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MORAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE STUDENT: ATTITUDE TO DUTIES

The basis of a personality is moral development, which determines his or her behavior. A moral personality does not always coordinate his or her actions with other people, often being guided by his or her own interests. The success of the process of involving students in the moral values of society depends on the unity of moral consciousness and behavior. The role of the teacher is crucial in this process.
Keywords: moral development, student, duty, values, teacher.

Sirota L. B.
Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor,
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine

10.34142//2708-4809.SIUTY.2022.178

Moral development can be viewed from different perspectives. Most often, the subject of interest is the changes that occur with age in moral judgments and human behavior, as well as the problem of phasing (for example, phasianomy, heteronomy and autonomy of moral development of the individual [3; 5].

The purpose of the article is to analyze the process of involving students in the moral values of society on the basis of the unity of moral consciousness and behavior, and the coordination of the individual’s own interests with moral norms and relationships with other people.

The concept of moral development is closely related to the concept of moral upbringing. Most often, moral upbringing is understood as upbringing whose main goal is moral development [4]. In his or her development, a person goes through certain stages: amoralism, moral heteronomy, moral autonomy, and ideality. Thus, a student as an adult should be at the stage of moral autonomy and ideality. It is known that even reaching these stages, performing certain actions and behaviors, does not mean full entry into these phases. The period of higher education is a special time and an exceptional opportunity for this moral development to take place.

Questions arise: where and how does the moral development (moral life) of a student take place? What criteria, fashions, and pressures does it face? On the basis of what content and values does the student’s “moral self” come to fruition?

One of the elements that supports this development is the presence of moral obligations in the life of the university. According to J. Maritain, the existence of an obligation, the fact of obligation, gives a young person the opportunity to act and decide “freely.” There are no physical restrictions, but there is a certain coercion, an internal coercion-bondage, in particular in the form of pressure from the “intellect” on the free choice of a student who may neglect his or her obligations. Intellectual pressure is caused by a vision of what is right and wrong.

Fulfillment of obligations leads to moral progress. When there is no such progress, coercion and social pressure, public morality and religious precepts come to the fore. Then the student will not feel comfortable, will become angry and conflicted [6].

Is it really so? Firstly, it is not easy for a modern “free” person to accept and fulfill obligations. It is sometimes easier for a person to reveal their worst, weaker sides. Secondly, what about the moral progress of a student if the sense of duty is not strengthened internally (and there are many reasons for this), when neither social pressure nor public morality matters?

Philosophers argue that ethics, which has played a significant role for many centuries, today is faced by a person who questions the importance of his or her own life, a “serious attitude” toward human life is increasingly giving way to irony, life is like a game, devoid of fixed rules and directions, free from binding decisions. The concepts of “ethics of chaos, uncertainty,” and moral nihilism have emerged, threatening modern society with conflicts. All this affects the moral education of young people, their attitude to obligations in higher education [1].

Acceptance of moral norms, including in the form of obligations, during education is not only an opportunity to achieve moral improvement. From an educational and pedagogical point of view, moral norms help to better understand one’s own behavior. They become an impetus for self-education and self-knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary and important to give a person a chance, to give them freedom. However, in the absence of norms and control, the so-called moral chaos arises.

How should a teacher act in such a situation? His or her interests (primarily professional and scientific) are mostly unrelated to the problems of morality, philosophy, and ethics. Therefore, the teacher primarily focuses on the person as such, contributes to his or her formation in accordance with national and religious norms, and teaches the student to be a human being. In particular, by example.

Responsibility for educational work with a student causes some discomfort for a modern teacher, especially in difficult situations. The teacher often reaches for orders and prohibitions because it is faster and easier to solve the problem.

Prohibitions and obligations usually do not bring satisfaction to the student. A teacher’s order or request to do something, or a prohibition, for example, may cause a student to protest. The question arises: is this how it should be? Should the result of educational communication “teacher – message – student” be dissatisfaction? After all, this communication can be perceived as an encroachment on the personal freedom (autonomy) of an adult student. The role of do’s and don’ts is to prevent evil, wrong actions.

Therefore, the meaning of prohibition in education has a double meaning:

1) to beware of dangerous behavior and respect the rights of others;
2) to develop the ability to control one’s impulses, urges and desires, i.e. to develop a mechanism of internal control in a person.

Any prohibitions are related to spiritual values. Social prohibitions and values are firmly rooted in our consciousness, which is explained not only by fear (I am not like everyone else and what will happen to me or what will be done to me), but also by social pressure, which has a significant impact on a person’s moral life.

A person does not put up with this pressure. Fulfillment of moral duty is connected with listening to one’s own conscience, to one’s own self. Today in society we see a massive failure to fulfill one’s obligations, which is related to the peculiarities of the spiritual world. Instead of devoting maximum time to their studies, students get jobs, strive to achieve a certain financial status and independence as soon as possible, believe that one does not interfere with the other, and are dishonest about their studies.

This trend has arisen due to the conscious or unconscious pursuit of the ultimate goal, which is related to material interests: to achieve prosperity, make a career, etc. [2]. The question arises as to how to educate a modern person and whether his or her moral development is a problem for the teacher, and thus for the scientific discipline he or she teaches. The answer is yes (it is necessary to educate), and the end result of this process is the kind of person the student is or will become.

Another aspect of moral education in higher education and the moral development of students is the problem of law – the right to something: life, freedom, education, etc. These rights are those that should be there. If a student has the right to freedom, does modern education really need orders, duties, rules, etc.? The answer is not simple. Given that people always strive for something better, the world is increasingly valuing people for their intelligence, work, dedication, and uniqueness. The concept of student-centeredness dominates in higher education. The scope of student rights is constantly expanding. This is good, because it is for them that the university and each teacher in particular work. But at the same time, the situation of students is deteriorating: unsatisfactory conditions in dormitories, demand in the labor market, and at the same time problems with employment. Consequently, students do not receive what they are entitled to.

Given the complexity of the social situation, the problems of spiritual development, the issue of moral obligations and the rights of students as participants in the process of moral education should be given considerable attention. It is important not to lose sight of the role of the deeply rooted Christian tradition in Ukrainian society. At the same time, we should keep in mind the model of moral mentality that differs from the Christian one and is propagated in the media: freedom of conscience, conformity, and independence. In these two areas, the moral development of a young person takes place, and his or her attitude to modern educational values is formed.

List of references

1. Andrushchenko V. Philosophy of Education: a textbook. 2nd ed. Kyiv: Drahomanov National Pedagogical University, 2021.
2. Zanuda A. Ukrainian character: do not believe, fear and ask? BBC News-Ukraine (2011, June 13). URL: https://www.bbc.com/ukrainian/news/2011/06/110613_ukraine_sociology_az (accessed on 10.11.2022).
3. Lokhvitska L. Basic theories of moral development of personality in foreign psychology. Scientific Journal of the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (Series: Psychological Sciences). 2015. Issue 1 (46). С. 196-204.
4. The phenomenon of moral education in the dimensions of moral development of personality: historical canvas of the fundamentals. Scientific Notes of the National University of Ostroh Academy (Series: Psychology). 2018. № 6. С. 32-38.
5. Kohlberg L. The Psychology of Moral Development: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages. Vol. 2. Essays on Moral Development. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
6. Maritain J. Dziewięć wykładów o podstawowych pojęciach filozofii moralnej. Lublin: KUL, 2001.