Value Education – Karma Ura OF CURRENT VALUE EDUCATION KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES IN OTHER COUNTRIES Moral education (Japan, Korea, European countries, etc.) Value education Character education (USA) Civic education Citizenship education Ethics education
Values: • Beliefs & attitudes about the way things should be, & what is important
Values taught in the U.S-last 50 years? Emphasized personal rights? De-emphasized social responsibility? Produced psychological individualism? • Undermines trust in others • Undermines commitment • Undermines altruism
Sense ofbelonging, neighbours helping each other, and safety are all low in Thimphu The Centre for Bhutan Studies
HOW DO WE TEACH VALUE EDUCATION? Teacher Specialization in Value Education Text Book Specialization in Value Education Yes No Yes ? ? No South Korea Bhutan
The hidden curriculum: the moral atmosphere of a school (John Dewey) systems of symbols, disciplinary codes, hierarchy, ceremonies, and songs that heighten pupils' collective identities. Education is not value neutral anyway.
Class 4, 5, 6 Dzo Eng Science Social Studies Class 7, 8 Earth & people Sci Hist Dzo Eng Geo Class 9, 10 Dzo Eng Geo Hist Phy Bio Eco Che Civics
What is not published has not happened at all — Attributed to Sloboban Milosevic, International Court of Justice testimony, 2004
General Observations of Value Contents in Textbooks • Both moral character (honesty, responsibility, respect) and social character (teamwork, dignity of work, loyalty, dedication, sacrifice) emphasized indirectly. • Conformity (drig) , heirarchy and social stability emphasized indirectly, but too descriptive. • Social institutions like tsechu and festivals, traditional games emphasized, but their roles in value transmission not discussed. In social conventions, excessive and irrelevant focus on description of bureaucratic and political post holders’ titles and clothes. • Personal hygiene and sanitation emphasized but does not advance later to present structural issues of environmental degradation and pollution: • No systematic notion of at-risk youths involving juvenile delinquencies: drugs and alcohol unwanted pregnancies, association with antisocial, deviant peer groups and pervasive exposure to violence in the media
General Observations of Value Contents in Textbooks • Altruism and compassion emphasized: designed to help others at a cost to oneself. But no motivational and generation techniques (Lojong (mind training) and Tong-len (exchanging self and other) etc) presented later. • Mutualism emphasized: design to help others at a benefit to oneself. Friendship emphasized. • Reciprocity and exchange of kindness emphasized: with respect to parents and kings. Hinted: kin selection (cost < benefit to a group) and Tit-for-Tat). Parental repayment of kindness emphasized. • Merit and karma asserted. Rebirth and incarnation asserted but no conceptual grounding presented. • Excessive focus on magical aspects of religious lineages over ethical, social or philosophical ideas they presented., Even the magical aspect cannot be presented without introducing tantra approach (focus on direct experience, whole person, energy, magical and symbolic, samsara=nirvana) • Modelling moral behaviour : Ashoka, Guru, Buddha, Peling, Zhabdrung, Kings. Too unattainable figures, even though they represent the ethical & spiritual qualities of archetypal bodhisattvas . They are also decontextualised from doctrinal and value implications of their teachings. Approach is historical and chronological. For values, doctrinal approach would have been useful. • Who is a Buddha vs what they taught?
General Observations of Value Contents in Textbooks • With respect to values, textbooks designed to exercise more declarative memory rather than reasoning and working memory. Textbooks dwell more on when than why and how? • Social conventions emphasized, relying on social conventional reasoning. But moral or ethical reasoning not encouraged systematically. No moral dilemmas presented in narratives. • No progressive concepts of moral education or character development, random narratives across subjects and classes. Inversion of standards – basic things suddenly repeated at higher classes. • No underlying application of any moral development concepts such as Kohlbergian, Piagetian or Buddhist moral development theories. • No systematic and progressive unfolding of Buddhist concepts over classes if that is wanted. • No distinction between legal and moral rights, no distinction between conventions and ethics, compliance to laws emphasized
Summary Observations ofValue Contents in TEXTBOOKS • Abrupt variations in standards across subjects in the same class and within the same subjects across classes. • General lack of precision of concepts and language. Very regular typo errors and odd expressions. • Order of arguments not logical and in SS, civics, and history textbooks. Too many irrelevant asides, eg., in Civics. • Replacement needed in many textbooks, obsolete information in SS, Geography, History (19-20 century) Civics and Economics.
