February 24, 2011
Aisehmen Kartika aku....
Adoilaaaaa.....jahanamla aisehmen etika ak,mncarut sana-sini.....saper bleh jd tuan hakim?rraserny brape a ak bleh dpt ngan aisehmen ak y jahanam nih,hahaha
In the past, nowadays and in the future, human being is born to be a leader and a caliph in this world. We ourselves are the one who are responsible towards our own destiny by deciding how we want to live our life, whether we want to become someone who is ethically good and acceptable by the community members or vice versa. Subconsciously, we are living in a society who practises various kinds of ethical practices which produce differing and varying consequences and effects, and we ourselves are no exception as we too are having and holding up our own ethical principle that we believe is correct and suitable for ourselves. However, it is very important to take note that the thing that we practise is what we will obtain later as a result. So, as a part of the community, it is our responsibility to change what have been practised if we could sense something was not right and the community was heading towards its own downfall and destruction.
Altruism, duty theory, ethical egoism, existentialism, personality virtue theory, social morality theory and utilitarianism are all ethical theories that can be used by each one of us as a guide in order to become a better person. Though, maybe from our point of view the ethical theory that we hold unto is ‘perfect’, for sure there is still Achilles’ heel here and there, so, it is really crucial that we are able to evaluate and differentiate which one is good, and which one is the opposite, and only choose the best one to be followed and practised. Among all the seven theories mentioned above, I am very interested and have found out that the last theory, utilitarianism is the most suitable ethical theory for myself both as a personal and a professional.
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory founded by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The basic moral principle of utilitarianism is called “The Principle of Utility” or “The Greatest Happiness Principle” (MacKinnon, 2001).The theory emphasizes the idea that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility in maximizing happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. In the other word, a utilitarian is a person who prioritises the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
This theory has been named after the word utility which refers to a measure in economics of the relative satisfaction from or desirability of the consumption of goods, which leads the utilitarian theory to be described as a quantitative and reductionistic approach to ethics (Fieser, 2009). Whatever we do, moral that is worth of an action is determined by its outcome, meaning that the end result justifies the means and the intentions of the doer. According to Mill(1863), utilitarianism starts from the basis that pleasure and happiness are intrinsically valuable, that pain and suffering are intrinsically disvaluable, and that anything else has value only in its causing happiness or preventing suffering, for example instrumental , or as means to an end. Next, utilitarianism can be divided into two main types: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. The former states that when faced with a choice, we must first consider the likely consequences of potential actions in that particular case and from that, choose to do what we believe will generate the most overall happiness, meanwhile the latter emphasizes on when faced with a choice, we must look at potential rules of action to determine whether the generalized rule produces more happiness than otherwise, if it were to be constantly followed a choice, we must look at potential rules of action to determine whether the generalized rule produces more happiness than otherwise, if it were to be constantly followed. Thus, an action should only be carried out if it follows a rule that morally should be followed at all times.
