Educational Principles that may Promote Entrepreneurial Behaviour in the 21st Century

Introduction

Entrepreneurship demands that a person is willing to take risks, venture and achieve results. This implies amongst others that the person should be willing to dare to do and stake his or her future on something. Often, this required output behaviour is inhibited by the educational approach followed in the teaching and learning environments to which people are exposed.

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to propose some educational principles that if adhered to, may promote and sustain entrepreneurial behaviour in a knowledge driven economy.

Principles

Principle 1: Introduce learning and teaching approaches that would stimulate the curiosity of students to discover essentials for themselves for the sake of discovery itself.

This demands that educators should rather try to play a minimum role in education rather than a maximum role. Rather, equipment and learning design should be carefully planned and structured to allow students to discover essential learning principles for themselves as well as the applications thereof. This should be done in the absence of specified learning outcomes specified by curriculums. Specified learning outcomes creates a situation in which it is assumed that the present expertise knows best what is required to succeed in the knowledge economy and while it may be partially true, the negative effects of installing inhibiting neuroses in the learner, may outweigh the advantages thereof. Instead, the educator should allow learners through education design to discover essential building blocks and fulcrums of the discipline through a process of self-discovery. Allowing learners the opportunity to discover for themselves, opens the door for discovering what you as learner wants to be and what you would like to understand and articulate. Through a process of self-directed discovery and determining one’s own discourse, the learner focuses on what he could be instead of becoming dissatisfied by not becoming what other successful people became. To become a fulfilled and entrepreneurial person, the learner needs to become what he valued and want to keep.

But, this can only be achieved if learning is not considered to be a mechanical process. Rather, it should be approach following an adventourous and autonomous approach. Marie Curie, Nobel Laureate, expressed it as follows: “I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician, he is also a child placed before natural phenomena, which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanism … Neither do I believe that the spirit of adventure runs any risk of disappearing in our world” (Goldsmith,2005).

Such an approach will develop cognitive reasoning abilities applicable to various situations, complexity levels and disciplinary foundations.

Too stimulate curiosity questions posed to learners questions should be asked as specific as possible. Vagueness runs the risk may contribute to the destruction of curiosity in the learner. By being specific in questioning and probing, the chances increase for concrete and specific discovery. In seeking answers, the student should experience as much as possible autonomy and the enjoyment of discovering essentials and truths as unaided as possible.

Principle 2: Continuous experimentation with learning and discoveries

Once new fundamentals were discovered, new theories proposed and opportunities recognized, it is important to learn and rediscover by continuing with the process of experimentation in order to validate self-discovery and to strengthen confidence in what was discovered. It is further essential that the learner learn more from “going” experiences and broadening the experience in more complex and real situations. Creating an intellectual climate in which experimentation could take place may foster the development of stable-minded individuals and the intellectual growth of learners.

Principle 3: Transfer of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries

As different academic disciplines, professional codes, and academic language act as boundaries that conflict with the need to integrate information a need exist to amalgamate knowledge and allowing educators to play “bridging roles” through articulation of common organising principles, values, reporting and control mechanisms This will enable educators in entrepreneurial education to link otherwise unconnected disciplines to facilitate the development of unique knowledge systems and increase access to special knowledge and opportunities. Due to the fact that not all learning can happens in a linear fashion or without structural constrains, it make sense to present a subject or two relating to science which may act as a catalyst to temper the minds of learners with regards to phenomena and its relationships with nature.

Principle 4: Educators needs to free themselves from inhibiting influences and also enter into a discovery learning mode.

This principle demands that all educators should exposed themselves to critical self-reflection, and if required obtain expert advice to elucidate on components in which improvements are required. The educator should also study as much as possible literature as possible, obtain exposure to as many technologies as possible, participate in discussion forums, debate observations and force him or herself to postulate ideas of his or her own as precisely and exactly as possible in cases where existing knowledge could not provide the answers or explain practical situations well enough. The latter component is considered a fundamental to build critical thinking and stimulate creative and innovative thinking.

In order to remain in control of the learning process it is essential that the responses of the learners are captured, assessed and that this information is used in debates with learners.

Principle 5: Learners need to see and observe more than their immediate environment

This principle is proposed in order to prevent mental “geographic retardation” driven by the constraints of localized knowledge systems and influences. Exposure to other environments will broaden the minds of learners in terms of discovering their own individual needs and aspirations and hunting for information from collective knowledge pools. To achieve this, the educator should rather fulfill the role of “Free Agent” to align opportunities with the discovered needs of the learners. It may be conducive to allow learners to identify places to visit, organize the events by themselves and do the costing for such events. By seeing and observing outside the immediate learning environment, the honeymoon effect of most training programmes, in which knowledge is fading away after a relative short period of time, can be largely eliminated. This approach will also teach them self-management skills, considered to be essential for any entrepreneurial venture. Further, learning and behavioural changes that occur due to visits to other environments may be considered as intentional changes based upon who the learner is and what the learner wants to be.

