Moral Values for Students: A Necessary Part of the Curriculum

Updated on May 27, 2020
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul grew up on a farm where moral virtues such as hard work and honesty were cherished. Each of his classes has a moral lesson.

Students don't just need knowledge and know-how to succeed—they also need emotional intelligence and compassion.
Students don't just need knowledge and know-how to succeed—they also need emotional intelligence and compassion. | Source

Why Are Ethics and Morality Important for Children?

When most people think about a school curriculum, they think about math, science, social studies, and language courses. Seldom do I hear or read about moral values being part of educational curricula in the modern day.

This creates a unique problem. Neglecting to teach moral values alongside academic concepts in schools is hurting our students and causing problems in society. If an individual doesn't learn moral values as they develop, how will they be able to discern the difference between right and wrong?

The goal of incorporating moral values into education is to ensure that, upon graduation, students not only have the knowledge and skills needed to work and succeed, but also the compassion and emotional wherewithal to be a part of a safe, peaceful, and cooperative society.

Why Teach Moral Values in Schools?

As parents and educators, we should all advocate the teaching of moral values in our schools for the following five reasons.

1. To Prepare Our Children for Their Future Roles in Society

The acquisition of knowledge in school is only one goal of education. Another primary goal of education should be enabling students to gain moral values. Our children will need both knowledge and morality to prepare themselves to be good friends, parents, colleagues, coworkers, and citizens in society.

2. Because Many Parents Aren't Teaching Moral Values

If all parents were teaching their children moral values at home, it would not be necessary for the schools to do this work. The sad fact is that a lot of kids are not learning the difference between right and wrong from their parents. Some parents can only spend a few hours with their children every week due to their busy workdays. In many families, there is only one parent present and no other role models for kids to follow. Some children don't have parents at all.

3. To Provide an Alternative to the Violence and Dishonesty Students See Around Them

Every day, students are exposed to violence, dishonesty, and other social problems in the media and the real world. How many times have we heard about school shootings? How often are students are caught cheating on exams? How often do we read about bullying in schools and fights between gangs? If moral values were taught in schools, perhaps we would have fewer of these problems.

4. To Counter the Bad Influences in Society

Unfortunately, many of the role models young people look up to set bad examples. These bad examples can range from sexual misconduct to the degradation of women to the advocacy of violence to the condoning of using dishonesty to succeed.

5. Because These Values Will Stick With Them for Life

It's amazing the amount of math and science knowledge I have forgotten since my school days. I haven't, however, forgotten the moral lessons I learned in school. One of these moral lessons was learned while I was a varsity football player. Our team had just lost a tough game because the referee had ruled that we were stopped inches away from scoring a touchdown. When our school principal heard my teammates and I complaining about how the officiating had caused us to lose the game, he got on the bus afterward and said that, in life, the referee never beats you.

7 Important Moral Values Students Should Learn in School

It would serve society well if the following seven moral values were taught to students in schools.

1. Unconditional Love and Kindness

In most cases, if you love someone, they will love you back. This, however, is not the real meaning of love. Love should be unconditional. With more love in the world, kindness will follow and replace cruelty. It is crucial for students to learn that spreading love—not hate—will bring them happiness and success in their adulthood.

2. Honesty

Students must be taught that dishonesty and cheating are wrong and will get them nowhere in the future. As a student, one is only hurting oneself by cheating. Dishonesty, even if effective in the short term (e.g., cheating on a test), will eventually catch up to a person and end with negative consequences in the long term (e.g., being unable to pass an entrance exam for a college class due to having cheated on tests in related subject matter).

3. Hard Work

When I was young, I learned that success was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Nowadays, many students want to cheat and cut corners in their studies because they are lazy and don't place any value on hard work. This thinking must change. Those who are truly successful know that the work they put into something largely determines what they get out of it. If students learn to see hard work as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, they will be far happier working toward their goals as adults.

4. Respect for Others

Unfortunately, in our highly competitive, dog-eat-dog society, many people tread on others to get ahead in life. Respect for others should include respecting different religions, races, sexes, ideas, and lifestyles. When we lift those around us up instead of putting them down, we all have a better experience. It is important for students to learn that their successes will not be built on others' failures.

