Monday, February 13, 2012

Freedom of Thought is Education


            The world is a vast array of different cultures, opinions, ideas, and personalities.  Despite some people’s unwillingness to accept conflicting opinions, the freedom of thought and idea is an essential key to effective learning because without new ideas a student cannot grow; when students are open and respectful of others’ opinions they learn from perspectives they may not have otherwise.  How a student approaches this idea is a matter of their individual ethics.  My own personal ethics are based in the “Rights - Responsibility Lens” with a primary concern of autonomy.  My ethical behavior is defined as attempting to seek out the best outcome while protecting a student’s rights.  New ideas promote educational growth.  An open attitude toward different perspectives and opinions can lead, not only, to a student’s educational growth, but also their personal growth. 
            Diversity within the learning environment should always be approached with openness, and students must always be respectful of each others’ ideas and opinions.  When students disagree with each other, they should ask questions and seek explanations.  Under no circumstances should another student be insulted.  This could led to some students feeling alienated from their learning environment, and a violation of the Code of Conduct.  If I were to witness the suppression of an individual’s rights, I would report any unreasonable violation.  My own weakness is that I am, at times, overly judgmental and opinionated.  While I strive to have the best intentions, I could be blinded by my motives and not see flaws within the methods that I use.  To protect an individual’s freedom I must be aware of moments that I may not be excepting of foreign dogmas.  Fellow students and I will benefit, and I will be upholding proper conduct necessary of an ethical student. 
            A particular strength that I have is that I am extremely independent and rarely rely on the help of others.  When I do it is within the bounds of acceptable behavior.  It ensures that I am at all times completely honest about the work that I have completed.  This individuality and policy are a pivotal element in upholding academic integrity.  A lack of autonomy and individuality of work and ideas threatens the integrity of the entire learning community.  These ideas should be allowed by all parties of a learning environment to flow freely without fear or insecurity.  Suppressing an individual’s ideals is like plagiarism in that it does not allow personal and unique qualities to show through work. 
            One of the most important reasons that a learning environment should promote the diversity of ideas is that it provides the most successful and enriched learning environment to the entire community.  This diversity helps to introduce students to new ideas and the world all around them.  When close-mindedness is introduced all parties suffer.  Not only do the victims suffer, but also the individual unwilling to be open to diversity suffers the most.  Biases toward race, sexual preferences, and religious views hinder the student’s ability to take in new information that can create extremely compelling growth.  These biases can compromise a student’s educational future, and dependent upon the severity disciplinary action could lead to expulsion.
            Working as an ethical learner is the knowledge on oneself, having openness to diversity, and adhering to the Code of Conduct and Integrity.  Honest work and individuality of ideas upholds the Code of Integrity.  When a student is respectful of the diversity of individuals and ideas, they are in compliance with the Code of Conduct.  Freedom of individual thought and ideas is the very definition of learning and education.

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