Morals & Values – Where do we learn them?

What are Morals and Values?

Morals describe what is right and wrong, whereas values explain important behavior and beliefs of a person or group. Morals are then based on the belief and understanding of those values.

The Catholic Catechism starts its section on Catholic morality with St. Leo the Great’s beautiful words:

Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God. (Catechism, #1691)


The Holy Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Ten Commandments
The Beattitudes
The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church
The Works of Mercy
Cardinal Virtues
Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Why Moral Values for Students?

When most people talk about a school curriculum, they think about math, science, social studies, and language courses. Seldom do I hear or read about moral values as being part of the curriculum. The problem is that the neglect of teaching moral values in schools is hurting our students and causing problems in society. If a person has never learned any moral values, how is she or he able to discern the difference between right and wrong? That is basically the essence of moral values education.

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

  1. Unconditional Love and Kindness (In most cases, if you love someone, he or she will love you back in return.)
  2. Honesty
  3. Hard Work
  4. Respect For Others
  5. Co-operation
  6. Compassion
  7. Forgiveness

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

1. Preparing Our Children For Future Roles In Society:

Knowledge gained in school is only one goal of education. The primary goals of education should be enabling students to gain knowledge and moral values. Our children will need both in preparing themselves to be good parents and citizens in society.

2. Many Parents Aren’t Teaching Moral Values:

If all parents were teaching their children moral values in the 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 from their parents the difference between right and wrong. This is because most mothers and fathers in their busy work days spend only a few hours with their children. In many families there is only one parent and no other role models for kids to follow.

3. There is Too Much Violence and Dishonesty in Society:

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? What about other times when students are caught cheating on exams? Then, too, we read about bullying in school and fights between gangs. If moral values were taught in schools, we would have fewer of these problems.

4. To Counter Bad Influences in Society:

Unfortunately, many of the role models of young people are setting bad examples. These bad examples range from sexual promiscuity, degrading of women, advocacy of violence, and the condoning of dishonesty in order to succeed.

5. Moral Values Will Stick With You For Life:

It’s amazing the amount of math and science knowledge I have forgotten since my school days. I haven’t, however, forgotten moral value lessons 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 we were stopped inches away from scoring a touchdown. When our school principal had heard many of my teammates complaining about how the officiating had caused us to lose the game, he came on the team bus after the game and said that in life the referee never beats you.

Resource: Coursehero