Monday, 5 December, 2022

Behavioural Ethics in Teaching and Learning

M. Matiur Rahman

Behavioural ethics plays a very vital role in our teaching and learning activities to execute educational programs at different levels. In this context, I would like to clarify the relevant terms connected with the topic headline before going deep into the subject of discussion. Behaviour means the way a person behaves or functions in a particular situation. Ethics is the moral principles that control his behaviour. Now, behavioural ethics is the code of conduct that we follow while behaving with others in society. On the other hand, teaching is a process of giving information to students through a complex sequence of techniques. It is given mainly for learning which means the process of reading and studying something to acquire knowledge.

Appropriate behavioural ethics is desirable for both teachers and students. Teachers are models to our students who are mostly influenced by their behavioural ethics. The morals and values they learn from their teachers help the formation of their characters. Teachers can easily win the heart of their students by dint of good behaviour for which they are remembered with fondest love and reverence. In dealing with the students they should be kind, affectionate, sympathetic, friendly and cooperative. They should maintain a good rapport with them and avoid harsh comments and negative reinforcement. Any untoward behaviour by the teachers may hurt their sentiments. Teachers' prophetic role is possible through behavioural ethics.

If the divine qualities of love, pity and mercy are combined with behaviour, they will have a spiritual impact on teaching. That is why William Blake in his poem ‘Divine Image’ said: “Where mercy, love and pity dwell/ There God is also dwelling”

The teacher should be in a good state of mind before he enters the class with full preparation. If he is mentally upset due to personal problems, he may get irritated with the students. As a result, it will adversely affect the teaching and learning situation in the class. Behavioural ethics can deepen the relationship between the teachers and the students to create congenial teaching and learning atmosphere. The absence of it causes misunderstanding and disrespect. Conversely, students must cultivate and practice behavioural ethics in their life. We know that manner makes a man. So they should be well-behaved, modest and respectful to their teachers. They have to abide by the norms and ethos of the institution. It is the duty of the teachers to improve the morals of their students in addition to imparting education.

They can cite examples of moral lessons from the lives of famous persons of history. This is because “Lives of great men all remind us/we can make our lives sublime”

If the students in touch with their learned teachers in schools, colleges and universities can develop their behavioural ethics, they can be useful members of our society and good citizens of the country after the completion of their studies. However, more emphasis on teachers' behavioural ethics is needed for making progress in the behavioural ethics of their students. Teachers are held in high esteem as builders of man but when a teacher is accused of unbecoming conduct, it goes against the image of this noble profession. On the contrary, there is no denying the fact that the peaceful academic environment is sometimes disturbed due to lack of behavioural ethics among the students.

Thus behavioural ethics is very significant in our teaching and learning system. Without it, we cannot think of true education which is the gateway to success.


The writer is an educationist

and columnist.

E-mail: [email protected]