society. Karl Marx (1818-1883), the founder of scientific socialism, believed that: comprehensively developed human was the goal of the socialism education, and a comprehensively developed human was a human who fully developed and optimized his/her potential in all aspects including ethics, intellectual, physical, emotion, perception, efficiency, and aesthetics, with the capability to experience all surrounding nature and social phenomenon. Inheriting the traditions from our ancestors, the Communist Party, with President Ho Chi Minh as the leader, always pays attention to ethic education for the youth, because “The youth is the future owner of our country. In fact, it is mainly because of the youth that the country is prosperous or poor, weak or strong” the President often said, in which students account for a very large percentage. Entering into a new era, the era of promoting industrialization and modernization of Vietnam, Vietnam Communist Party continues to affirm the importance of education-training. The Party’s policy and guidance always unitedly demonstrate the top priority of enhancing teaching and learning quality etc. by promoting creativity and independent thinking of pupils – students. The Party also values cultivation of morality and development of personality for pupils and students, guides them to associate their future career with the future of our community and country, and helps the Vietnamese modern young generation to improve their competencies, quality, and way of life. As it is understood, ethic education is the process in which an education subject impacts 130 Some current methods of ethic education for students – approach from a lecturers’ role an education object with purposes, systems, and plans, in order to build consciousness, emotions, beliefs, ethical habits and acts that are suitable with the society’s requirements. Ethic education not only enhances ethic perception level, but also preserves ethical values and standards established from previous generations. It also takes part in establishing new ethical values; establishing new ethical viewpoints and qualities, and active conception for each education object. On the other hand, ethic education also takes part in overcoming obsolete ethical viewpoints and deviation of personality values from standards, fights against unethical phenomena that are poisoning the social environment, and establishes protection mechanisms against devaluation of ethical and cultural values in each individual personality. Really strict self-education awareness, each individual’s own effort to incline to the good and close collaboration of ethic education among schools, family, and the society are very important. Ethic education for the youth, especially students, in the past and present, has become an urgent task, and a priority task of each family, school, and the entire society. 2.1.2. Basic contents of ethic education for students nowadays - Firstly, education of patriotism Education of patriotic value is an evaluation factor of ethic value standards of Vietnamese people. Patriotic education helps students to have the right perception conducting practical actions later and having proper guidance in their works in the future. During the war, we were extremely at lost of both human power and properties, but during the peaceful period of building the country, it is also not easy for us to overcome difficulties and challenges if we will be subjective, neglectful, or incautious, especially when hostile forces still continuously fight against the Government with various sophisticated ruses. Education of patriotism and national pride spirit also helps students to have more beliefs in the leadership of Communist Party, and the management of our Government during the current innovation effort; in order for them to put more efforts in studying and self-training to better serve the country and the people in the future. - Secondly, proper education of outlook of life and outlook of values For students, they need to be clearly aware that the proper outlook of life is to serve the people. Serving the people is the core foundation of socialism morality. Only after forming the outlook of life for serving people that they can become a human who is pure, noble, and useful for the people and the country. Only a proper view of life can build an appropriate view of values that means to put the interests of people above all. In the open-door and market economy development period, there are many economic entities in the society with corresponding interests, and inevitably there is different point of views on values. However, the goal of innovation and development of the country tends to establishing collective social outlook of values, and it must become the main outlook of values. This also is the right outlook of values that students must choose and establish. That way, students can, among choices of values and practical life, accomplish meaningful acts and create new values for the society. - Thirdly, education of humaneness and compassion Together with patriotic education is education of humaneness and compassion. It is concerned that there are groups of people who dress well, behave as connoisseurs, and speak fluently, but their hearts feel nothing for unfortunate people in the society. They do not have compassion, shame, and do not know how to share [6;145]. In some countries like Japan and Singapore, ethical and cultural education associates with rule of laws and rule of virtue, where sympathy and social spirit are highly evaluated [7;280]. 131 Pham Viet Thang Education of humaneness is the education of love among human to human, forgiveness, and awareness of caring and sharing with surrounding people. The tradition of Vietnamese people is to appreciate affection and gratitude, and healthful support - “the healthy leaf protects the torn leaf”, “A herd of horses will not eat if one of them is ill” etc.- and mercy and forgiveness - “One should not hit a man when he is down”. Education of humaneness and compassion not only helps to nurture generations of people with noble soul and personality but also takes part in improving society’s quality of life, eliminating emotionless diseases, and lost of faith in life. - Fourthly, education of communication culture Education of communication culture is an essential and urgent task, especially in our current society and education environment. With further view and consideration in broader context, communication culture guides all communication actions of human. The basic task of education is to build people-communication relationship which means to educate people with communication ability, including communication with the society, with others, and with ourselves. The foundation of communication culture of people-communication relationship is the variety of spiritual life and ethical values that each individual possesses. Being aware of cultured spoken words and behaviors is an aesthetic act, contributing to the beauty and charming of human. This cultured characteristic is sometimes identified with morality. However, we must realize that a cultured communication act more or less reflects some aspect of human’s ethical quality. Therefore, that’s why people who love beauty and have cultured behaviors will less likely to do cruel and bad things. There are two notice points