Religious Methods in Healthcare Ethics
The value of theology as far as human dignity is concerned is extremely immense and it largely hinges on God’s creation. Religion plays an important role in healthcare in that most patients attach enormous connection between physical illness and spirituality. Various religions such as Jews and Catholics have principles that they have established with regard to healthcare; this implies that religions have expectations that they have in so far as how they should be treated, what techniques should be used and the extent to which various types of medications should be used. For instance, the Roman Catholics have very stringent healthcare principles that guide or regulate the use of family planning methods.
Healthcare ethics is a practice that heavily borrows from other disciplines and theology is not an exception. This therefore implies that healthcare practitioners must always carefully consider religious and spiritual aspects as they go about their day to day duties of administering treatment and healthcare to human beings.
The attachment put on religious methods and principles in healthcare ethics by most people is an issue that cannot be underestimated; this research paper seeks to evaluate and provide an analysis of religious approaches as distinct methods in healthcare ethics. The main goal is to describe how religious factors influence the practice of healthcare ethics and focus will mainly be shifted towards the Jewish and Roman Catholic religions.
Religious principles form a crucial part of the practice of healthcare ethics
The Natural Law
According to the definition provided by Aquinas, natural law entails the approach in which intelligent creatures of God share in the eternal law. Eternity among the Christian circles is a terminology that is used to refer to the firm belief that believers will live forever once they pass on from earthly life  Page 27. The theological principle of natural law is widely used by Roman Catholics and typical theologians from this religion subscribe to the principles outlined by natural law. Natural law stipulates that individuals determine what is appropriate or inappropriate by way of reasoning rationally and evaluating the lessons derived from real life situations  Page 89.
According to the natural law, judgments that are made in an ethical manner have real meaning and in order to verify them, one must closely evaluate actual ethical reality. According to the Roman Catholics, any action that is done in a manner that beats natural purpose is deemed as being unnatural and thus theologically not acceptable. Natural law as far as ethics is concerned can be viewed from two main perspectives; from a reasoning approach and natural law as prescribed by the values of nature  Page 26.
All of God’s creations have different purposes and His intention is to have these creations fulfilling these specific purposes. For human beings, God’s most intelligent creation, their purpose is to procreate and participate in active and regular communion with God. Furthermore, God’s purpose for human beings is for them to ensure self-preservation. As God’s most intelligent creation, man also has the mandate to differentiate between good and evil by using simple reasoning.
The theological principles of natural law further stipulate that God’s intention for human being is for him to fulfill his purpose without interfering with his very well-being  page 93. Most Roman Catholics agree that a moral norm should at the very least hold for all and sundry; this in essence means that any given moral norm should be considered as being legitimate only if it is acceptable among people from all parts of the world. The Roman Catholics further argue that moral norms are subject to change since they are evolutionary in nature  Page 88. The ethical connection or linkage that exists between human being and the very environment in which he exists in is considered as being of greater magnitude as compared to the ethical correlations between humans themselves.
This then points to the physical and biological aspects of natural law; man should not act in a manner that violates nature which is God’s own creation. Failure to adhere to this accordingly is tantamount to sinful conduct in the eyes of God  Page 30. Application of natural law in healthcare ethics is widespread in the entire world; to begin with, a healthcare practitioner cannot act in a manner that jeopardizes the firm spiritual beliefs of a patient.
This is because such an approach would be tantamount to sin and thus a gross violation of God’s intentions for human beings. According to the theological principles stipulated in the natural law, God’s has a purpose for each and every individual and as such, a healthcare practitioner should no act in a manner that puts the very existence of individuals at risk.
The Human Person as God’s Image
All Christians have a very firm belief that human beings have been created in God’s own image; this consequently makes man to be the most important creation of God. The Holy Bible, particularly the Book of Genesis, has hugely emphasized on the significance of God’s creation and its divine stature. However, Roman Catholics have asserted the fact that even though we have been created in God’s own likeness and image; this doesn’t imply that we are His photocopies  Page 12.
Theologians continue to emphasize this stance by elaborating how perfect, righteous and unchanging God is as compared to the earthly man who is characterized by a sinful nature. What has made man so similar to God is that he dominates the rest of creation; this implies that he exercises authority over the rest of the world. The significance of this doctrine to healthcare ethics is quite immense; firstly, man to some extent is depicted as a co-creator of some sorts even though not in the magnitude of God. This in turn means that man must always act in a manner that will fulfill God’s intention for his creation  Page 44.
The Jews are very categorical as far as man’s domination over the rest of the world’s creation; they have clearly outlined that man should act in such a way that he becomes demeaning to nature. Were man to act in an unlimited manner towards nature, this would culminate into hazardous impacts to even man himself  Page 20. As such, man’s role is stewardship and thus we are mere caretakers of God’s creation. When administering treatment to patients, healthcare practitioners must always observe this glorious role entrusted to man by God; to fulfill His intentions for all His creation  Page 15.
Rules and General values
In Catholicism and Judaism, the interaction of human well-being, ethical principles and general moral values is an underlying issue. Many theologians consider basic norms as forming the main pillar in ethical considerations. Among other thinkers, it is accepted that authority in decision making should be employed when it comes to determination of various moral values while also applying the principles of natural law. The utilization of general values in making ethical judgments or decisions is quite evident throughout the practice of healthcare. For instance, when determining whether aborting is appropriate or not, some general values have to be considered  Page 54.