5. Cooperation

To achieve a common goal, all people must work together. If this is not done, a few people may profit, but everyone else will suffer. I still believe in the motto, "united we stand and divided we fall." Healthy competition can help people to innovate, but to be truly successful as a society, we must cooperate first and foremost.

6. Compassion

Compassion is defined as being sensitive to the needs of other people. If there were more compassion in the world, there would be far less hunger, conflict, homelessness, and unhappiness. If students were better educated in empathy, each new generation would have a greater chance of remedying the ills of society.

7. Forgiveness

As a Christian, I have learned that Jesus Christ taught us to forgive our enemies and the people who hurt us. In my experience, this idea rings true regardless of one's faith or lack thereof. In most cases, anger is caused by an unwillingness to forgive. There would be less violence and fighting in schools if students could learn this moral virtue.

The Author With His Sixth-Grade Students on a School Trip in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2010
The Author With His Sixth-Grade Students on a School Trip in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2010 | Source

How Would This Work?

I taught English in a Catholic school in Thailand for more than six years, and moral values were built into all of our lessons. Ten percent of each student's grade was based on how well they practiced moral values inside and outside of the classroom. This would be an excellent policy for other schools to adopt.

What is the most important moral value for students to learn?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • What is the use of moral values?

    Having good moral values is the foundation for being a good child, parent, spouse, and citizen.

  • How do I get success in our life by some more values and etiquettes?

    If you practice moral values such as love and honesty, you will be respected wherever and whatever you do in your life.

  • Why is honesty is important?

    In the Ten Commandments, it states that one should not steal or bear false witness against a neighbor. People do not respect a dishonest person. Being dishonest will also get you into jail at times.

  • How should moral values be taught, and why?

    Moral values should first be taught in the home so that children are trained to be compassionate, honest, and hard-working. They should continue to be taught in schools to prepare students to be good parents and citizens in society.

  • Why is compassion important?

    Compassion is important so that you can feel for other people and also try to see things through their eyes.

© 2011 Paul Richard Kuehn

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    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 weeks ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am so happy that you found this article helpful. Thank you for praying to Allah to bless me.

    • profile image

      Ibrahim Abdilatif 

      6 weeks ago

      masha allah I found this article very very helpful I pray allah to bless you in this world and hereafter . thank you thank you, thank you

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      You make a very good point, Syeda. You have given me an idea for a future related article about moral vales for students. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Syeda KhaledaI 

      2 months ago

      I found the article very interesting. It could have been excellent and clearer one if examples were there with each explained moral values.

      Thanks for your good write-up!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much, Ma! I'm extremely happy you loved my article.

    • profile image

      Ma Aracely 

      2 months ago

      Read your article. Love it!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am extremely pleased that my article was helpful for your assignment.

    • profile image

      Barbara 

      2 months ago

      Really helpful for an assignment I have, congrats!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am extremely happy to know that you found my article greatly inspiring. Thank you very much for the comment.

    • profile image

      Obi Christiana kanebi. 

      2 months ago

      I am very pleased to read your write up. It's greatly inspiring.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am very happy you liked my writing. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Anietie 

      3 months ago

      Thanks am very impressed on this writing kindly linked me up on future updates

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      The best way for students to develop positive values is from the teaching and actions of their parents. Students can also develop positive values from good role models in school, churches or temples, and coaches in sports.

    • profile image

      Naseer Maimuna 

      4 months ago

      What are the ways in which students can develop poaitive values which is necessary for their growth and develpoment?

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Will do. Thanks.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      Take all the time you need, Paul! Head on over to my article whenever you feel you're ready, it is waiting for you.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I look forward to reading your future article on moral relativism and morality. Give me more time to consider this topic before I get back to you.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      If you are interested I decided to write an article on the topic of moral relativism and morality. Your article is definitely the main inspiration for it, and I treated it more like a response to your views than strictly an analysis. Would love to hear your thoughts on my opinions expressed within the article.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for the explanation. You have given me something to think about.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      Moral Relativity: The hypothetical/figurative of saving the person you love or saving one-thousand strangers, but whichever you choose the other dies. Neither choice is evil, but one is moralistic the other is relatively moral. Save the thousand strangers when they can provide you nothing and you are a moralist, save the one you love because they are of more value and you are a relative moralist. Then again maybe you see the strangers as having more value.... Looking at which choice benefits you the most and choosing that one is the best choice, and thus the one you should make based on relative morality.

