As schools, families, and communities identify and list outcomes and standards for their children, it is clear that the list can not be complete without including values. Developing strategic learners and problem solvers always is included, but the inventory also must include respectful listeners, integrity and responsibility. Knowledge and the expertise to prepare young people for the job market should be prominent on the list. But using wisdom to apply the knowledge in one’s chosen profession is of equal value.
Most lists include the big five as listening, reading, writing, oral communication, and spelling. The list also needs to include embracing a positive mental attitude in order to meet daily challenges of learning these and other skills. Most would include the utilization and application of technology, but the values that build productive members of society should also be included.
If our children can see their parents and teachers as learners with learners, each of them can encourage and teach each other in the pursuit of life long goals and relationships. Valuing life long learning is a clear message to our youth that learning never stops.
A certain amount of ambiguity does exist in trying to formulate the future. The willed future supersedes the logical future. We are not just the product of circumstances, but we are also revealed by circumstances. An educated person is not fully educated until education includes adoption of core ethical virtues. For virtues enable us to live a life of purpose and significance not merely a successful life. Beliefs and values are powerful, enabling people to overcome the largest of obstacles and accomplish the highest of goals.
If there is no education for
core ethical virtues and meaning,
then life will be meaningless.