The Principle Of Double Effect
Purportedly, the main goal of the principle of double effect is to provide the relevant direction in instances when an action has the capacity of producing two distinct end-results; one negative result and a positive effect  Page 108. In essence therefore, the principle of double effect is primarily intended to guide the process of decision making in instances where an action is neither completely right nor completely wrong.
In issues or actions that have outright beneficial effects, chances of disputes arising are basically non-existent; equally, actions that are likely to generate total adverse effects seldom create any kind of controversy. In both of these circumstances, the principle of double effects cannot hold; there must be an element of both right and wrong  Page 30.
Abortion is an exemplary example of a practice in healthcare ethics that perfectly applies to the principle of double effects. This is because two contradicting consequences result from this kind of action; it causes death of the unborn child (negative or undesirable effect) and also can save the pregnant mother from death (positive or desirable effect)  Page 112. Another good example that applies to the principle of double effects as far as the practice of homecare ethics is concerned is whereby a pregnant woman is diagnosed with uterine cancer. In order to treat this kind of health complication effectively, the woman must be subjected to hysterectomy. This will consequently generate two end-results; the unborn infant will succumb to death while the woman’s life will end up being saved  page 32.
Conditions under which an action with positive and negative effects is done
According to the principle of double effects, an action that has both adverse and beneficial effects should be considered as being permissible only if it meets certain conditions that have bee highlighted below.
- a) The act mustn’t be morally wrong
This is the first condition that must be fulfilled in order to ascertain that an action is permissible. It stipulates that a given action should not be totally wrong beginning from the very onset. If the action is fundamentally wrong, all the consequences and circumstances not withstanding, the action is considered as being impermissible.
This condition heavily borrows from the principles of deontology which are primarily based on rules and obligations. A good practical example that describes this condition with regard to healthcare ethics is an instance in which a childless couple visits the physician in an attempt to get help in getting a child. The requirements of clinical practice provide that the man must produce a sperm so as the physician can ascertain who’s infertile  Page 117. However, in order for the man to produce sperm for analysis, he needs to masturbate. This is an act that is forbidden by the catholic medical ethics and is therefore impermissible. Even if the action has an element of benefits in that the physician will manage to make a comprehensive analysis, the act in itself is morally inappropriate  Page 108.
- b) The beneficial effect must not result from the negative effect
This is the second condition that guides the principle of double effect; it relates the causal chain and requires that a beneficial effect must not be derived from an effect that is deemed as undesirable. There are three main approaches to this particular condition of the principle of double effects; first and foremost, the action can result to a wrong effect which in turn produces the beneficial effect. This approach is considered as being unacceptable due to the fact that it doesn’t meet the requirements of this condition. Secondly, an action can result to two types of effects both of which are either desirable or negative effects but are not interconnected; this approach is acceptable based on the second condition of the principle of double effect. Finally, an action can initially cause a desirable effect which in turn causes bad effect; this is also acceptable since it meets the requirements of the second condition of the principle of double effect.
- c) The negative effect must not be intentionally intended by the agent.
This condition of the principle of double effect is strongly accepted by moralists from the Roman Catholic Religion and even philosophers from the discipline of deontology. This condition hinges on the concept of intentionality in that an action should not be carried out with the purpose of causing an undesirable effect  Page 110.
- d) The beneficial result must be greater than the bad impact
This condition is an excellent basis for forming conclusions with regard to the permissibility or impermissibility of actions. Roman Catholic ethicists agree that in order for an action to be permissible, the overall benefits must outweigh the expected adverse effects; however, some opponents suggest that it is practically impossible to provide a measure between the gains and harmful effects of an action.
Direct and Indirect
The two terms i.e. direct and indirect are applied to actions when they are approached from the perspective of the principle of double effect. An action can be regarded as direct if it fails to meet the conditions for the principle of double effect as stipulated above; direct actions are thus impermissible  Page 115. On the other hand, indirect actions are those that meet the conditions stipulated by the principle of double effect; an indirect action is therefore permissible.
The directness or indirectness of actions is largely based on the first two conditions of the principle of double effect or even in some cases, all of them. A good example with regard to directness or indirectness of actions as far as the practice of healthcare ethics is concerned is the process of abortion. An abortion can be direct or indirect; it is regarded as direct when the woman commits the action with the sole intention of getting rid of the unborn foetus. In this instance, the action is direct and thus it fails to meet the conditions of the principle of double effect. On the other hand, abortion can be indirect and thus right when it is intended to save a woman’s life. The death of the unborn infant will be foreseen but in this case it won’t qualify as being intentional  Page 113.
Euthanasia refers to a medical procedure that is performed on an individual so as to save him or her from pain, suffering and complicated health conditions by aiding his or her death  Page 134. Even though Jewish and Roman Catholic ethicists tend to generally agree on numerous aspects with regard to God’s intention and purpose for human being, the two religions tend to differ in the approaches that they employ while handling the issue of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide  Page 64.
Whereas the Roman Catholics tend to borrow a lot from natural law, the Jewish religion tends to base its reasoning and rationale upon traditional beliefs on moral ethics. The Jews also borrow a lot from textual sources as evident among a host of Jewish literature. The issue of euthanasia can broadly be evaluated from two main perspectives; opponents and proponents  Page 65. This is due to the fact that there has been widespread debate on this issue over the years; for instance, on whether to legalize assisted suicide or not. Debate has also predominantly revolved around the morality aspects of the practice of euthanasia in healthcare ethics.
