Citizenship becomes our final core ethical value. This concept shows how we ought to behave as part of a community. Here is where the “good citizen” knows the laws, obeys them and understands the issues of the day. Here is where we do more than our “fair” share to make society work, now and for the future. It covers areas such as conserving resources, recycling, using public transportation and cleaning up litter.
This six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship are keys to our ethical dilemma solutions. Using these core ethical values as the basis for ethical thinking can help detect situations where we focus so hard on upholding one value that we sacrifice another. These values are the major influences which guide the child’s behavior to give each child broad guidelines in each situations that arise in their lives. These value systems are our personal core ethical values and children need to learn these values early in life. Thus, we the parents, teachers, and others, which enter their lives, help build that character and individual style in each child.
Michael Josephson states: “Ethics is about the way things ought to be.” The values taught to the child are everlasting. They add convictions, beliefs, and opinions, which shape attitudes and motivate actions. The non-ethical values also lead to beliefs and attitudes about what may be desirable, effective, or wise but without reference to the moral quality of the result.
The following children’s core fundamental values differ from the adult’s core fundamental values: Love, Empathy, Honesty, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, Optimism/Faith.
The world is changing fast but the core fundamental values remain. Unless we pass down to the younger generation a moral recognition in regards to the dangers of:
- Respectful is better than disrespect
- Just is better than unjust
- Being a friend is better than being concerned only with self
- Honesty is better than dishonesty
We have an obligation to act in a professional and ethical manner and to be accountable to the public for which the school serves. Being ethically effective is critical to both the school and the individual success of the child.