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How To Teach Students To Be More 'Ethical'

In a world with an ever-increasing influence and mass reach of businesses, it has become more important than ever for the people in society to act in ethical ways. The question is whether ethics is something that can be taught? It is best to start at the grassroots level and ensure that our students learn to exercise restraint against indulging in unethical behavior. There is a lot that can be done with a deliberate effort on part of the educators to curate a learning environment in which ethical student behavior is encouraged and even rewarded.

hand with pen and notebook

Our education system has made tremendous progress in recent years. With the aim of digitizing the education system, in online teaching India has yet again been ranked among the world leaders. Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, when schools and college campuses were shut down, locking millions of students and teachers across the entire nation out of the classroom, educators had no option other than learning how to teach online. With rapid advancements in the field of education, it is now time to teach our kids in a better way. By trying to incorporate ethical behavior in the students at an early age itself, we as educators can do our best in setting them up for a life of honesty, integrity, and success. Here are a few strategies which may be useful in teaching our students to be ethical….

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Use real-life experiences-

Sharing your real-life experiences and those of others with the students can be a great way of modeling ethical behavior in them. You could arrange meet-ups with alumni and get them to discuss their experiences, decisions they made, why they had to make those decisions, the impact those decisions had on their lives and of those around them, and how they handled the consequences of the decisions they made. Allow students to share their life experiences and decisions they took based on them, with the class and also ask the students to take time to introspect and evaluate some of their own past decisions and learn from them to make more rational and ethical decisions going forward.

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Dwell into the reasons and impacts instead of right and wrong-

Ethics is much more than a moral science class. It is about understanding even the farthest-reaching implications of your decisions in a wide range of areas. It is about making your students learn how to analyze their intuitions and rationale to an extent. Unlike textbooks, in the real world right and wrong can not be clearly judged in every situation and therefore as educators, we must dwell more into the reasons and impacts that our decisions may have rather than taking the unpragmatic approach of trying to teach them the art of making right and wrong decisions.

Expanding awareness by exposure to a variety of experiences-

Always encourage your students to expand their awareness by exposing them to a variety of experiences. Especially in this day and age, when global learning is on the rise, students from different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, states and even countries may be present in the same class. We can utilize their diversity in a way such that each student is exposed to a multitude of experiences, ideas, opinions which they can use to reflect upon their own ideas and notions about right and wrong, good and bad, rationality, and likewise. Encourage your students to examine all perspectives and implications of their decisions even when the answer seems clear beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Make your students apply the ideas-

Ethics in a large part is learned experientially. Any meaningful takeaway from the class is as good as nothing if it is not practiced in the right context. You could help the students by putting your teaching into context and giving your students time to practice their learning consistently. Educational institutions must ensure that they develop a learning environment that resonates with the culture of ethics which we would like to see in an ideal world, as closely as possible.

Teaching students to be more ethical is an integral part of their development into responsible citizens of the world. Therefore, the educators must ensure to leave no stone unturned in inculcating ethical behavior in their students. The strategies mentioned in this article could serve as a great starting point for developing a generation of ethical human beings.

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