Opposition towards Euthanasia
Among some Jewish and Roman Catholics, opposition towards euthanasia is fundamentally based on the reasoning that it is a gross violation of both human and divinity laws. Throughout the Biblical Books of Exodus and even Genesis, God’s stance regarding the unacceptability of killing under any given circumstances has been described  Page 65. Among the Catholic and Jewish opponents, there exists a category that opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide based on the traditional principles that prohibit these kinds of actions.
The rationale used by most Jewish opponents to euthanasia and/or assisted suicide is based on conventional legal guidelines that prohibit killing; other Catholics base their opposition on God’s Commandments  Page 66. In a conference held in the United States of America, leading bishops from the Roman Catholic religion issued a strong directive to healthcare practitioners; this directive clearly outlined the fact that only God has the right to cause death to any given individual since He is the only giver of life. They went on to state that everyone has a role to safeguard life regardless of the prevailing circumstances.
On the other hand, Jews opponents to euthanasia have a very strong stance towards euthanasia in that they prohibit injury or harm to individuals even in instances where consent has been given  Page 68. Despite the various differences between the Roman Catholics and Jews in their approach towards opposing euthanasia, both sets of religions employ core values that are mainly drawn from the Holy Bible and to some extent, tradition and reason  Page 73.
Proponents for Euthanasia
The proponents for euthanasia are mostly liberal thinkers and huge support is largely drawn from theological texts that have been produced by academicians or scholars. To begin with, most supporters from all religions for euthanasia and assisted suicide approach the issue from the reasoning that even though life is hugely important, it is not necessarily the most prestigious value for human beings  Page 116.
Numerous traditions have provisions that permit killing especially in cases where a person’s well-being is at risk. To add on to this, some traditions have principles that facilitate for individuals to voluntary choose life or death. According to Alvin Reines, a liberal Jewish believer can terminate his own life or give consent to another person to kill him and this is morally permissible. However, proponents of euthanasia from both religious sides are ardent opponents of active killing and consider it as morally impermissible. Another important aspect of the proponents’ approach is that they are very cautious with regard to when, how and why euthanasia should be utilized be healthcare practitioners  Page 75.
Actions in Euthanasia and assisted suicide
There exist various types of actions that are considered in the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The first action relates to withholding of life-sustaining treatment; this is an action that is classified as not killing rather it is tantamount to allowing an individual to die. Even though this kind of action is not totally regarded as permissible, there exists little dispute challenging its morality. The second type of action that is utilized in euthanasia is withdrawal of life sustaining treatment. Majority of Roman Catholics believe that this action has more harmful impacts than benefits and thus regard it as immoral. Withdrawal and withholding of life sustaining treatment may be different terms technically but from ethical and legal perspectives, they are one and the same. The third kind of action in euthanasia is pain relieving procedures that quicken termination of an individual’s life. This kind of action is not primarily intended to cause death and is thus indirect. However, there are instances in which this is not the case; for instance, when a doctor gives a patient high morphine dosage in order to prevent breathing  Page 137. The other actions include assisted suicide and active euthanasia while are more direct forms of actions according to the principle of double effect.
As outlined in the thesis of this research paper, religious principles form a very crucial part of the practice of healthcare ethics. This statement has clearly been justified throughout the entire paper in the various chapters. The first chapter focused on the issue of natural law and how it impacts the practice of healthcare ethics. It was illustrated that natural law basically entails utilization of reasoning and rationale in making decisions. Religious principles borrow heavily from natural law; for instance, both Jews and Roman Catholics believe that man should not jeopardize the life of others since we are all God’s creation. The second chapter tackled the issue of principle of double effect; an approach that is used in cases where an action can result to beneficial and bad impacts. The conditions that are used in assessing whether actions are permissible or impermissible were also described in detailed. The final section focused on euthanasia and assisted suicide and arguments from both sides, i.e. proponents and opponents, have been given. In a nutshell, all these sections have immensely illuminated the fact that religious principles form a very crucial part of the practice of healthcare ethics.
Mackler, page 27
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- Kelly, D. F. (2004). Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.
- Mackler, A. L. (2003). Introduction to Jewish and Catholic Bioethics: A Comparative Analysis. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.
Avtex Fibers may easily be blamed for the contamination of the ground water around Warren County Virginia. However, the blame can also be placed squarely on the Environmental Protection Agency for taking too long to act to safe guard the ground water of the region. The agency who sole purpose is to ensure that the environment is protected and conserved failed to minimize and curb the problem in time. The clean up efforts began in 1989 meaning that since the early 1980 the state agency of EPA had not paid much attention to the waste disposal methods of the company. State officials had inspected the water around Warren in 1982 and found that the water smelled like sulfur and was not pure (Environmental Background Information Centre, 2001).
The company was closed but reopened later after minor adjustments to the disposal methods. The establishment of super fund to look into ground water contamination across the states was a failure because to begin with it creates more environmental contamination in the name of clean up exercises, for example the decided to demolish the buildings of the Avtex company and consolidated demolished rubble and waste material into waste piles (EPA, 2011). These waste piles are an environmental eye sore.
It would have been economical and cost effective if the agency focused on treating and decontaminating the buildings for future re-use. Superfund has also adopted the one clean up method fits all approach. Considering that the levels of contamination may vary from one company to another superfund should set out policies and clean up strategies for each company in question. In the case of Avtex fibers for instance the agency would have focused on determining ways in which the ground water around warren can be decontaminated and establish ways in which the Avtex Company would have reduced the contaminants in ground water and the soil.