      Even Jesus Christ, to pander to what seems to be your beliefs, went in the temple and caused destruction to the shysters within. Whipping them and flipping their donations tables. Jesus was a moral relativist and taught such things which are regularly misconstrued because individuals feel kids are not able to comprehend it.

      Thus, moralistic views are regressive and limit the potential of children while also holding them to a higher standard than the majority of adults preaching their drivel to them; all the while those children who understand the importance of moral relativism don't take the moralistic choice just because it upholds morals rather they consider which choice is best to them relatively.

      These relative morals have no title, as they are not black and white, and the only accurate description of them is what leads you to live your best life. Just as Jesus would have wanted, Jesus the moral relativist not Jesus from the mythical legends better compared to Greek or Roman mythology and legend.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment, Kyler. Could you be more specific in defining moral relativity and moral relativism?

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      I think it is more important to teach moral relativity than it is to teach moral values. Religion often likes to willfully leave out that the majority of your interactions will be with those who practice the relativity of morals rather than moral behavior, this leaves children with the idea that if they are "good people" by the standards of a book written by shysters then they are set for life.

      You can find more examples against teaching moralist views, than you can find examples against moral relativism that aren't based in some religious dogma.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for commenting! You ask a very thought-provoking question. Children should be free to examine the bad things that happened in our history after they get to high school. As parents, we should point out both the good and bad in history and what is happening today.

    • profile image

      lcf 

      6 months ago

      Hi I too grew up in a rural area of Missouri in the 40's and 50's.. I agree with all you said. But I was not taught anything about the savage behavior of some of the participants of the civil war, or modern day slaves or about the Osage Murders, etc. I'm wondering if children should know these things. Obviously my parents and grandparents didn't thing so.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      7 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      You really made my day by saying that this article inspired you. Thank you very much.

    • profile image

      Hi 

      7 months ago

      This article really helped me a LOT..it inspires me.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Jacintha, I am very happy that my article has helped you in teaching. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      jacintha 

      8 months ago

      thank you for this article. it has really helped me in teaching.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Yes, you may if you give credit to me as the author of this article.

    • profile image

      Katrenalen Sappari 

      8 months ago

      Can i used this as a case study?

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comments, Rehana. They inspire me very much.

    • profile image

      Rehana Rashid 

      8 months ago

      this article is very informative and motivational for teacher.I like your effort and i wanted to work with you because i wanted to see the people for using moral values in daily life.good effort sir you are doing good job .stay bless and serve humanity with your great job.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      11 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Saba, I am very happy this article was helpful for you.

    • profile image

      Saba Riaz 

      11 months ago

      Thanks it is very helpful for me

    • profile image

      NK 

      13 months ago

      The problem with teaching morality in school is rooted in two different issues. First, and most obvious is simple: We all have a different idea of what is moral. Second, I don't believe it is the School systems job to teach morality itself. Now because of the first issue of subjectivity, we come up with the second problem. When we leave teachers and schools as a whole to teach children right from wrong, we leave it also in their hands to create whatever cookie cutter ideas they want. These teachers and schools would be free to make decisions on what our children think is right and wrong. They could in turn influence whole generations of people to think like them. I propose a slight variation of the solution given. I think that instead of giving the power of teaching morality to our educators, we should instead have teachers gently guide our students to understand how to choose their own moralities. As I say this I do want to make clear that I think the youngest of our children should be taught the basics of what is right and wrong, but I think it should come with a simple and understandable explanation for why that particular thing is right or wrong.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Sorry, I don't have one now but I will write one in the near future.

    • profile image

      James 

      13 months ago

      I'm looking for articles on self esteem and puberty

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you so very much for your encouraging comment. I am happy you share the same viewpoint as I do.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      13 months ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great article on moral values. Unfortunately, these are teachings that much of society today kicks against as it deems these an extension of the teachings in the Holy Bible.

      I do believe that these teachings on morals should be emphasized in our school's curriculum.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I greatly appreciate your comment!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. The education and training of teachers in moral values are very important.

    • profile image

      Zain 

      13 months ago

      Those moral lesson are so gorgeous

    • profile image

      Gary Garcia 

      13 months ago

      I have the same thoughts, it's timely that I read this. I'm a Google trainer and I want to teach values while imparting educational technology. I've seen the effects of technology and other media. Technology is here, the only way to make a change is to educate and train teachers well.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment, Ranjeet!

