A theology or philosophy of education
Education is an essential part of our lives. Without education we fail to understand the greater meanings of life. True education does not only contain achievement of academic degrees.
It involves learning the meaning of life and the greater virtues of life and unless we understand the virtues and the philosophies of life we will not be in a position to intake the academic knowledge fully. In order to get proper education it is necessary that we get a true mentor who will strive to imbibe the philosophies of life into our minds.
A mentor is able to impart academic knowledge only when he or she prepares the mind of students philosophically and morally. Moreover a mentor or an instructor should always walk in the path of virtue. Getting deviated from the path makes him unfit for teaching a bunch of young men.
This paper aims to look at the various theories of life and the value of virtues in life and hence tries to relate it with teaching. It tries to focus on the fact that a mentor should believe and follow some theories while he or she is instructing the students.
The paper also has tried to tell how the teachers should help their students to understand the meaning of their lives and also guide them in the true path of religion. The main aim of the paper remains in pointing out the role which an educator should play in order to bring about over all human development so that the society is able to get more number of sensible citizens who will adhere to the path of righteousness.
There are actually many theories and many views of virtue which can be incorporated by an educator while imparting knowledge to the students. For instance The Divine Command Theory states that morality is associated with God’s commands. Divine Command Theory focuses that anything not approved by God is immoral. Therefore it actually tries to say that we must all carry out acts those are approved by the God. For example torture is an act not approved by the God hence we can say that torture is an immoral act.
The theory is of prime importance because it gives us a reason as to why we need to be moral in our lives. An important thing which we tend to believe from the theory is that only the persons who are morally upright secure happiness in their lives. Hence we can say that with the help of the Divine Command Theory we get directed towards the path of morality. (Austin, 2006).
As an instructor or a mentor we can take cue from this theory and try to imbibe the virtue of morality into their minds. We can use it by making our students understand that the ultimate aim of our lives should be morality.
Unless we lead a moral life we will not be in a position to achieve happiness. It should be our attempt as a facilitator to make the students realize that unless they adhere to the path of morality they will not be able to get the blessings of the Almighty and in turn will not be able to get success in their lives. Incorporating of this theory into the teaching curriculum is important because unless the students are moral by nature they will not be able to take in the academic lessons properly. They will also not be able to use the lessons learnt in their future lives unless they have a moral foundation in them.
The theory of virtue ethics is in close association with the Christian philosophy of ethics. The virtue theory is teleological in nature that is true human nature involved in true human good. The virtue ethics is of tripartite structure. It contains firstly human-nature-as-it-exists.
Secondly it consists of human-nature-as-it-could-be. And the third element consists of all those habits, desires, perceptions which will transport human from one stage to the other stage. The virtue ethics focuses on the fact that there are certain habits and desires in human beings which prevent our journey towards a true human nature.
Thus it is clear that in order to achieve the true good of our lives we may have to renounce certain habits of our lives. The theory deals with the journey from the stage of who we are to what we could be. It goes on to say that human nature is worth only when it is a good human nature and in order to become a good human nature it is absolutely necessary that we carry out functions which are true in nature and which adds to the true well being of humans.
Therefore according to this theory we are permitted to carry out only those acts which contribute to the well being of the people and at the same time keep away from those which are not considered as true acts.(Kotva, 1997). Thus we can say that even the theory of virtue ethics can be incorporated within our teaching curriculum.
That is we can make the students understand that the ultimate goal of life is well being and well being is only possible when we carry out true acts. True acts in the sense those acts which are virtuous in nature. We should also encourage the students to give up all those acts which are not true acts that are all those acts which do not contribute to the well being of man. In this way we can direct the students towards proper acts and keep them away from all ill acts.
It is necessary to guide the students in such a direction because unless they carry out acts which are true by nature they will be unable to use their academic learning’s in proper channels. Instead they may use all their academic learning’s for accomplishing acts which are not proper. Hence it is very necessary to develop a moral guard in them right from their tender years so that they do not even get the desire to undertake an act which is improper.
According to John Stuart Mill utilitarianism is basically the measure of human action based on the consequence received by that action. He was of the opinion that any human action which produces happiness among the human beings is a morally correct one. On the other hand an action which fails to generate human happiness is termed as morally wrong. Therefore according to Mill all human actions should be directed towards generating human happiness.
Rather it should be the goal of all human beings to bring in happiness to others and not to one self.(West). Taking cue from the theory of J.S. Mill we can go further to say that the essence of utilitarianism is to maximize social welfare. We can take the happiness of others in a collective form and refer to it as the common good of the society.
Thus according to the theory we can say that our ultimate aim should be to bring in the overall welfare of the society through our actions. Utilitarianism can be synonymous with “welfarism”. Therefore using utilitarianism we can say that all individuals are given an equal status as because a common good of the society has been mentioned. Unless all individuals are given an equal status they will not have a common welfare.
Thus utilitarianism also incorporates egalitarianism.(Roemer, 1998). Even the theory of utilitarianism can be of much help in imbibing values within the students. We can use the theory to make the students understand that the aim of all our actions should be to secure happiness of others.
Our actions should not be directed by self interests. By happiness of others it means that we should teach the students to work for the common good of the society because if we do not put effort for the betterment of our society we will also not achieve any betterment in our moral lives. Moreover the ultimate goal of education remains self-enlightenment and that enlightenment do not involve seeking happiness for the self but it comprises bringing in positive transformation of the society through our knowledge and education.
Therefore it is a must that the students are made to realize the true purpose of education at a very early stage. It is necessary to make the students realize that the purpose of their education is a great one otherwise they in the later stages of life will not be able to do justice with their education.