EPA (2011). Avtex Fibers, Inc. Retrieved on 9th Nov from http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/npl/VAD070358684.htm
Environmental Background Information Centre (2001). Avtex Fibers, Front Royal Retrieved on 9th Nov from http://www.movementech.org/gis/pdf/avtexreport.pdf
Balduzzi, Elton and Green (2001) analyze the impact of programmed macroeconomic announcement on prices, trading volume and bid ask spreads. The results from the study have shown that 17 public news releases affect the prices of various instruments in the market. For instance, they affect the prices of 3 month bill, 2 year note and 10 year note. They also affect the prices of 30 year bond. The effect differs from one instrument to another depending on the maturity of the instruments. Balduzzi, Elton and Green (2001) note an increase in price volatility and also an increase in trading volume. In addition, the news release lead to widening of the bid ask spread. The changes occurring after the new release have an implication on the microstructure of the bond market according to the authors (Balduzzi, Elton &Green, 2001).
The article has various strengths unlike other articles. First, Balduzzi, Elton and Green (2001) have overcome weaknesses of other studies. The researchers have used a wider set of macroeconomic announcements in order to make the studies valid. They have used a total of 26 macroeconomic announcements instead of 3 announcements. In addition, Balduzzi, Elton and Green (2001) have used a longer period to carry out their study unlike other authors. The researchers have used a 5 year period instead of 1 year period used by researchers like Fleming and Remolona. Additionally, they have used different treasury instruments. The instruments used in the research are four, but not one.
Second, the researchers have differentiated between different kinds of announcement and their components. Some of the researchers like Fleming and Remolona have used three announcements including PPI, CPI and employment. Third, the researchers have organized the research well to ensure the reader understands it. The research has several sections. That is section II that identifies the data set and section III that analyzes the impact of announcements on the prices. Section IV examines the impact of the announcements on trading activity like trading volume, bid ask spreads and volatility of prices. Section V is a summary of the study. Lastly, Balduzzi, Elton and Green (2001) have explained the concepts in the article well and this made it easy for readers to comprehend the article (Balduzzi, Elton &Green, 2001).
Balduzzi, P.,Elton,E.J.,&Green,C.T.(2001).Economic news and bond prices. Evidence from the US treasury market. Journal of financial and quantitative analysis, vol36, issue no 4, p523-543
The origin of Gore-Tex can be traced back in 1958 after Wilbert Gore discovered a market opportunity for polytetrafluoethylene which he used for electronic wire insulation (Purinton & Filter, 1992). Gore’s son, Bob discovered PTFE use in the formation of strong porous material under fast stretching in high temperatures. This discovery was later patented to Gore-Tex and was chemically inert, smooth to touch, good aging qualities, permeable, strong, hydrophobic, biocompatible and durable under any weather conditions.
PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene is a per fluorocarbon resin polymer and is PTFE processed into new physical forms. Clinically, Gore-Tex is used to replace human tissue like the case of human arteries which can be replaced using this polymer (Purinton & Filter, 1992). This is because PTFE strong enough to contain without leaking the pressure of blood in the arteries. Additionally, patients in all age brackets have continually received vascular grafts Gore-Tex made for basically any body part.
The expanded Gore-Tex has also received uses as an implant material in replacement of soft tissues in the heart as well as in the stomach tissues. This is because the implant material provides the necessary thickness and strength required in most repairs for soft tissues. Additionally, the material guarantees patient’s comfort and easy to sew in place processes due to the unflaying structure. Expanded Gore-Tex used in soft tissue implants is biocompatible and allows cells to penetrate since it is incorporated and not encapsulated in surrounding material.
In Knee surgery, products made of Gore are used to ligaments replacements due to the fact that it provides majority of the strength longitudinally where necessary (Purinton & Filter, 1992). Surgically, Gore-Tex is also used for tissue attachment in medical sutures due to its strength and silk like nature which makes it used to produce threads of different sizes.
Purinton, N., & Filter, S., (1992). Gore-Tex. Paper conservator. Retrieved on 3 Oct 2011 http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v11/bp11-33.html.
Human Geography Assignment
Provision of infrastructure for economic development in Africa to both the academia and the policy circles make use of the relationship between infrastructure and economic growth. Some challenges experienced especially in Africa in providing infrastructure include funding which if borrowed overseas means significant interest and foreign currency capital repayments (Marston, & Knox, 2009). Again if funding is domestic, the result is expensive borrowing of capital for firms funding other project.
The type of infrastructure is also important as different infrastructure types exert different impacts to growth hence care must be taken to improve one at the expense of the other. Infrastructure provision in Africa is also bound by expansion vs. maintenance. The quality of infrastructure is not measurable and hence establishing the cost of maintenance or expansion is hard (Marston, & Knox, 2009). Although the location of new projects in infrastructure is quit essential, there is no criterion on how infrastructure decisions should be made.
These challenges are not fixed though and it is believed that they can be done away with. For instance, the funding can be made as collaboration efforts between the local firms and the organizations located overseas at fixed interest rates that do not oppress the receiving nation. Again, the type of infrastructure can be provided based on the current need which when addressed results to the nation’s economic growth being better placed.
