From the Principal’s Desk – 04 October, 2018
One of the cornerstones of any education system is the constant tussle between what’s “right and wrong”, “fair and unfair”, “moral or immoral”. It is one thing teaching children the basics of any school subject such as Mathematics, Science or History etc. but it is all those other “things” that we also need to teach that are always tricky to navigate. It is not the fact that we need to teach these important lessons that is the issue, but rather the landscape and manner in which we do, which is so complicated.
When you talk to students about the importance (and understanding) of justice, respect, fairness etc. it will always involve many different perspectives and viewpoints which need to be considered. One thing I absolutely love about the IB world is the fact that it does not aim to create a “Utopian society” but rather celebrate and appreciate the differences that make our human race so unique. It is against our differences and varied ways of life that we have to try and come to some general agreement about what we can all agree on with regards to ethical or moral dilemmas. Sure there are some things which can, without a doubt, be immediately classified – these black and white matters are the easy ones. But one thing we know about our diverse world is the fact that there is a lot of grey! And this is where it is tricky and very often messy.
Teaching children to stand up for themselves, believe in a sense of justice or have a moral compass is no easy feat, but it is a necessary one. As parents and educators this has to be our first and most important duty – to ensure that we build future citizens of the world who embody integrity, a sense of justice, a deep respect for themselves and others, and of course a good idea of what constitutes fairness. One way to ensure this is that we have to model this ourselves – even as adults this can be incredibly daunting, difficult and may have some devastating consequences but it should never diminish our desire to continue to strive to do so. It may take a lot of tears and incredible bravery but in the long run if we are to stand for something we need to weather the rough times.
We ask this of our students, we should expect nothing less from ourselves.