Conclusion

This article intended to provide a stimulus on what needs to be done to enhance learning appropriate for the knowledge economy of the 21st century as it relates to promoting entrepreneurial behaviour. The proposal is based upon 5 basic principles to which education should adhere in order to maximize self-directed discovery, identification of learning fundamentals and taking self-control over learning.

Bibliography

Boyatzis, R.E. 2001. Unleashing the power of self-directed learning.
[http://www.eiconsortium.org/research/self-directed_learning.htm]
Downloaded: 11/03/06

Goldsmith, B. 2005. Obsessive Genius: The inner world of Marie Curie. Phoenix: London.

Lampe, D. 1959. Pyke, the unknown genius. The Scientific Book Club: London.

The Prevailing Delusion About Online College Degrees: A Treatise on the Decline of Public Education

A delusion is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a false belief regarding the self or persons, or objects, that persists despite the facts, and one of the most prevalent and hard-hitting delusions that have prevailed in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries is the extremely fallacious belief by millions of rank-and-file human beings around the world, especially in the USA, that computer Internet educational pursuits produce as much academic learning for a person as does traditional classroom instruction. As there have been for decades of time, there are currently many recalcitrant adolescent public school students who greatly dislike the free structured schooling that they are required to attend in classrooms for twelve years in order to attain basic academic skills and a high school diploma. These young misguided men and women account for approximately 67 percent of all public school students, and, in most cases merely occupy classroom seats, with their minds absently elsewhere, during their elementary, middle school, and high school years and end-up barely attaining the minimum grades necessary for high school graduation. The real sad fact is that, for the American public schools to retain some delusive credibility in properly educating the bulk of America’s youth, around 70 percent of that 67 percent of all public school students have their grades pragmatically padded with huge disproportionate academic curves in order to make it seem that most of the American youth leaving high school at eighteen years of age are basically educated and ready to, either, enter the workforce or attend college. Yet, these basically uneducated, barely literate men and women leave public high school, and currently end-up, within three-or-more years, enlisting in the military, attending junior college or trade school, apprenticing for a trade, continuing to live at home off their parents, or becoming mendicants on the streets. Every year thousands of these millions of young people, fifteen to eighteen years of age, run away from home to end-up spending five-to-ten years on the streets, many of them turning to crime, before they realize the time and the precious free resources that they have wasted through contrariness and indolence.

Since around 1995, a great many of these millions of poorly educated young adults, eighteen to thirty years of age, have sought to bypass the need for hard work, and have been given the grand delusion that they can accomplish with a personal computer, alone at home for thousands of dollars, what they refused to accomplish during the twelve years of a free public education they were offered as teenagers. What do I mean by this? Seventy years ago, most graduates of public high schools actually graduated on a real eleventh-to-twelfth grade level and were prepared to, either, enter a college or university and perform real college-level work, or to enter a salable trade. As proper child-rearing in American homes (parents helping and encouraging their children to succeed in the public schools) became, over the decades after 1950, more of a burden than a privilege and responsibility for husbands and wives, who were more goal seekers than they were fathers and mothers, the male and female children of these very egoistic men and women were essentially left alone in the home to struggle academically by themselves during their formative and adolescent years. As a result, what used to be real high school diplomas conferred upon most eighteen year old graduates of public schools became no better than certificates showing merely 12 years of attendance, while junior college degrees (A.A.s and A.S.s) became certifications of remediation for high school deficiency. This process of remediation merely indicate that the students had compensated for their lack of academic attainment during their high school years at community and junior colleges during two years of study. Hence, as logically follows, traditional baccalaureate degrees now conferred upon senior college graduates, who matriculate from community and junior colleges, are hardly equivalent, to any degree conferred upon university graduates during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.

Now we arrive at the crux of the issue at hand, the attainment of B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., and, even, PhD degrees by these under-educated students from colleges and universities offering complete online Internet curriculum programs leading to conferral of these degrees. What happens when under-educated men and women, who graduated high school on probably a ninth-to-tenth grade level, attempt to do real university-level academic work five-to-ten years after they leave the public schools? Now remember that a high percentage of these individuals have spent time in the U.S. military taking military enlisted courses taught on an eighth-grade level and are told by these universities that, if they enroll in particular online degree programs and pay the required tuition, they will be given college-credit for military courses and for “life experience (whatever that means)” that will lead to the total 120 hours of college credit necessary for a baccalaureate degree. Moreover, a great many of these under-educated adults, 25-to-35 years of age, begin their so-called college educations online without any previous junior college remedial study.