However, I do not agree to the fact that infrastructure funding in Africa can be overcome by just funding from overseas as some countries lender such funds with oppressive aims to the receiving nations (Marston, & Knox, 2009). I believe however that, countries in need of funding should look for sources with better intentions especially based on previous interactions especially across national borders.
Marston, A, & Knox, P., (2009). Human geography. Prentice Hall PTR. USA
Among the many wars which have described as modern wars the United States Civil war is among the first of these wars. The war was characterized by various new innovations such as the use of aerial surveillance for guiding artillery, the sinking of the first ship by the submarine, the use of ironclad ships, moving the troops by mechanized means, the use of riffled guns; both the infantry a weapons and the naval guns, use of ironclad ships, repeating riffles, trench warfare, and percussive shells among many other new techniques. These same techniques were used in latter wars such as the Franco-Prussian war and the Austria - Prussia war.
James McPherson documents the history of the American civil war in his book Battle Cry of Freedom, he notes that both sides in this war claimed to be fighting for freedom the south according the Davis Jefferson(1863) was forced to take up arms in order to vindicate their political rights, equality, state sovereignty and for freedom. The publicists of the North on the other hand ridiculed the claim of confederacy infighting for freedom. Their motto according to Cullen Bryant is slavery but not liberty.
The initial fighting of the Northern was nothing to do with freeing the slaves. This can be seen in Lincoln’s statement arguing that, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with slavery in the states where they exists (McPherson. 123). However, after a year the Congress and Lincoln decided to make salves emancipation in the Confederate states a policy of the Union war. This book further provides details of military campaigns such as military leader’s logistics strategy and common soldiers.
The kind of description concerning the civil war in this book clearly supports the point that the civil war has to be considered as the first modern war. The author describes the Confederate army based in Mesas who built extensive entrenchments and used wooden guns mounted by General Johnston the general commanded the patrols to move up the hills of Potomac ‘s south bank where they constructed batteries all down the stream (p.53).
The movie PBS, The Civil War, "Forever Free" directed by Ken Burns, provides in-depth details concerning the key players in the American civil war. This was a time when the Confederates generals such as Robert E Lee and Stone wall Jackson came into prominence. Jacksons and his 18,000 troops managed to successfully pin down two large armies in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Stonewall Jackson and General Lee manage to outwit the superior’s forces of the Union and move forward to Maryland. This is due to the adoption of technology. One of this is the use of railroads. The railroads also enabled the cars to be transferred in helping in easy handling freight instead of having to be unloaded and reloaded.
The South only had 9,000 miles of the rail road. The North had suffered much as the war began but when the ironclad ship was introduced; it changed the whole nature of the war. The north also had more manufacturing facilities compared to the south such as more locomotives and rails. Other technologies used in this war included the revolving pistols, flame throwers, submarines, land mines, observation balloons, grenades, repeating guns and hulled warships of iron. These technologies used in the American civil war this makes the Civil War to be considered as the first modern war.
McPherson, J (2003) Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford University Press.
PBS, the Civil War, "Forever Free"
Cultural diversity refers to existence different cultures in a single setting. Cultural diversity has become an important issue in modern society due to various factors. Though cultural diversity has numerous advantages to a community, it bearers serious challenges that must be overcome for the benefits to be realized. This paper described what cultural diversity is, the challenges posed by cultural diversity and how to overcome this challenges.
Cultural diversity refers to differences in culture among individual that make up a certain community or group (Pennstate College, 2010). With increased globalization and changing demographic structure of the population, cultural diversity has become a reality in different areas of the American society including in school setting. Today, schools have student populations that consist of individual from different races, ethnic groups and different nationality who are bound to exhibit different cultural values.
Cultural diversity is a positive aspect in any community including schools. This is because it enables students to gain wider knowledge and experience by learning from each others ways of doing things. However, cultural diversity introduces various challenges that have to be dealt with in order to enhance meaningful interaction between members of the school community.
Culture is described as a set of values, beliefs and practices that bind a wide group of people together and guides their way of doing things (Pennstate College, 2010). Culture largely influences our way of thinking, our opinions, behaviors and our way of interpreting our external environment. This implies by schools having individuals from different cultures the challenges associated with these individuals having different opinions and different way of thinking arises. For example, a student may fail to understand why another student acts differently from him and this may introduced difficulties in interactions. Differences in perception and interpretation may also introduce difficulties in communications between students.
In order to address the diversity challenges mentioned above, educators must develop diversity competence among the students (Pennstate College, 2010). Developing competence in cultural diversity involves four aspects; awareness, creation of knowledge, development of skills and changing behaviors. The first aspect involves creation of awareness among students that the school is composed of individual from different cultural backgrounds (Pennstate College, 2010). This awareness is not enough to ensure effective school interactions and therefore educators must go further and enlighten the students on the implications that diversity can have.
Students must have the knowledge that due to the cultural difference they are bound to have different values, perceptions, practices and behaviors. Fictions, mystery and prototypes must be clarified and eliminated. The third aspect involves development of important skills that will enable the coexistence among students of different cultures. This skills are such; intercultural understanding, tolerance (to other people behaviors and opinions), interpersonal skills and communication skills. The final aspect in developing diversity competency is encouraging a change in behavior. Educators should use the knowledge acquired about different cultures and the skills developed to encourage students to change their actions towards people from different cultures. With this competence, there is bound to be a peaceful coexistence between the diverse cultures that make up the school population.