    • profile image

      Ranjeet Singh 

      13 months ago

      yes , i agree 4 these values

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Yes, I agree that school kids should be taught moral values so that they will have good manners and be able to share and care for their friends.

    • profile image

      Mythily Reddy 

      13 months ago

      School kids should be taught moral values displance good manners sharing and caring for their friends and causing

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      14 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your inspiring comment.

    • profile image

      eliza lizz 

      14 months ago

      very helpful. God bless your work.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      14 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am extremely happy that you found this article very helpful.

    • profile image

      Expert 

      14 months ago

      Thanks for such a nice article. It is really very helpful....

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      14 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you. I'm very pleased that this article was beneficial to you.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      14 months ago

      I liked this article; it was beneficial for my speech.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      14 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you for your very encouraging comment.

    • profile image

      Nadia Amelie 

      14 months ago

      You're such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      15 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you. I am happy you like this article.

    • profile image

      Rehana Tauqeer 

      15 months ago

      Nice and useful article

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      16 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am happy you found this article useful!

    • profile image

      varshika mishra 

      16 months ago

      wow it is very useful for me and my cousins

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      17 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Jetro, you may copy it but make sure that you give me credit for writing the article.

    • profile image

      jetro b. manucan 

      17 months ago

      thank you sir of the lessons it helps me so much.in teaching my children,values..permission to copy sir.. may God bless you

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for the comment. I am happy this article is helpful for you.

    • profile image

      Pragti 

      18 months ago

      So nice . It is helpful for me

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      19 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for the nice comments. You can email me at my hotmail address.

    • profile image

      catechist jacobs 

      19 months ago

      paul, am greatly inspired by your teachings and i would wish to become a benefactor and more so a close friend. kindly help me know how i can reach or converse with you.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you for your favorable comment!

    • profile image

      Joey 

      20 months ago

      So nice

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment!

    • profile image

      Phindile 

      20 months ago

      Thanks a lot

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      21 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for the good comment!

    • profile image

      sayoni samal 

      21 months ago

      nice thought...

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      21 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am very happy this article is helping you. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Marcus Kotei 

      21 months ago

      This is great and I like it. It is helping me a lot.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      22 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Yes, Feroz, scope of improvement is also a moral value for students.

    • profile image

      Feroz Shah 

      22 months ago

      NICE ARTICLE... THERE IS SCOPE OF IMPROVEMENT ALSO

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      22 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am very happy that you liked this article about moral values!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      22 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I appreciate your comment.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      22 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image

      Kashish 

      22 months ago

      Thanks for giving the speech.Thanks alot

    • profile image

      Kashish 

      22 months ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Kashish 

      22 months ago

      Without moral values there is no bright future

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      22 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for commenting, Muhammad. I appreciate your opinion.

    • profile image

      muhammad ilyas abdullah 

      22 months ago

      im agree with you,... this world need more moral values

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much! I am so pleased that you are a fan of my article.

    • profile image

      Prachi 

      23 months ago

      Thank you so much sir.....! Sir; you know I am was very big fan of you and your article.Again Thank you very much sir......!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment! I am very happy that this article helped you.

    • profile image

      krati gupta 

      2 years ago

      You helped me a lot with this article

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is an excellent topic, Nicholas, and I will write an article on this in the future.

    • profile image

      Nicholas Muasya 

      2 years ago

      Wish to get articles on moral education

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment.

    • profile image

      Bachha 

      2 years ago

      If a person is not following moral values then his or her life is just fake

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I will respond to your question soon.

    • profile image

      riry 

      2 years ago

      ive sent question, hope i get good response #prayin

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your encouraging comment, Kanan. I really appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Kanan singh 

      2 years ago

      Very good this all good moral values for the students of any age group

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I am very pleased that my article helped you with your research. Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      sathyabama 

      2 years ago

      Its really an wonderful article Mr. Paul Richard. Your article was very useful for my research reference. My research is about ethical vales and its importance in children. Thank you for your wonderful work sir.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment, Anbu.

    • profile image

      Anbu 

      2 years ago

      Yes, Inclulcating moral values in children is the need of the hour.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment!

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