So, have you, yet, figured out the dismal result of the grand delusion? These millions of under-educated students, who have anxiously embraced the computer-age, are actually made to believe that they can use the Internet, at home alone, to study the books and course materials provided by online universities and colleges, without the presence of an instructor/professor, in order to learn the equivalent of what is taught during four years of classroom instruction at traditional brick-and-mortar universities. What this was called in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s was correspondence/distance learning effect, which was not approved as equivalent to college classroom instruction by regional accrediting commissions. Presently, 98 percent of all Internet online college degree programs offered by most accredited universities and colleges are not interactive; that is, they do not provide video-teleconferencing for designated weekly lesson periods where the individual students are connected together to allow every student enrolled in the particular course to see his, or her, classmates, and the instructor/professor, on a computer screen during the lesson period, and to interact with each other during the class. As compared to the tuition cost of a three-unit undergraduate classroom course in American history, at the University of Maryland, which is around $500, the cost of an interactive online Internet course is about $700, and, invariably, the Socratic method cannot be effectively utilized by the instructor during this very expensive electronic interaction.

Most online undergraduate and graduate courses are, however, “not” interactive to any degree, and the only means for a student to communicate with an instructor, or other classmates, during the semester or quarter course period is by email, and that is regarded by most rational people as an extremely impersonal and disadvantageous means of effective communication. Let’s say the under-educated undergraduate student lives in South Carolina and is enrolled in an undergraduate online degree program at the University of Maryland. The student has all of the course textbooks and study materials, for a semester, mailed to his residence and he, or she, is allowed to perform the prescribed lesson assignments whenever convenient. There are no verbal lectures unless the instructor records them and allows the students to access them, along with the other course materials, using “Blackboard” software. If this is the case, the tuition for the course is substantially increased. Now, believe it or not, the instructor may actually live in another distant state, such as Minnesota, and a student may be unable to contact the instructor by email for extended periods of time. Hence, the under-educated undergraduate student is essentially left alone for most of the semester or quarter to study the course materials alone, and to take un-proctored, open-book, multiple choice question tests for grades, when the student’s academic honesty is not even questioned.

During the 19th and 20th Centuries, this type of learning was called the Lincoln-effect, which was named for the way Abraham Lincoln supposedly learned to be a lawyer, and was called then by most colleges and universities as a poor way to learn for the average student. Lincoln learned on his own by reading and studying what he needed to know in order to succeed in his legal endeavors, and his success was attributable to the fact that he was an extremely intelligent and intuitive person, capable of learning on his own, which the great majority of all public high school graduates are unable to do. Even today, a college or university will “not” give a person credit for learning independently, and actually knowing and mastering college-level course material before enrolling in a university and paying for the course. Then, even after a “very smart” person pays the costly tuition for the course and the professor allows the aspiring individual to take the course’s comprehensive final examination, the examination is, in most cases, not the regular final examination taken by classroom students, but one that has been made inexorably more difficult for the express purpose of ensuring that the very smart person does not make a passing grade. Does this sound unfair and sorely inequitable? Yes it does, because it is! The current academic system is staggeringly unfair to, both, the very intelligent and the very under-educated. The startling reality is that nearly all of the colleges and universities in the USA are much more concerned with advanced learning as a profitable money-making business than what it should be, the scared responsibility of helping intuitive and intelligently capable men and women, who are prepared for college-level work, to attain the learning and research skills that they need to succeed in opening new frontiers of the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, humanities, and literature. The sad fact is that baccalaureate and graduate degrees are being awarded every year to under-educated men and women who have completed undergraduate and graduate online Internet degree programs that are, in no way, equivalent to the degrees attained through classroom work under the close supervision of professors and instructors.

This particular grand delusion’s grave and deprecating effect, which I have endeavored to explicate in this essay, is, simply, that these men and women who have attained these online pseudo-degrees actually believe that they are as educated, intuitive, and intelligent as other men and women who have attended traditional colleges and universities to attain their undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is like comparing an online University of Phoenix baccalaureate degree in economics to a B.A. degree in economics obtained through continuous classroom study at the University of Texas at Austin, or at any other tradition accredited brick and mortar institute of high learning. The two degrees are basically incomparable. Yet, the majority of the American people of the 21st Century, 25-to-40 years of age, who have actually been conditioned to believe that obtaining college degrees quickly through superficial and watered-down online study is entirely equal to the painstaking process of obtaining a four-year baccalaureate degree through continual classroom attendance, have contributed greatly, by participation, to the educational diminution of the American republic, to its relegation to the status of a third-world nation. America now ranks 38th in the world in educational achievement. Can you imagine that, when, from 1945 until around 1970, the USA ranked first among all nations in population literacy, educational superiority, and scientific achievement?