Cultural diversity has been described as differences in cultures with a given setting. Cultural diversity has become a reality in school setting as schools population continues to admit student of different races, ethnic groups, nationality and religion. Though there are many advantages associated with cultural diversity, there are also challenges involved. This paper has discussed the issue of cultural diversity, it challenges and how to overcome these challenges.
Pennstate College (2010). An Overview of Diversity Awareness. October 14, 2011. Retrieved from http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ui362.pdf
The Integrated Model for the Development of Intercultural Maturity by King and Magolda
Several models have been developed with the aim of developing cultural competence among diverse communities such as schools. In most cases these models yield mixed results. This paper has discussed the Integrated Model for the Development of Intercultural Maturity that was developed by King and Magolda (2005). In order to overcome the limitation of prior model, this model focused on a comprehensive approach that makes consideration of the holistic process of human construction of culture.
The integrated model of the development of intercultural maturity by King and Magolda (2005) attempts to introduced a holistic view to the issues of cultural maturity. This model has adopted much of its concept from the human development model developed by Kegan. Kegan’s model evaluates the process of adult growth and changes over time. Important to King and Magolda (2005) cultural maturity was the idea by Kegan that the construction of individual understanding is largely affected by the individual culture.
This construction becomes more complex as individual become older. King & Magolda used this idea to come up with a multi-dimensional model for developing cultural maturity. Three important dimensions were included in the model; cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal. According to the model individual recognize their cultural role through a process that involves construction, reconstruction and interpretation of experiences.
The first dimension deals with the role that an individual cognitive process contributes to cultural maturity. According to this dimension an individual constructs culture through what he learns and therefore his cultural understanding can be influenced by influenced the learning process. The second dimension offers the explanations that individual attributes also play a significant part in the development of individual perceptions. This attributes mainly refers to traits that are innate to individual.
The third dimension offers the explanation that interaction between persons also contributes to the development of an individual’s culture. These three dimensions play a significant role in affecting the development of culture and in order to create intercultural maturity the three dimensions must be actively considered. Over the years efforts to develop cultural competence among students have yielded diversity of outcome. This is mainly because most of these efforts have focused on one or two of the dimension that shapes an individual’s perception of culture and thereby failing to come up with model that would promote holistic change. In order to have the desired outcome, all dimensions that influence human understanding of cultures must be considered.
Focusing on collaborative learning is one of the education practices that would promote development of intercultural maturity. Collaborative learning is whereby students come together in groups to learn from one another. This practice would enable more and meaningful interactions between individuals from different cultural backgrounds thereby influencing the students’ cultural perception as explained by interpersonal dimension of the model. Since this learning involves activities such peer learning and facilitation, students would get an opportunity to understand each others culture and thereby developing greater tolerance towards each other. Another education practice that would promote development of cultural maturity is the inclusion in the curriculum of program that enhance development of skills such as; interpersonal relations, leadership, teamwork and communication skills. This would help students to develop competencies on how to act in a diverse environment.
In contrast with many other models, the Integrated Model for the Development of Intercultural Maturity has focused on the holistic process through which human construct their cultures. This model has identified three dimensions in which this construction takes place; the cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal. This paper has provided an analysis of this model.
King, P. M. & Magolda, M.. B. (2005). A developmental model of intercultural maturity. Journal of College Student Development, 46 (6), 571-592.
Cultural policy is a not a strange term to many individuals. However, very few individuals can give a definite description of what a cultural policy is and what it entails. This paper has described a cultural policy, its importance and some of the important issues that should be addressed by the policies.
Cultural policies are general guidelines that govern issues that relate to culture (Adams and Goldbard, 1987). The cultural policies define the important elements of cultures and how these elements should be applied or treated. These policies are meant to have an impact of various elements of culture in order to ensure protection of everybody’s interests. These policies may be national wide, region wide or local.
These policies may even be specific to particular institutions or organizations. These entities (federal, state or institution) enacts rules and plans concerning how particular elements of culture should be treated in order to promote positive cultural development (Association of International educators, 2006). The sum of these rule and plans of actions are what constitute the cultural policies. These policies apply to different areas of life including work places and in education.
Cultural policies are important for the creation and protection of the cultural identity of a particular group. Every human being has a right to a cultural life (Adams and Goldbard, 1987). The cultural policies are critical in ensuring that this individual right is respected every where include in education setting. Individual must practice their culture free of fear or intimidation from any quota. Cultural policies also help in the preservation of culture.
Through cultural policies various cultural heritage can be promoted and maintained. For example, there are policies that promote development of art and music which is an important part of culture. Without such policies many cultures will be forget and eroded out (Association of International educators, 2006). Good cultural policies in education should advocate preservation of culture by creating awareness and inclusion of cultural education with the curriculum. Another importance of cultural policies is to ensure peaceful coexistence between different cultures. Every society contains a diversity of cultures and this gives rise to various challenges associated with the interaction of these cultures. Cultural policies help in managing intercultural interaction in order to enhance the positive outcome and minimize negative outcome from this interaction.
In order to ensure positive cultural development a cultural policies should address the issue of equality. This implies that all cultures being governed by the policies should be treated equally. For many years federal government cultural policies have focused on the development of the culture of the majority and ignored the minority cultures. Such as a policies may give rise to conflict. Another important aspect that a cultural policy should address concerns the promotion of cultural diversity. With globalization no man remains like an island. This means that there must be interaction between culture and cultural policies should embrace this reality. The must address issues such creation of cultural awareness and understanding as well as elimination of cultural discrimination in order to ensure that diversity is promoted.