in current ethic education: Firstly, the relationship between tradition and modernity. The issues of which ancient traditions and rites that should or should not be kept, and which ones are too extreme or acceptable etc., are issues that are difficult to receive consent from the society. School role is very important here. It is the school, and not the Government or the press or society’s public opinions that will decide these issues. The school will select and specify how to greet and address people etc. The main idea is this specification does not base on the preference of education managers, but must base on scientific basis, research, and consultation from experts. Secondly, national and international issues also need to be considered. Massive integration and development of information technology narrowed the distance between ethnic groups, nations, and people. Behavior and greetings also interchangeably affect, mix, and borrowed from each other, especially among the youth. National philosophy and generation philosophy are encountering significant challenges. Use of Vietnamese and English, or the way to greet to be appropriate with the national traditions or to show cultured manner – are all issues that the schools must pay attention to. However, this burden is not only on teachers’ shoulders. School, family and the society must share the responsibility, but schools still play the leading role in defining strategies and goals, and introducing standards. - Fifthly, properly deal with friendship and love relationship Love is the most important part of human life. Naturally, at any age, human still needs love. We need to receive love from others and give our love to others. From childhood to adulthood, we always need to live among love of surrounding people. During childhood, we live among love from grandparents, parents, and siblings in the family. In adulthood, we receive more love from friends in class, at school, in the neighborhood, and in the community. However, the most important emotion in human life is couple love, meaning love between male and female. Couple love is important because it affects our entire life and dominates almost every aspect of ourselves. With the development of the market economy and opening for international integration and exchange, the youth more and more has modern ideology, and more 132 Some current methods of ethic education for students – approach from a lecturers’ role opened view about couple love. However, due to the young age, with only little life experience, and little guidance in couple love issues, a lot of young people easily fall into the multifaceted traps of love, and it is difficult for them to avoid making wrong decisions which seriously affect their entire life. Therefore, education for them to have proper view, and healthy conceptions about friendship, couple love, and family happiness are very essential and extremely important in which schools play an extremely important role in educating this issue for students. - Sixthly, environment ethic education Environmental crisis such as: air pollution, ozone effects changing global climate, ozone layer being destroyed, land becoming deserts, polluted water resource, decline of biological variety, and rapid increase of waste substances etc. are concentrated signs showing deterioration of life environment quality, threatening human life. Vietnam is late and slow in conducting industrialization and modernization process but the environment in the past and present has been showing signs of rapid destruction which seriously affect stable development of the country in particular, and increase deterioration of global environmental quality in general. Education’s task is to educate people who will later become educators, managers, decision-makers, engineers, and researchers etc. and participate in economic, politic, cultural, social, and medical organizations. They will participate in activities that directly or indirectly and more or less related to life environment. Therefore, education of environment ethics and protection awareness is a very essential task, with long term commitment. 2.2. The role of lecturers at schools and some methods to strengthen ethic education for students 2.2.1. The role of lecturers at universities * Lecturers are responsible for building academic culture Academic culture can be generally understood to be the set of rules for appropriate behaviors in scientific activities including researching, lecturing, and studying. These rules are general but are essential in maintaining teaching and researching quality, as well as establishing a healthy spiritual environment for scientific activities. Academic culture in building university culture is an indispensable component including the following aspects: delivering subject knowledge, scientific research, and exploration and creativity in science. For lecturers, organizing and maintaining frequent academic activities in the universities at all levels is very important, and students also need to be encouraged to participate in different levels depending on their knowledge level. These activities create an environment to experience and exchange ideas, and take part in improving the quality of lecturers’ team, allowing them to defend their viewpoints as well as satisfactorily evaluate other’s ideas. For students in initial years, delivering of subject knowledge will generate subject interest for them, initially build close feelings for students with the subject. During the next years, students with the basis of having strong grasp of subject knowledge will cultivate their self-learning and self-researching capability and their creativity through practical teaching and scientific research. Currently, in many universities, full time students from the second year will start to do scientific research together with an instructor, and as a result, their creativity is improved. Some full-time students after graduating are accepted by international universities to continue studying for higher education such as master degree or as researchers. This is the result of the training process that lecturers always play a leading role. 133 Pham Viet Thang The special characteristic of education career determines that lecturers need to be highly responsible and conscious of their mission. Education is not the type of work that is emotional. It requires enthusiasm, paying attention to details, and being patience “in silence”. Therefore, besides from scientific research activities, creativity and innovation in teaching methods and techniques also need to be valued. Currently in many universities, the evaluation mechanism for lecturers still highly values scientific research works (normally only based on the number of works) and sometimes overlooks teaching methods and techniques. This is not beneficial for encouraging lecturers to use all of their spirit and intellectual capabilities in teaching works. Especially for teaching works, innovation and creativity in lecturers’ teaching methods and techniques must be evaluated. That way can improve education quality and level. * Lecturers are responsible for building ethic culture in building culture in universities As philosophers, educators also need to be educated. Lecturers in building ethical culture also need to be educated to become the model in morality and way