Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Teaching Ethics in Junior High

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Teaching Ethics in Junior High

Article excerpt

The family has traditionally been the place for children to learn values, respect, and ethics. Don Bower (2005), AAFCS President (2005-2006), spoke of his grandmother who told him to decide what to do assuming that she would be standing next to him. But the students we teach do not always have this background or support. As family and consumer sciences (FACS) educators, we are required to deliver lessons in decision-making, values, respect and ethics every day.

How does one teach ethics in the junior high? Whether identifying ethics as the goal or objective of the lesson or not, FCS classes instill in students the value of ethical decisions and behavior. The emotional and physical changes experienced at this age, as well as the need for acceptance and belonging place a high value on teaching the decision-making process and the concept of opportunity cost. "What do we give up when we make one choice over another? " By teaching these skills and knowledge, FCS teachers prepare students to live ethical lives.

Family living and child development classes stress positive interrelationships. Respect for others and group cooperation are as important in lab classes as the product being prepared. Consumer classes consider advertising, shoplifting, and letters of complaint, all of which involve ethical decision-making. The issues of appropriateness of clothing and the social pressures to conform to highly advertised and suggestive methods of dress bombard junior high school students. …

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