The Ethics and Values of Learning and Teaching

In the world there are thousands of colleges and universities where we see learning and teaching is available to all kinds of people. Traditionally, learning is the activity of obtaining knowledge or knowledge obtained by study. Teaching is the job of being a teacher. These interpretations are quite simple, but it is not as easy as we think when we include the term ‘Ethics and Values’. So, what are the Ethics and Values of Learning and Teaching?

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‘Ethics’ literally mean the study of what is morally right and what is not or a system of accepted beliefs which control behaviour, especially such a system based on morals. And ‘Values’ are defined as the beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important in life, which control their behaviour. Actually, learning can be the activity of obtaining right knowledge and wrong knowledge. Right knowledge brings right understanding, self-understanding and self-knowledge where- as wrong knowledge brings wrong understanding and harmfulness. Teaching is the way of sharing knowledge to others. This can also be both right knowledge and wrong knowledge. When right knowledge has been transferred to others or students, it can lead them to happiness within themselves or in society. They can enjoy righteous earning, enjoyment of the same righteously in the company of relatives and friends, longevity and peaceful life here and hereafter. But when the wrong knowledge is shared, it causes thousands of problems to arise in society and the whole world. The learners and teachers should first cultivate compassion and loving-kindness, only then they should learn and teach what is beneficial to themselves and all beings. Any field of study can be done, but it must be with the Ethics and Values.

Therefore the Ethics and Values of Learning and Teaching are emphasized in all schools, colleges and universities in the world because learning and teaching without the ethics and values can break the world into pieces. We wish to live in peace and happiness, so do other living beings. Here I think we should learn and teach the eightfold principle of living (right understanding, right attention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration) to ourselves and others. This is the only way we can live peacefully and happily with one another.

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