Broader Contemporary Context Sudden Social Transformation and Dislocation, bringing value and community disintegration New sense of Individuality & Anxiety, poses question on a meaningful life Transition to the Information Age, attention as the ultimate resource Population Increase & Urbanization
The Emerging World View • Education is for competence! focus on character education is too diffuse. Failure to strategise an economy that gives meaningful employment and self-employment leading to reliance on foreign investment as solution • Economic liberalisation, free trade is the solution ! less spirit of indigenous development ideas, huge consequence on values and identity, cannot claim different identity and GNH while emphasizing dominantly western ideas of free market and democracy. • Libertarian politics is the solution! but we have just begun experimenting what is democracy, too early to say what is success!
What Do We Do Now? • Soteriology: Concept of a GNH society as a goal, move from the goal to filling up details of parts. Not from the present situation to the future goals. This will help clarify what their lives are for and what is worth working for. • Theories: Reflect concepts relevant for the 21st century and beyond consistent with holistic wellbeing; make it forward looking. This will make people value values as their moral reasoning develops • Methodology: Include forms of practice and classroom teachings. Include engagement in resolving moral dilemmas at smaller scale. Promotes social responsibility and service to the community. • Literature: Rewrite New Textbooks from Classes 1 to X. Make compatible reading list collections available. • Basic Design of Textbooks: By presenting parts progressively, move from the edge (class 3) to the centre (by class X) like in a mandala, • Scope of value education: Six aspects of moral personhood
Universally Shared Values? But only paying attention to them denies what makes us particular, diverse Equality, Equity, Justice, Fairness Freedom, Participation, Inclusion Peace and Non Violence Respect, Diversity, Tolerance, Acceptance, Understanding Human Dignity, Individual Worth Responsibility – personal, social, civic, environmental Care and Concern for others, Compassion, Collective well being Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability Reconciliation, Truth, Forgiveness
GNH Values and Curriculum • There will be critics(Relativists) who say People’s happiness will depend on the fulfillment of values; the type of values is irrelevant since they are relative. • But from a GNH point of view There is no separation of people’s happiness from the fulfillment of nine dimensions of GNH; it is interdependent. Fulfilling nine dimensions simultaneously is fulfilling happiness, subjectively and objectively.
Additional core Bhutanese values: • Traditions and cultures • Loyalty to and unity based on Monarchy, tsa-wa-sum unclear slogan • Family and community support • Karma, freewill and freedom • Interdependence of all sentient beings
At a societal level: a radical, deconstructive critique of prevailingcultural values and presuppositions a vision of the inter-relatedness of existence thatallows---indeed entails--- an attitude of non-attached caring expressed as compassionate activity free of all self-cherishing concern. -Justin Whitaker At an individual level: a practice of radical self-transformation based on insight into the impermanent nature of reality and human existence - Justin Whitaker No abiding self Self Others Relation Deconstruction Interaction
VALUES are linked to VISION Values are powerful mental images of what we want to create in the future - M. Parker ”Creating Shared Vision
Relationships among Domains/Variables: A Holistic View = Interdependence Example Only Arrow: cause-effect relationship “-” sign: negative effect Two lines: delay
Psychological wellbeing GNH domain Values Compassion, generosity, forgiveness, calmness, gratitude, taking account of karma, empathy, truthfulness Values Actions Practice Meditation for mental training Prayer - ritual as attitude training Pilgrimage – as aid to meditation, assimilation and physical activity Volunteering Donation
Health GNH domain Vitality, fitness, soundness, self-worth, prevention, precaution, non-malignance Values Values Yoga and other physical activities Well balanced diet Avoidance of intoxicants (drugs, alcohol etc.) Avoidance of risky behaviours Public health Mindful consumption Actions Practice
GNH domain Time Use Values Stress free, serenity, tranquility, bonding, healthy lifestyles Values Work -life balance Sleeping hours Recreation and leisure satisfaction Community service Socialisation Actions Practice
Education GNH domain Creativity, openness, diligence, insightfulness, perseverance, patience, creative thinking Values Values Historical literacy Cultural literacy Civic literacy Ecological literacy Food and nutrition literacy Health literacy Indigenous knowledge literacy Actions Practice