IN the current digital world, every aspect of education has some elements of technology. Teaching and learning becomes very complex and holistic with the use of technology. The speed of changes in content and pedagogy is also speeding up like the speed of lightning. Currently, the success rate in most developing nations is based on how well students perform in their examinations or how clever they have become. In many schools and higher learning institutions, we are missing the integration of all types of people, the joy of studying and the purpose for life. It has become a very mechanical world.
Preschool children are forced to spend hours studying for a supposedly early head start. By the time they are in secondary schools, they become burnt out and some may even take their own lives because they cannot keep up with self, parental and societal pressure to be excellent in studies.
To ensure that the digital education era does not eliminate the humanities in education, there are special needs to ensure the humanising of education. This can become a reality through Moral Education.
Moral Education is a subject that aims to develop students into individuals who have integrity and noble values, high moral standards based on universal values founded on moral principles.
These contribute towards the unity, prosperity and wellbeing of self, society and the country as well as global society.
Through certain innovative pedagogies in Moral Education such as visualisation, students would be able to get into self-reflection and deep learning.
They would be in a better position to decide based on the moral choices available in moral dilemmas that they face at interpersonal and intrapersonal levels.
When I was growing up in a multicultural environment, I always visualised people as equal without even thinking much about colour and creed and everyone living happily with each other.
It is slowly becoming a reality now. A borderless world where the Internet connects us without fail, anytime of the day gives us the opportunity to connect with anyone at any time all in physical and virtual spaces.
Visualisation techniques have been used by many individuals to visualise their desired outcomes for ages. The practice has even given some great world leaders what seems like super-powers, helping them create their dream lives by accomplishing one goal or task at a time with total focus and confidence. The technique involves envisioning yourself achieving your goal. To do this, a detailed mental image of the desired outcome using all of your senses is created. For example, if your goal is to stay healthy, visualise yourself eating all the healthy food as you are what you eat.
When students have the space to become complete humans then no digital era will ever take away their pride and dignity as well as self-worth.
The crucial question here is are we educators, parents and society on the whole providing such a platform for our students?
DR VISHALACHE BALAKRISHNAN
Centre for Research in International and Comparative Education
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