We suggest that to be an educated human being in the United States at the end of the 20th century one must understand the abortion controversy; indeed, its relevance to sex education is immediate and tremendously important. Schools have a moral ethos embodied in rules, rewards and punishments, dress codes, honor codes, student government, relationships, styles of teaching, sports and extracurricular emphases, art and appearances, and in the kinds of respect accorded students and teachers. Sometimes called community service, this approach is a conscious effort to give students opportunities, guidance, and practice at being moral actors. It makes a huge difference if we think, for example, in terms of neoclassical economic theory and cost-benefit analyses, humanistic psychology and self-actualization, or moral theology. All parents have the right to withdraw a child from religious education, which schools must approve.
Character with its emphasis on forming good habits and eliminating poor habits struck a popular and traditional chord. No doubt within some intellectual traditions the idea of moral truth makes no sense, and older students should be introduced to such traditions as well - though even here there is often a pragmatic moral consensus about basic virtues and values. Free copies of A Parent's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools are available from the First Amendment Center. At the root of the other approach is the premise that the human person is only in need of liberation. The problem, of course, is that this conclusion requires a considerable act of faith, for what students value most is up to them. That is basically the essence of moral values education.
When it is relevant to the discussion or meets the academic requirements, students have the right to express personal religious views in class or as part of a written assignment or art activity. The problem here isn't that economists and theologians will inevitably recommend different policies - though they very well may. But at the same time, schools have an obligation to make sure that religion is taken seriously. It is no easy task to make sense of the soul when discussing abortion in a health class, sacramental understandings of marriage in a home economics class, or the sinfulness of promiscuity in a sex education class. Nonetheless, because religion can't be practiced in public schools and because it is often controversial, the character education movement avoids it.
Toward a Common Vision for the Common Good We are convinced that creating a civil public school is the most effective way to move schools beyond the culture wars -- to move from battleground to common ground. We agree that it is wrong for children to have sexual relationships. And so it should be with every other major moral or civic issue that divides us - including religion. It is proper and important to teach children to respect the rights of others; name-calling and gay-bashing are not permissible--and there is broad consensus about this. Many schools have been searching the reasons of depreciation in moral values and they have been working for developing good moral values among the students.
Since then,the Catholic schools are fully funded by the and administered by the. Since Americans are by international standards both quite religiously observant and quite religiously diverse, it is not surprising that moral and character education controversies often have a religious source. If students are to be able to think in informed and critical ways about the sources of meaning in their lives they should be educated somewhat less about its material dimensions and somewhat more about morality and religion - and those forms of community that bind us together with our fellow human beings, with the past, with our posterity, and, perhaps also with ultimate reality. Honesty isn't just a matter of cost-benefit analysis and personal values; it is morally binding. Generally Moral Education is not a specific subject for schools but it is taught under different subjects like languages, literature, supplementary reading books etc.
The result is a heavy scheme of obligations and intricate duties throughout all of one's many social roles. Health and home economics texts often ground their account of values in Abraham Maslow's humanistic psychology, whereas the economics standards and texts appeal to neoclassical economic theory and modern social science. We no longer believe that it is educationally sound to teach American or Western history only, and just as students must know something of world cultures, so they must know something of world religions if they are to be educated. This is, once again, reason for a required course in religious studies or a moral capstone course that provides a sufficiently deep understanding of religion to enable students to make sense of religious interpretations of morality and sexuality. This belief in America, originally heavily populated by immigrants, creates a situation of a-priori assumption that humans are morally deficient by nature and that preemptive measures are needed to develop children into acceptable members of society: home, church and school. Jordan Catapano is a high school English teacher in a Chicago suburb. And, of course, teachers and texts should not take positions on where truth lies when we are so deeply divided.
This is a justifiable concern. Religious conservatives have often grounded morality in scripture, while religious liberals have often held that through continuing moral and religious experience, reason and reflection, we can progressively acquire deeper insight into morality and reform our traditions. This means that miracles, which are by definition singular events, can't be caught; scientists cannot ask God to replicate the miracle for the sake of a controlled experiment. His view is often summarized as 'moderation in all things'. This is the way of chaos.
Should we allow our youth to be influenced by the relentless waves of perspectives and ideas as a result of our inability to control them, or should we endeavour to equip our youth with whatever is necessary to discern right from wrong? Or, to take another example, scientific method requires that evidence for knowledge-claims be grounded in sense experience--the kinds of experience that instruments can measure. Well, perhaps for the moment they are. And how do I know any of this? The usual rhetoric notwithstanding, public schools don't teach subjects. Indeed, for most of history the sacred and the secular were pervasively entwined and religion pervaded all of life: from birth to death the sustaining rituals of life were religious; people's understanding of politics, war, economics, justice, literature, art, philosophy, science, psychology, history, morality, and their hopes for a life to come were all religiously shaped and informed. There are many theories about means, but no comparative data and no consensus in the industry as to what, if any, approach may be effective. An obvious problem is that this reasoning is circular.
It involves teaching that there is an authority beyond the self. Often such literature will reveal the moral ambiguities of life, and discussion of it will encourage critical reflection on what is right and wrong. Sex education inevitably deals with moral issues of considerable controversy; economic education, by contrast, stirs little if any controversy. But they learn about history only as modern secular historians understand it; they learn about nature only as secular scientists understand it; they learn about economics only as secular social scientists understand it. Indeed, they should learn something about the relevant Scriptural sources in different traditions for sexual morality, marriage, and the family.