On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (XLIX). The Ethical Challenge for Superior Education.
Have a beautiful friday. Today I will provide the information about the ethical values that I could gather by visiting the website of what I consider the top of the top (the creme) of all Universities in the world. If I miss the mark of some top universities, I beg your pardon, but I think I have done a good sampling. Not all these top universities have a clear statement of their values. Some have included them in their vision statement. Others in their strategy plan. And the majority shows the ethical values in their vision or mission statement. This is not correct. Ethical codes must be a separate item.
As you know, we are almost done. In 6 days from today, this saga will end. I won´t provide ethical codes for K-12 (from 1st to 12th grade) schools. Why? because each school is a passage of life for kids to be ready to join a University. Ethical statements must be part of the life of K-12 schools, but given our saga timeline schedule, I have prioritized the education at the beginning (Kindergarten) and at the end of our instruction (Universities). Even though I have not procured the K-12 ethical values analysis, be aware that ethical codes in these entities are as crucial and important, and as relevant too.
Ethical Values must be embedded in each course. As you may have noticed, I was a Business Ethics Professor when I returned from Zurich. When I finished to teach my second year under the role of a full time professor, I was invited to IESE (Barcelona) around 17 years ago, to work in a research project in which several faculty ethics professors, were going to analyze the status of Ethics courses in European universities, in order to provide a framework to include ethics in each university course. I was not able to go to Spain then, because of monetary reasons. So pity. Probably that occasion was my passport to marry Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi, and I missed him at that time. I am not sure if he wanted me to go to Barcelona. But since then, my hypothesis to fix the lack of ethical virtues in this planet was that “Ethics must be included in each and all courses, of all disciplines and all universities in the world”. This move requires that each professor has to transform his or her mindset to become an ethicist. Regardless if teaching math, or art, or computer sciences, or economics, or engineering, or any type of science, ethical dilemmas are always emerging in everything. In consequence, whenever a teacher is preparing a syllabus of themes for his /her course, he or she should add an ethical analysis or ethical discussion or ethical reflections, or ethical cases and applications to their material.
Ethical Values are the best tools to teach and lead knowledge. Any theme in education is able to be a material for ethics reflections. I am not asking professors to give 20 pages ethics cases to students and overload their teachings, but at least to take 15 minutes of each lecture, to engage in ethics discussions. I have taught ethics by showing little videos, journals or newspaper readings, books´extracts, etc. Usually the newspapers are fully charged with news, that in some way or another are a raw mine source of material to discuss in class. Even for those technical and fully scientific courses, there are ethical dilemmas embedded. Please don´t use the utilitarian or the kantian approach to ethics. Try to be simple, and stick to the human ethics nature theory. It is easier, it is handy, and it is the core truth for our life. For those professors who are committed to make their courses, a place of open ideas and debate, discussion about ethical dilemmas are current and abundant. Ask your students about how to link values with each topic, and you will see the amount of imagination that exhales from community shared intelligence. Professors can be respectful of all religions when discussing ethical values in class, and the university/school/kindergarten ethical statement works wonders when things blow up.
Ethical values must be practiced in Education. Exercise in ethics are awesome, these help students to formulate problem solving and critical thinking from the teachable point of view on ethics. Believe me, if kids get used to see life through the eyes of values and virtues, after 3 years of pre-school, 12 years of K-12 level schools, and between 4 to 7 years of university, be sure that ethics or beatitudes or virtues will be coined in your students´ mindsets. Ethical reflections are beyond each professor religion. That is why is so beautiful to procure them since kindergarten. Every single professor is the key to install ethical values in the society.
Next week we will continue with ethical codes in NGO´s and Governments. Finally, in my last post of this (Wednesday 30th of september), I pretend that our ecological mental model will be complete. Ecological societies are God Centered with abundance of ethical virtues in the private and public sectors. Governments will begin to be ethical only when people begin to be ethical. Then all policies, laws, regulations and life-style approaches will flow with an ecological and ethical understanding. To build ecological societies is nothing else than to “walk the talk” of ethical values. As simple as that.
Have a beautiful weekend. God bless you with love, hope and faith for the future that awaits us.
Sources of reference visited to prepare the slides:
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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