As to the origin and advancement of this grand delusion, the reader is owed an explanation. How could this progressive and aberrant mind-set about the fundamentals of advanced learning have become so destructively prevalent in the latter-part of the 20th Century by sheer accident, or how could it have been widely accepted by the people as a standard model of educational endeavor through the visible efforts of one great man or woman? These two foregoing accepted explanations for the cause of historical events, accident and “the great man” hardly explain the subtle, publicly unnoticeable, events that have occurred from the late 19th Century through the mid-and-late 20th Century, which, working collectively, have caused deliberate systematic change in the way Americans are educated. The “accidental,” and “great man” explanations for the occurrence of history don’t hardly explain the sad miserable events that has plagued human beings from the outset of recorded history. The third accepted explanation accepted by contemporary historians for sad history, conspiracy, is the most reasonable and plausible reason for the occurrence of subtle incremental events that have collectively combined over the decades to produce an effect such as the grand delusion about the proper methodology for American learning. When a thorough investigation of the facts reveals the motives of conspiring men and women over an extended period of time to cause a major shift in the presiding philosophy underlying the essential rudiments of public education, those facts can, either, be closely examined by the existing traditional and electronic media and accepted by the American public, or capriciously discounted by that same media and hidden from the public. Why would an objective and independent media hide such scurrilous facts from the public? A free and independent media would not do such a blasphemous thing, but a media bought and paid for by the powerful and wealthy men and women who have conspired together to bring about such a shift in philosophy would so such a thing quite capably.

As Thomas Jefferson stated in 1805, “I’d rather have newspapers without government, than a government without newspapers.” What he actually meant was that he would rather have newspapers willing to publish the facts and the truth in the absence of government than a government unwilling to allow newspapers to publish the truth about what the government is doing against the interest of the governed. The American Constitutional Framers worked together to produce a state that would serve the people, not a state to be served by a people indoctrinated by government to be subservient. The latter status, a state to be served by the people, was predicated upon a political philosophy called Hegelian “statism”. A free-thinking people, such as the original American population that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789, are very concerned about individual liberty. As Henry Ward Beecher succinctly stated, “Liberty is the soul’s right to breathe.” This goes along quite well with what Thomas Jefferson stated in 1779, during the American Revolution. He said, “I have sworn upon the altar of liberty eternal hostility against all tyranny over the mind of man.” These immortal words, among the many others he wrote, today grace Jefferson’s memorial in Washington, D.C. All of the Constitutional Framers, who had also signed the Declaration of Independence, realized that “as a man, or woman, thinks, so he, or she, is,” and that perception of reality is the means whereby the American people will choose who, and what, they are. This is why the Constitutional Framers wrote the preamble of the U.S. Constitution to express its explicit purpose, which is stated with the first eleven words of the last twenty-three words of the Preamble “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” The Preamble didn’t say that purpose of the U.S. constitution was to “establish justice, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare.” No, those particular things were a means for implementing the ultimate purpose, which was, and is, to secure the blessings of liberty.” Some might argue that the constitution of the Soviet Union had established a form a justice, provided for a common defense of the Soviet people, and promoted a form of general welfare for the Soviet people. But there was no liberty for the Soviet people to determine their own destinies with their independent pursuits of happiness. No, a communist dictatorship does not secure the blessings of personal liberty to a governed people, but, rather, just the opposite, which is control over the minds and bodies of the people. It’s certainly strange that most federal and State politicians today don’t consider the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution an essential part of the Constitution; but it really is.

