Applying Personal Values to Education

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Applying personal values to education – A student perspective

A university, like organizations and communities, are comprised of individuals representing different cultural and religious backgrounds. In defining the rules of conduct for individuals functioning together, it is necessary to formally define those rules to ensure that all are aware of the common values that should be adhered to and the consequences of non-adherence.

For students attending the University of Phoenix, there is the expectation that each will be familiar with the universities policies set forth in the Program Handbook. The university clearly states that "Students are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity".

One of the most important principles for an educational environment is fostering an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. This involves demonstrating respect and tolerance for others by. In discussions with the faculty and other students, ideas and concepts will be exchanged and there may be philosophical or theological disagreements. Disagreements alone do not constitute a problem but one must be sensitive in responding to disagreements in such a manner as to present an opposing view while showing respect for another's perspective.

Respect can mean different things to different people. In the context of a virtual educational environment, respect can be demonstrated by allowing others to voice opinions without attacking those opinions. It is possible to voice alternative views without attempting to undermine the other's position. Respect is also demonstrated by responding to and encouraging alternate views and refraining from any personal disparaging remarks towards any person or groups.

An example of this could involve a discussion of a highly controversial subject such as abortion. Discussions were personal views tend to have religious and emotional root can quickly evolve into something unpleasant. During such discussions, care should be given to avoid personal attacks, name-calling and overall judgmental statements. .Respect will also be demonstrated by maintaining the confidentiality of other students. Through classroom discussions and personal exchanges of students, personal or professional information may be shared. The student handbook clearly states that students are expected to "maintain confidentiality and respect the privacy of personal and professional information communicated about clients, one's employer, other students or their employers". (Students' Rights and Responsibilities p. 6) By showing respect for others, students and faculty alike will be free to openly exchange ideas.

The University of Phoenix has the expectation that students will practice the virtue of honesty in all of their academic endeavors. A demonstration of honesty is not cheating in any form or manner. There are many ways in which a student may cheat in academic endeavors from the use of cheat sheets to tapping into school computer systems to change grades. With each method of cheating comes slightly different motivating factors as well as different ways the individual justifies the behavior. The motivations and levels of retribution that must be paid are mitigating factors in a student's propensity to cheat. The motivating factor for student stealing exams in order to sell copies to other students will involve, among other things, disregard for authority and the desire to profit. In this case, the moral indiscretions go beyond simple dishonesty to outright theft. Such a student may likely understand that this act is wrong. This can be compared to a student that must hold a job to help support their family, is struggling to balance work and school and decides that the only way to pass the test is to write some of the answers on their hand (or a piece of paper) to refer to during the exam. For such a student, the moral indiscretion is not always as obvious nor are the long-term...
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