So, why and how this ethical theory would become a useful guidance for me and help me to become a good teacher in the future? The first reason that I would love to discuss is in the aspect of being a role model and agent of change. Usually, when talking about ‘teacher’, people or community members specifically, always relate the rank as someone who is respectable and trustworthy. Maybe for some, gaining respect from others is a pleasing thing, however, personally I do not see it like that because from my point of view, respect means responsibility and by becoming a role model for others, it means that I am carrying extra burden. Moreover, as a teacher, I would not only become a role model just at my school, instead I would also referred to as a good example by the community as a whole. Every word uttered, every inch I moved would be highlighted and watched by others. As a result, it is very crucial for me to shape and prepare myself well with good attitudes and attributes in order to become a respectable figure both at school and outside the school compound. Becoming a role model, I must equipped myself with good positive attributes such as helpful, honest, punctual, trustworthy and so on because those qualities would be helpful for me to fulfill and ensure happiness and satisfaction of as many people as possible which is the main core and demand of the utilitarianism. For instance, in a school, there are two teachers who are sharing the same goal which is to ensure their pupils learn. However, both teachers are using different approaches towards the same class in order to achieve the shared end result. One is using tough approach by always shouting and scolding the pupils, meanwhile another one is soft spoken to the pupils. The pupils really enjoy the second teacher’s class and very active during her class by frequently asking the teacher questions regarding to the subject and as a result, almost all the pupils in her classroom achieve good grade; whereas, in contrast, when the first teacher enters the class, they become really passive and look very anxious and worried at times and the number of pupils who achieved good result is also less than number of pupils the first teacher has achieved. Eventhough both teachers are successful in achieving their goal, the manner and the end results obtained showed how this theory works. It shows that the consequence of second teacher’s approach who is practising good attributes bears better results and cover greater number of pupils in the class. Based on the example, by being a role model, I must behave myself well because my students and other community members would look at me as a referring point and would follow everything I do. Meaning here, it is no use if the teacher asked his or her pupils to speak softly and respect their friends but at the same time the teacher himself or herself does not do what he preached. Nowadays, punishments are considered as humiliation to pupils and it is something difficult for them to swallow and it is my responsibility as a teacher to make sure the pupils learn in a more exciting and attractive way rather than the way which would make them feel worry and anxious. All in all, the situation above can be related with what is emphasized in utilitarianism which is we ought to decide which action or practice is best by considering the likely or actual consequences of each alternative and as a teacher, I should be wise in choosing my approach because certain class is able to learn under pressure with satisfying results but certain is not. This is supported by the quotation below:
‘’ Pain is intrinsically bad and pleasure is intrinsically good. Something that produces pain may be accepted, but only if it causes more pleasure overall.”
Barbara MacKinnon, 2001
Next, in order to make people happy, I must become a rationale, considerable and tolerant person when interacting with people around me. Profession as a teacher requires me to interact with lots of people around me with each one of them is living in different characteristics and originated from different background. Thus, it is a real importance for me to possess all the three qualities mentioned previously and at the same time always improve my social skills for the sake of building good relationship with as many individuals and groups as possible. In school, there is teacher-teacher, teacher-student, teacher-management relationship that I have to look after carefully because if one of those relationships are broken, the consequences might be unbearable for me to handle and as a result, not only me will feel unhappy, instead the others will too. Every people has their own belief and principle that they strongly hold unto. People will not look at scenarios with similar perception. They would rather look at them and evaluate differently depending on the situations they are in and sometimes, rather than being rationale, people could also tend to be emotional and actions that some people happy that you do it, might make some other people happy if you do not do it. Equipping myself with good social and human relationship skills will provide advantages for me in building good rapport with people around me thus making many people happy. My relationship with people around me like my teacher friends, the parents, school administrators, school staffs, the pupils and the community members would play a significant role for my teaching profession because all of them would be helpful for me in providing information regarding with the pupils; sharing, contributing and exchanging ideas, and so on.