“Statism,” socialist fascist philosophy that the people of a nation-state are to be conditioned to serve the state, began in the new USA as a pragmatic sociopolitical ideology embraced by wealthy ideologues in several the New England States in the latter-part of the 19th Century. I know that that’s a long way to look backward on American history to collect the relevant and pertinent facts about what really happened, but those facts were duly recorded by historians, journalists, and ordinary Americans in the form of journals, diaries, books written by writers who had actually witnessed those facts being established, and newspaper articles documenting those facts. The five ‘Ws” and one “H” of historical research are the questions and inquiries that lead to a cogent explication of the issues. Who, What, Where, When, and Why, and, of course, How, constitute the basis for historical research and the answers to how, and why, sad events occurred. There have been wealthy powerful aristocratic people in the USA who, from the outset of the republic, did not, at all, like the idea of a common rabble of human beings, the rank-and-file American People, being allowed to choose democratically, by the vote, who would represent them in a bicameral Congress and legislate laws that would affect and diminish the power and wealth of those aristocrats. In effect, these ideological oligarchies, shadow governments within the State and federal governments, were comprised of super-wealthy people who feared freedom and liberty as a political means of making them less powerful and less wealthy. Hence, came the collective surreptitious efforts of these shadowy oligarchies to systematically control the minds of the population in order to secure their wealth and power. These wealthy, powerful, and pragmatic people, though actually very few in number, knew quite well that the proper education and intuitiveness of that common rabble, the great majority of the U.S. population, would cause that great cross-section of Americans to insightfully seek the passage of laws that would enhance the ability of the common People to eventually, through industry and entrepreneurship, compete with, and eventually overshadow, the controlling aristocratic power-brokers; such as common self-educated, and brightly intuitive individuals like Cyrus McCormick, Eli Whitney, Elias Howe, Thomas Edison, and Philo T. Farnsworth, the poor Idaho farm-boy who was invented television.

In a succinct cut to the chase, the ten decades of passed time that have elapsed in the 19th Century have brought to pass the subtle, and extremely detrimental increments of change to public education in the American republic. For example, the ability to read and understand the published written word was regarded by the honored Framers as the keystone to public awareness and understanding of current events in State and federal government in order to assure an intelligent and informed electorate. The basic methodology for teaching America’s youth began as phonics, which was considered by such Framers as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams as the proper methodology for teaching children, and illiterate adults, how to read. That was way that they had learned to read, and Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams had used traditional phonics to teach their own children how to read effectively, and the methodology was used effectively in the first public schools established in America before, and after the American Revolution. The first public schools established in the new United States of American were locally controlled and had nothing at all to do with the federal, or State, government. The parents of the children hired teachers to teach reading skills in these original one-room schools were for children of all ages, and phonics, learning to identify words by their vowel and consonant sounds, was used to teach reading.

Yet, another methodology for reading was created around the year 1813 by a man named Thomas H. Gallaudet. Gallaudet created the “see-say” method of teaching deaf-mutes how to read, since abnormal people could not hear word-letter sounds and learn through the normal use of phonics. Then in 1835, Horace Mann, a college educated intellectual, who had, himself, learned to read phonetically, was instrumental in getting the “see-say” reading primer, “Mother’s Primer” established for use by all primary schools in the State of Massachusetts; but by 1843, the very normal and reasonable parents of Massachusetts rejected the “see-say” method and phonics was restored as the standard method for teaching all normal primary reading in the State of Massachusetts how to read. Yet, Thomas Gallaudet, his children, and grandchildren were all graduates of Yale University, as was Thomas Mann, and they were also members of a secret order that existed then at Yale, and still exists and flourishes in the 21st Century. This was, and is, the Secret Order of the Skull and Bones. In fact, Horace Mann was co-founder of Skull and Bones, and it is much more than a passing thought as to why Mann, who had learned to read using phonics, would have pushed and shoved to get the “see-say” reading methodology, originally designed for abnormal deaf-mutes, accepted as a reading methodology for normal primary-age children. Furthermore, the false propaganda disseminated about the, supposedly, successful use of the “see-say” methodology, from around 1853 to 1900, resulted in the adoption of “see-say” by the influential Columbia Teachers College and the Lincoln School, which propelled the thrust of the speciously new John Dewey-inspired system of education that was geared away from the fundamentals of learning towards, rather, preparing primary child to be subservient units in the organic society instead of intelligent and intuitive individuals who could read comprehensively and effectively. ‘See-say” was ideal for the proponents of Dewey. Since learning to read effectively was the primary key for unlocking a child’s ability to read to learn, the Dewey-system deliberately eviscerated the one essential key step in the learning process, which would ultimately culminate in producing an informed electorate. See-say” also appeared to be an easy way to learn to read, despite the recognized fact that learning to read well required personal discipline and hard work.

