A Critique of the Implementation of Moral Aims of Education in Kenya in the Light of Aristotelian Concept of Eudaimonia
Makoyo Stephen, Monanda
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Education throughout history has been charged with the responsibility of inculcating societal norms and culture into the learners. Educationists and philosophers have contended that education is incomplete if it fails to inculcate good morals among learners. Moral values have an intrinsic good of helping students grow up into responsible adults capable of enjoying a good life. This is referred to as the normative dimension of education. In Kenya, there are rising cases of indiscipline among the youth and the general public who have been schooled which point to a grim picture of the role of the school in character formation. This thesis, therefore, sought to critically analyse how moral goals of education are implemented in Kenya, with a view to investigating the challenges that schools face in implementing them. In essence, this thesis attempted to: appraise the significance of moral education in Kenya, examine the nature of moral goals of education in Kenya, examine the influence psychological theories of moral development have in the implementation of moral goals of education in Kenya, justify the need for a philosophical theory of morality in the implementation of moral goals of education in Kenya and to articulate plausible ideals of moral goal of education in Kenya. This was done by the application of two complementary theoretical frameworks, namely: Aristotelian concept of eudaimonia, and Kantian categorical imperative theory. Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia implies that a good life is a life of ethical conduct. He observed that if human beings practiced moral uprightness in their conduct, in tandem with ‘the golden mean’, then they would live happily. Immanuel Kant, on the other hand, argued that human conduct should be modelled on fixed ‘maxims’ or ‘principles’ referred to as the ‘Categorical Imperatives’. These imperatives should be modelled from the call of duty without considering consequences of human action. Three methods of philosophical inquiry were used, namely; critical method, philosophical analysis and prescriptive method. The study established that there exists a moral lacuna in the implementation of moral goals of education in Kenya resulting into unabated immoral behaviour such as negative ethnicity, religious intolerance, corruption, dishonesty and lust amongst the youth and the Kenyan society. From the findings of this study, some suggestions were offered. One, there was need to develop and introduce moral education (ME) as a discipline in its own right in Kenyan learning institutions. Two, an evaluation mechanism capable of measuring the implementation of moral goals of education was suggested. Three, a philosophy of moral education, that is, education for virtue and happiness, was propounded as necessary to guide the implementation of moral goals of education. Four, a fourfold criteria for implementing moral goals of education (MGE) was offered thus: eudaimotive, normative, evaluative and pedagogical. In conclusion, the study provided five recommendations. One, there was need to develop a moral education programme for learning institutions in Kenya. Two, there is need to formulate and articulate a national philosophy of education. Three, a study should be carried out on the best pedagogies in teaching and training children in moral education. Four, a study should be carried out in Kenyan secondary schools to find out the effectiveness of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) in imparting moral values. Finally, a study should be carried out in Teacher training colleges and universities to establish the nature of ME in these institutions. The study was intended to benefit educational stakeholders, parents and religious organisations in finding possible solutions to this perennial problem of poor character formation among the youth and provide alternative pathways in the development of good morals in learners for the benefit of humanity. The findings of the research are also intended to help curriculum developers in development of a moral education curriculum, with clear moral aims for educational institutions.