In addition, utilitarians support equality by equal consideration of interests. An individual who practises utilitarianism will always reject any arbitrary distinctions as to who is worthy of concern and who is not, and any discrimination between individuals. To be a good teacher, I must and will always try to be fair and just to everyone especially towards my pupils. I should avoid favouritism, discrimination or biasness because it would decrease my credibility and reputation both personally and professionally. However, it is undeniable that teacher is also human, and as a normal human being it is easier said than done not to have favouritism among our pupils as human being loves things that bring pleasure to them. Normal human being and in this case the teacher would love her pupils ‘more’ if the pupils are obedient, respect and kind to the teacher compared to the ones who are naughty, disobedient and irrespectable to her. Nevertheless, the teacher should avoid this ‘favouritism’ to be obviously seen by other pupils because it would lead to jealousy and unhappiness among them which is immoral and inappropriate behaviour according to the utilitarianism. For example, a teacher goes to the canteen and coincidentally sees one of her favourite pupils, so she would love to give her favourite pupils a treat, however the pupil is eating with her peers there and this is where the dilemma should arise within the teacher and in this situation, she should be careful with her next move. So, what a utilitarian and non-utilitarian teacher will and will not do? The answer is the non-utilitarian teacher will go on with her plan and ignoring the other pupils. In contrast, the utilitarian teacher would go on with the plan but at the same time also treating other pupils; or alternatively, he would just walk away and cancelling her plan. The decisions taken by the teacher are influenced by her realization of the importance of maintaining and ensuring the number of happy people are greater than the unhappy ones and this is what I should apply when I have become a teacher one day as what is mentioned by MacKinnon (2001), if before acting we are attempting to decide between two available alternative actions, we must estimate the likely results of each before compare their net utility. Besides, being a teacher, utilitarianism could also be applied pedagogically in the classroom during teaching and learning session. According to Brown (2000), there are three different learning styles that the children preferred. They are visual, kinesthetic and auditory. Therefore, in order to provide equality in learning for the pupils, teacher should vary their lesson by delivering them in variety of ways and suit all levels of pupils. Teacher should provide activities that involve as many learning styles as possible in a lesson by using interactive activities and activities that would encourage participation in the classroom such as games, songs, poems and so on. Teacher should also be aware of the activity difficulty level because if the activity is too easy or too difficult, pupils might become fed up and demotivated. Consequently, what can be seen here, it would lower down the children’s affective filter as they enjoy the class and as a result, their understanding would also increase thus helping the lesson to achieve its learning objectives and outcomes successfully.
Besides that, I will not being a teacher for just one day. I am really hopeful that teaching would be my profession for many years to come because to be honest, this is the profession that I really love. Therefore, to make sure my dream comes true, I have to maintain my motivation level. For every new year, teacher would have a new batch of students replacing another. In my part, I should see this as a change that would bring along a new challenge to me because every pupil is unique in their own way. Unable to maintain motivation would make me become less interested and lead to my resignation. As an example, as I have mentioned before, teacher is a profession that require myself to interact with lots of different people from different social class. So, my inability to make all people around me to feel happy with me will cost me dear. I would receive complaints from many people all around the corner and conflicts would occur. Consequently, I would feel stressful and do not feel comfortable and enjoy my job anymore. Therefore it is vital for me to take care of the relationships built because once it is deteriorated, it would be difficult to repair and here is where utilitarianism is important in order to please as many people as possible eventhough sometimes we might have an option that we prefer the most, but because of the other option is better for the greater number of utility, we have to sacrifice our option and opt for the one we less prefer. Being a utilitarian, I would also be willing to participate in school activities outside the working hours such as conducting extra classes, attending seminars and so on without much complaints and hesitation. This is one of the issues that always arise among the teachers in Malaysia nowadays regarding with working outside the actual working hours which cause the demand of salary rise. Hopefully, by practising utilitarianism, I would become happy with myself by making others happy without looking and hoping for rewards as a return.
Last but not least, teacher also plays a role as a decision maker. In school or in classroom, teacher is the leader for both organizations. The decisions made by the teacher would determine which directions the organizations will be heading for and the consequences of the decision would evaluate the leadership quality the teacher possesses. The decision is not necessarily satisfy important people or everyone as a whole, but the main importance is its consequence would lead to happiness to most of the people. For example, in a classroom, I want to elect a leader for the class. So, instead of choosing one by myself, I ask the class to vote the leader of their own choice, therefore, they will be having someone who they would comfortable to work with, to talk with and they feel is responsible and reliable enough to lead them throughout the year.
In conclusion, being a teacher is not easy. Teacher carries responsibilities as an educator and at the same time role model to all human beings. As a future teacher, I must prepare myself well because I have to sacrifice myself for the sake of others’ happiness, just like a candle burns itself in order to enlighten darkness.