ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Education and the Idea of Common Good

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The idea of good and education have been symbiotically linked. This link between good and education has been established at the higher level of moral understanding. Moral good has basically two dimensions: common good and individual good. The common good is ideal, whereas the individual good is existential. The common good contains the universal thrusts for peace, harmony and respect for the human being. The common good involves human values that are above the specific values such as those of caste, gender, race and religion. These values are integral to the Constitution and find their mention even in the congeries of values in the draft National Education Policy (NEP) of 2019. However, it is true that these values need to be promoted through education. Education as a pedagogic process should lead to a normative spillover of such values. The quality of teachers has to be assessed in terms of their cognitive capacity to demobilise not only themselves, but also their students from the rigid sets of regressive values that interfere in the promotion of the common good.

Education offers an opportunity to reflectively endorse the universal conception of the common good through reflectively rejecting an appeal to regressive values. Reflectivity is important because it reduces the cognitive dependence on others’ (self-serving political leaders, conservative parents and obscurantist ideologues) rhetorical advice or mechanical ideological appeal. One can expect students who have acquired cognitive capacity to arrive at judgments independently. At the lower levels, however, the introduction of pedagogical tools could be necessary to achieve dissemination of values constitutive of the common good. Socio-culturally mixed classrooms provide an excellent space for achieving a normative spillover of human values that are constitutive of the common good.

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Updated On : 26th Jun, 2019
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