Hence, I sincerely believe that the rational and reasonable American reading this essay will be clearly able to cogently extrapolate the inexorable and egregious results of adopting a reading methodology system, “see-say,’ created for “abnormal” deaf-mutes, for systematic use by “all” of the public school districts in all of the States by 1920, in order to teach normal elementary school-age children how to read. It wasn’t adopted by accident or as a result of a grand gesture by a wise man or woman, but, rather, by conspiratorial means over a long period of time The leading educational “authorities” from 1900 to 1920, exclaimed by newspapers, magazines, and radio as “progressives,” in the likeness of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, constituted a select group of, mostly, men who had been educated at Yale University and were members of Skull and Bones. For an ultimately conspiratorial reason, the fundamental wisdom of the Constitutional Framers, regarding the adoption and preservation of phonics, was devalued during this time, and most, that is over 70 percent, of the national electorate were made to believe that what these, supposedly, learned 20th Century men were spouting about educational learning standards for children was based upon truth. Therefore, what is extant today, a nation of dumbed-down adults, is a sad result of a conspiracy that worked its evil in increments over 150 years to the present day. “See-say” is still the predominant methodology for teaching reading in the federally approved “common-core” system of public education. Though there are many private and parochial schools that have continued to teach phonics in the 20th and 21st Centuries, the graduates of these schools make up a very small portion, less than 10 percent, of all the school children in the USA. Most of America’s children, more than 90 percent, are, and will remain to be, products of the public schools.

In conclusion, the reasonable person can clearly see the progression of ineffective educational standards in the current process of educating most of America’s children. You have the elementary schools, which don’t teach basic reading, writing, and arithmetic to properly prepare children for their middle-school learning experience, and the dumbed-down children that enter middle-school from elementary school aren’t properly prepared for the last three, or four, years of high school. Consequently, middle-school is really a remediation of elementary school, and high school is, in most cases, a remediation of what should have been learned in middle-school. Therefore, 98 percent of the 17-to-18 year old adolescents who receive high school diplomas, aren’t really receiving graduation certificates for the proper completion of twelve years of education, but, rather, for merely attending twelve years of classroom experience, and graduating on much less than a twelfth-grade level. Most seniors in public high schools are actually working on a 9th to 10th grade-level when they walk across the stage to be graduated. So, here we are back at the beginning of the time-frame when men and women, 25-to-35 years of age and the graduates of public schools, begin to think that online college and university degrees are “really” equivalent to degrees earned by classroom attendance in brick and mortar universities; and that what they couldn’t achieve in a classroom with their level of academic preparation could be achieved outside of a classroom, at home, before a computer screen. This is, and will remain to be, the mass grand delusion that is the nemesis of American educational superiority.

Challenges in Introducing Value Education at Higher Education in India

Value Education is the much debated and discussed subject in the plethora of education in India. Of course it is true that the main purpose of any education will go with Value orientation. More concentration on Value education has been given at the primary and secondary level of school education than in higher education in India. Values could be effectively imparted to the young minds rather than to the matured ones. It may be the important reason for this prime importance given at the school level. There are so many modules designed with the help of agencies like NCERT and others for effectively imparting the value education to the school students. In this context, many innovative educational practices are being identified by the experts. Good number of experiments and studies are being conducted in the recent days on the effectiveness of teaching value education at school level. Some schools have very innovative and radical course designs to impart the values.

Effective teaching practices in imparting value education ranges from story telling, exhibitions, skits, one act play and group discussions to various other formats. New methods have been evolved by educationists to create an effective learning sphere. The usage of electronic gadgets also gains importance in the teaching-learning practices of value education. But at the higher education level, due to various reasons, the importance given to value education is not as much as it is given at the school level. The curriculum and the teaching methods also could be subjected to scrutiny. It is true that colleges are meant for a kind of specialization in some field of education. But in the Indian social context, the youth require direction and counseling at this stage. They have been exposed to various challenges at this stage which demands the intervention of educationists for his/her betterment. His/her character building also strengthens at this juncture. Students’ perception on various life factors and events are getting shaped at this stage. On the whole they evolve their own philosophy of life. Their sensitivity and knowledge are getting direction at this stage. Hence, an effective value orientation becomes inevitable to the students of colleges. Keeping this requirement in mind, States like Tamilnadu introduced a compulsory paper/course on value education to undergraduate students of all colleges in the State under the choice based credit system. Though this kind of effort is made with the good intention of imparting values to the youth, many limitations in bringing out the expected outcome could be identified.