A cultural policy refers to a set of guidelines that govern an institution, state, federal government or any other entity in its effort of developing culture. Cultural policies have various significant importances including; developing cultural identity, preservation of culture and managing cultural interaction. This paper has described cultural policies and its importance as well as some of the important issues that should be addressed by this policy.
Adams, D. and Goldbard, A.(1987), A New Cultural Policy for the United States, Retrieved Nov. 2010 from http://www.wwcd.org/policy/US/proposals/US_policy.html
Association of International educators (2006), An International Education Policy For U.S. Leadership, Competitiveness, And Security, Retrieved Nov. 2010 from http://www.nafsa.org/public_policy.sec/united_states_international/toward_an_internationalc
According to Suanders and Kardia (2009) an inclusive classroom is one that incorporates the needs of every individual and allow for participation of everyone in the learning process. To great extent inclusive interaction is dependent of the kind of interaction that exists between the teacher and the students. This interaction is influences by various aspects including the course content (Saunders and Kardia, 2009). The course content makes significant contributions toward the student learning experience. In order to enhance teacher/ student interaction the teacher must include different perspectives in the content to factor in different individual capacity. The instructor should also ensure that content focuses on materials from different cultural background to ensure that the students learn from diversified points of view.
Another aspect that affects student/ teacher interaction is class setting is the teacher prior assumptions and awareness of potential multicultural issues in classroom situation (Saunders and Kardia, 2009). Important assumption areas that need to be addressed include; assumption of learning behaviors and capabilities of the students as well as assumption of students’ social identities. Such assumptions by the teacher are manifested during the teacher/ student interaction and significant affect the learning experience of the student. These assumptions have to be managed because they may lead to misinterpretations by students which consequently result in less than fulfilling interactions.
How the teacher plans class sessions also has a significant impact on the teacher/ student interaction (Saunders and Kardia, 2009). The teacher should ensure that class sessions are organized in way that they result in meaningful experiences for all students. Various aspects should be considered when planning for class sessions. These are such as; accommodation, attendance cultural reference points, instructional strategies, grading and grouping of students for learning. Each of these aspects of class sessions affect the experiences of students and therefore must be designed in ways that they favor each and every individual.
Knowledge about diverse background of the student is another aspect that affects the teacher/ students interaction (Saunders and Kardia, 2009). This knowledge affects the level at which the teacher can be able to relate with the students. If the teacher has substantial information of the students’ backgrounds, he or she would be able to relate with the student at much closer level leading to meaningful and enhanced experiences for the students. It is therefore important for teachers to make the effort of understanding their students. This will not only enable an interaction at personal level but will also introduce the feeling of compassion and care among the students and which will consequently enhance the relationship between the students and the teachers.
The final aspect that affects teacher/ student interaction is the teacher decisions, comments and behaviors during the teaching process (Saunders and Kardia, 2009). Students perceive that a teacher exert a lot of control in the classroom and therefore lay deep emphasis on comments and decision made by the teacher. The teacher’s behaviors also have a huge impact on the student and are interpreted differently by different students. It is therefore very important for teacher to carefully plan their teaching session in order to avoid the students’ getting wrong impression that the teacher did not intend to communicate. However, as much as teacher should plan for their sessions, decisions and actions they must always prepare for unexpected occurrence because how they respond to these occurrences will also have an impact on the student.
Saunders, S. and Kardia, D. (2009) Creating Inclusive College Classrooms. Retrieved Nov. 2010 from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/P3_1.php
The need to promote diversity has been emphasized even in the higher learning institution. This is because diversity enhances the students learning experiences through introduction of diverse knowledge and skills and also development of competences as result of intercultural interaction. Excellence inclusive is an idea that aims to integrate the element of diversity and inclusion with academic excellence. Proponent of this idea believe that diversity, inclusion and academic excellence can be connected but in order to achieve this, learning institution must shift focus to laying more emphasis on the quality of experience derived from the diverse environment. This paper has discussed this concept of excellence inclusive.
Inclusive excellence refers to academic excellence that is achieved through the inclusion of diverse cultures in learning. The term inclusive excellence was coiled by the AAC&U during a project that sought to explore way in which colleges and university make use of diversity as strategy of achieving academic excellence. This project expressed the belief that diversity, inclusion and academic excellence can be connected. The inclusive excellence idea was meant to integrate quality and diversity. Proponent of this idea realized that there is need to move away from emphasis on numbers of diverse groups and start focusing on the quality of experience being derived from having a rich diversity. According to (Pedersen and Musil, 2006) diversity provides a higher learning institution with various advantages that if utilized can translate into academic excellence.
In Inclusive Excellence, diversity has been identified as core dimension for academic excellence. According to Clayton- Pedersen and Musil (2006) framework, learning in an environment that has a rich diversity helps the students to develop cognitive skills, intellectual competencies and civic understanding that enable them to fit into the society which is becoming increasingly diverse. Diversity in simple term mean individual differences based on race, religion, ethnic community, nationality, gender, class, status, political and sexual orientation among many others.
