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By Justin Moore
Without a doubt, college has an indisputable value impact on everyone who attends. It helps people build their own set of values and make moral decisions in conflicting moments of their lives. It also helps people learn to relate with others effectively, achieving coherence between thoughts and values of the actions. The college education helps to prevent corruption and violence. This can improve the living standards for all.
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People begin to develop their values in the home, and continue throughout the rest of their life. One can say that values, in general, are revealed and forged through an educational process.
There are four main groups of values that are developed through the family:
1) Elementary values of coexistence (kindness, friendship, love, altruism, solidarity, mutual help, humanitarianism).
2) Values of a moral and behavioral culture (respect, truth, beauty).
3) Values linked to the autonomy of the subject (authenticity, sensitivity, independence of judgments, tolerance, self-criticism, discrepancy, happiness).
4) Historical values (identity, independence, justice, sovereignty, patriotism, national pride).
However, there are 4 main values, in the development of which the higher education has an indisputable role: wisdom, truth, happiness, love.
Wisdom does not only mean the cultivation of mental capacities or the accumulation of knowledge. Wisdom means the development of the multiple competencies that allow us better know each other in order to live consciously.
Truth, as an important value of education, impacts the acceptance of people’s own personal intentions and principle, and helps them adhere to them.
Happiness and love are two important values which are often confused with luck or joy. Higher education teaches students to ignore the short-term pleasure and to strive for their true expectations.
A person’s values develop in a complex educational process involving the family, school and society.
Furthermore, college students experience a special period of development due to the transition from childhood to adulthood. This is an important moment in people’s cognitive development. For this reason, it is vital to embed moral values into educational process during this period. College students’ flexibility, perseverance and motivation help them develop their personal values during this integral time in their lives.
A person’s values are also important after they leave college and enter the workforce. That is why teachers and other pedagogical staff should pay attention to the:
1) Knowledge of the profession for which they educate their students.
2) General knowledge of the curriculum of the career.
3) Definition of objectives and contents. One must understand the orderly and systematic way of achieving an objective.
4) Forms of teaching and evaluation of information.
5) Knowledge of the personal characteristics of their students, both in groups and individually. This is important because learning is both and individualize and group process.
6) The importance of the subject to the problems of the real world, and the relevance of the contents in the social context.
7) Search for the multidisciplinary relationship of the contents with other subjects.
8) Development of effective communication.
9) Use of participatory methods in the resolution of professional problems.
10) Detection of the main problems in the learning process.
We live in a changing world where the ethical and moral values tend to vary. This can create contradictions that are difficult to resolve. Higher education, as a reflection of the society of which it is a part, is not exempt from these changes.
For the education of values in the universities and colleges, it is important to create an educational space in which the students can develop their personal values, argue their points of view and defend their ideas. Every student must be free to express his or her thoughts, to disagree, to raise initiatives, to listen and understand others. In this way they can face problems with security and independence, in order to achieve their goals.
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