The problem mainly begins with the definition of values. Defining the term ‘value’ poses a challenge to all scholars. The term value is loaded with varieties of meaning. Each meaning reflects its own philosophical position. Generally the term value is spontaneously associated with religious values. It is believed by many Indians that values are nothing but the religious and spiritual guiding principles of life. Hence, it is supposed that the path is already been laid for the life journey. But in the context of modernity and modernism there rises a fundamental question of whether value education is required at all in a modern state. There are those who argue that modern life is based on science and technology, and both are value neutral. They view that the values are bugbear held out by people living in the past, glued to outdated religious principles that have no relevance to the 21st century. At this point, there is also another group of modernist who propagate the necessity of value education at learning centres in order to safe guard the democratic state and its values. The values they wish to cultivate are modern secular values such as honesty, respect to other, equality, collectivity, democracy, respecting the human rights, sharing equal space in the public sphere and so on. These values are considered as the products of enlightenment period. Hence, four positions could be arrived at on the basis of the above understanding. The are:
1. There are religious values which are very much essential for every one and must be included in the curriculum.
2. The religious values should not find place in the educational system. They may operate at the private sphere.
3. There are non-religious secular values and they must find space in the education.
4. There is no need for teaching value education in the academics because they cannot be cultivated through formal learning and such value cultivation will make the individual biased.

In consequence to these positions, following questions arouse.
1. Whether value education should find place in the educational system?
2. If it is required, then what sort of values should be given preference in the curriculum?
3. What is the importance to be given to the religious values which are primarily developed on the basis of scriptures?
4. Can modern values alone are sufficient enough or is there any possibility of blending the values of modernity with religious values?
5. If religious values are to be given importance in the curriculum, which religion will find prime place? If there are contradictory propagation on a single virtue by two religions, then how are they to be handled?
6. Similarly religions differ on the practices also. Right from eating patterns, dress mode, marriage systems, war tactics, killing, punishments to various other aspects, religions differ on their outlook. In this situation, what sort of perceptions need to be taught?

Besides these questions, another billion dollar question would be raised on the methodology of effectively imparting those values. Then again as it is mentioned earlier, the school education can very well include this education easily because the system itself is advantageous for it to accommodate. But at the college level, the system finds it very difficult to work out. So this study could analyse the theoretical problems relating to the identification of values to be included in the curriculum at the one side and the problem of effective designing of the curriculum and imparting those values on the other side.

II

The necessity for imparting values to the students of all levels has been felt by everyone. The world today is facing unprecedented socio-political and economic challenges. Problems of life are becoming increasingly intense and complex. Traditional values are decentered. ‘An environment of strife pervades all countries and broken homes have become common. An insatiable hunger for money and power, leads most of people to tension and absence of peace of mind and all kinds of physical and mental ailments have become common place” 1. In the present day context of frequent and often violent social upheavals, we have to look at the problem of restlessness of the youth, their frustration born out of futility of their search for meaning of life and the purpose for which they are living, often leading to evil and wickedness. This calls for a new approach to, and a new vision of education. It is obviously felt that the present educational system promotes rat race and keep the student community in a sense of insecurity. Educational institutions have become the pressure cookers building pressures in the minds of youth. Also a loft sided educational pattern which insists on instrumental and technical rationality for the successful life in terms of gaining money and power has invaded the educational system of India. The person who is deemed to be unfit for this survival race becomes disqualified and ineligible to live in this market economy based life. The spate of industrialization and economic growth in developed nations has brought about a perceptible change in this scenario. And developing countries including India are feeling the ripple effects of this development. Values earlier considered essential by all societies have been eroded and have given way to unethical practices around the globe. Where honesty and integrity were loved and appreciated, greed, corruption and red tapism have come in, bringing in their wake, unethical responses which have pervaded all walks of life and are thwarting efforts of a few enlightened individuals to promote value based society.2 Hence, implementation of well structured education is the only solution available with all states. With growing divisive forces, narrow parochialism, separatist tendencies on the one hand and considerable fall in moral, social, ethical and national values both in personal and public life on the other, the need for promoting effective programmes of value orientation in education has assumed great urgency. Development of human values through education is now routinely seen as a task of national importance. Value education though supposes to be the part and parcel of the regular education, due to the market influences, it could not be so. Hence, it has become an inevitable need to include an exclusive curriculum for value education at all levels.

Now the next question would be about the nature of value education. What sort of values should be given preference in the curriculum is the prime problem in the introduction of value education. This problem surfaces because we can find varieties of values prescribed on the basis of various scriptures and theories. Sometimes they are contradictory to each other. This issue has been thoroughly discussed earlier. But the solution to the problem of the nature of value education is primarily dependent on the social conditions that prevail in the state. There need not be an imported value educational pattern to be prescribed in India. The burning social issues would demand the required value education. Though India is considered to be the land of divinity and wisdom, the modern value system throws challenges to the ancient value pattern. Right from the Gurkula pattern to the varna ashrama values, all values are under scrutiny by modern rationality. Hence, the relevance of the golden values prescribed by the then society is questionable in the present situation. On the other hand, the so called modern values which have been listed earlier also subjected to criticism by philosophers like post modernists. They question the very nature of the rationality of the enlightenment period. Because critics of modernity strongly declare that the modern rationality is the reason for the deterioration of human concern in the world and they paved the way for inhuman killing and escalation of values. The reason of the modernism is considered as the root of power politics which leads to inhuman behaviour of the power system, according to them. Hence the modern values like democracy, civil rights, environmental ethics, professional ethics, discipline and all such values are found useless in bringing harmony in the society. The values like discipline, tolerance, peace bears the negative connotation in this context. Hence, what sort of modern values are to be included in the curriculum is a challenge thrown towards the educationists. At one side the fanatic and fundamentalist features of religious values and on the other side the modern values based on the market economy and other factors are to be excluded and a well balanced curriculum with genuine worthy values suitable to the society has to be identified and included in the educational system. In this context, it becomes obvious that there cannot be any universal pattern of values to be prescribed in the system. When a suitable blend of religious and modern values is to be done, the designing of such course demands an unbiased, scrupulous, intelligent approach on the part of the academician who designs such course. Thus the spiritual values of sensitizing the youth for happy world and rational values for a just world are very much required. Religious values can be taken but not with the label of any particular religion, democratic values are to be included but not with its dogmatic inhuman approach. Thus there need a perfect blend of both. This is the real challenge thrown to the Indian academicians.

After the identification of these values, they need to be inculcated not to be informed to the students. Mostly listing the values is done very easily, but imparting them effectively requires genuine spirit and innovative educational practices. In the Vedic period, the gurukula system prevailed in which the student has to thoroughly undergo a pattern life with the guru shishya hierarchy. Whatever the guru declares are the values of life. But in the modern context, which is supposed to be the democratic sphere, a sense of equality and freedom has to prevail the learning situation. Also the values identified cannot be preached on the basis of the religious faiths. So the teacher has to find effective working module to internalize the values in the minds of the youth. The teachers’ understanding about the values prescribed and his/her commitment in imparting them also play a crucial role here. How to sensitize the teacher before carrying the values to the students is also a challenge to the educationists. The value education class room, if it is dealt with full seriousness and sincerity would be very interesting and challenging sphere for students and teachers. At times they need to sail at the same level with the students. The hierarchy may get disappeared. Value education demands a total responsibility from the teachers. They become more accountable. On the other side, a teacher who is committed to a set of values would always like to preach and impose them on the young minds. That extreme should also to be avoided with a balance of mind. Value education cannot be done by just delivering lectures and screening films. It requires a strong interaction between the students and the society. A lot could be experimented at this sphere. For which the supreme value ‘integrity’ is expected from the educator.

It is observed that many modules of teaching values have been designed and tested. Some are seemed to be very effective. In Tamilnadu, especially in aided colleges, with all good intention the government has introduced the value education as a compulsory scheme at the undergraduate level. But each university has its own syllabus for the same. The scrutiny of those syllabi also reveals a lot of variations in conceiving the value education. In some universities, some religion based institutions are given the responsibility of designing and even carrying out the course. Similarly the teachers who have not been exposed to any such type of training in value education are given the responsibility of teaching values. The introduction of value education for all under graduate courses is done at the cost of a core paper of that course. The teachers who have been handling their hardcore subject papers had to meet the shortage of workload due to this programme and to solve this problem, they have been entrusted with the job of teaching value education paper. This is done with the aim of avoiding the workload problem of existing teachers. The most valuable and sensitive part of education has been made like a mechanical dogmatic part. At this juncture, the fate of value education at the college level could be imagined. How to solve this issue is again a challenge to the educationists of Tamilnadu. The same fate could be observed in many other states of India. Hence, two important problems surfaces here, one at the syllabus level and the other at the teaching level. As it is discussed earlier the syllabus could be designed by way of paying attention to all aspects but imparting the same requires not only innovative teaching methods, but also innovative training method of the educators. It is as good as training the driver to drive the car; the teacher needs to be trained in imparting the values. The technical education employs teachers with sound knowledge in the subject, similarly it is essential to have teachers with sound mind and creative teaching skill to teach value education. Value education is definitely not to be dealt with compartmentalization but it should be taken as a part of the whole educational system. As Nietzsche puts it, the society requires masters to create and impart values, not the slaves who accept all the values imposed on them without any critical understanding.

If education fails to impart necessary values to its citizens, it will definitely have a telling effect on the society. All efforts to bring just and peace in the world will become futile if proper value education is not imparted.
Notes:
1. Kireet Joshi, Philosophy of Value Oriented Education Theory and Practice, ICPR

Publications, New Delhi,p.217.
2. Ibid., p.218.