Each of these diverse groups introduces different ways of thinking and interpreting things into an academic institution. This means that each diverse group makes its own unique contribution towards learning which enhances the learning process. Therefore it becomes advantageous for institution to create diverse learning community as through this they also get diverse knowledge and skills associated with the different groups
In addition to knowledge contribution made by the diverse cultural groups, diversity also enhance the academic excellence through enhancing the process of student interaction. Learning takes places through interaction, either between the student and the teacher or among the students. The learning process becomes more meaningful when the interacting parties have different things to share. In such an interaction the different parties stand to get significant gain from the interaction process.
The element of inclusion is also central to Pedersen and Musil’s framework (2006). Inclusion refers to a process of intentionally including the different diverse groups into the learning process and allowing them to make significant participation. Inclusion adds value to diversity. An academic institution can have diversity but without inclusion they may not achieve the desire excellence. For a meaningful interaction process between the diverse individual to take place all individual must be allowed equal opportunity to participate in the process. This is because inclusion brings about satisfaction which is an important element in the students’ experience.
Inclusive excellence is a concept that seeks to integrate the element of diversity and academic excellence with the higher learning institution. Proponents of this concept believe that diversity and inclusion introduces various benefits to higher learning institutions which if well utilized can result in academic excellence. This paper has discussed this concept.
Clayton- Pedersen, A.R. and Musil, C. M. (2006).A Framework for Making Excellence Inclusive. Retrieved Nov. 2010 from http://www.aacu.org/inclusive_excellence/documents/MEIPaperLastRevised12308.pdf
Decolonizing Pedagogy And Freedom From The Oppressor
Decolonization is a historical process and it can not change in one day. What has been happening in the education system has been very different with the Trifonas view. The fact that for one to be a teacher they need to even accept what is not ethically upright, one has to choose one thing from another and cant decide on different choices, not favoring what others say that is far away from the education practices, (Freire 2007) cannot be tolerated in the no child left behind as teachers has to be culturally competent to offer their services to different cultural communities.
The preposition designed to eliminate the education and health services to the immigrants who are undocumented was made to enhance limitation of the civil gains to the immigrants and the preposition which prohibits the use of the vernaculars language at schools in teaching and learning. The prepositions are challenged to be the act of racial discrimination and ethical injustice and social inequality that continued even in the current era. (Tejeda et al 2004) The no child left behind is always against racial and ethical discrimination as it has an aim of ensuring every child gain access to the school especially the students from the poor families.
Use of the vernacular in the schools was prohibited to enhance the learning and avoid the racial discrimination as the school has different students with different origin thus using the vernacular in the learning institutions will promote discrimination rather than preventing it. Teachers should always be free to make their own decision and should also be allowed to make decisions on their own. Use of the home language in the learning institution would drag the learning behind as the students will not be in a position to communicate with people who speak different languages.
This will enhance the discrimination as the students from the same ethnicity will have to have their own schools and for the discrimination to be ended the racial and social discrimination has first to be done away with.
Arguing that the education systems in the American societies are those of the neocolonialism which is achieved by integrating systems of colonials and the capitalist leading to the domination and the exploitation of the people in the country is not as the no child left behind legislation as they have adopted new change and they never put in practice what was use din the colonial system and if they use it they always make sure that what they have used wont have a negative impact to the community. Education practices should always be governed by law and this cannot mean that having the legislation will enhance discrimination or promote internal colonialism. The educations practices can be adjusted as the teachers use the prescribed books and refer the students for reading more books hence have flexibility. The No child left behind had an aim to improve the students standard and achievements enhancing the sustainable progression of them.(West and Peterson, 2003)
Colonial dominance is not really in operation in the learning institutions as designing the curricular content is always done in a way which will be of the benefit to the students and which will ensure that the students cover their content at the stipulated time. It also enhances the effectiveness of the teachers when teaching the students as it is always organized in manner which will assist the students in coordinating the next chapters. According to the author the minorities were not to be educated and there was a debate on whether they should receive the education the NCLB has done away with all those differences and all the students have the right to education. From the minority or from the majority group, rich or poor they all need the education. As the NCLB aim was to ensure that every child has an access to the education.
(Sunderman et al) The form of evaluation in the current education is okay as students will have to know different communities culture and learn how to associate with others diversity groups by understanding the cultural differences. Without the evaluation the teachers can not be in a position to know whether the students are serious in the schools or not. In the current education system the colonial domination if it is there is minimal as the staffs are allowing the students to use the books which could be not be read during the colonial era like the pedagogy of oppressed. The oppressed are really learning slowly hoe to quit from the oppressor consciousnesses which they took long time ago.
Changing drastically can not be achieved but gradual change is necessary. With the change in the technology students require to teach different subjects to be in a position to adopt the new technology. Students need also to be assessed to ensure that they are ready to put what they learn in the school in the society. (Rury 2005). Education has to adjust hand in hand with the improvement in the technology. The learning institution has few elements of colonial dominance which the NCLB is really on the process to end them.
Rury J. (2005) Education and social change: themes in the history of American schooling Routledge.
Trifonas P. (2003) Pedagogies of difference: rethinking education for social change. Routledge.
Tejeda, C., M. Espinoza, and K. Gutierrez. 2004. "Toward a Decolonizing Pedagogy: Social Justice Reconsidered." In Pedagogy of Difference, ed. P. Trifonas.
Sunderman, L. et al (2005) NCLB meets school realities: lessons from the field. Corwin Press.
West R. & Peterson E. (2003) No child left behind: the politics and practice of school accountability. Brookings Institution Press.
Freire, P. (2007). Pedagogy of the oppressed,
The Effects Of The Collapse Of The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire collapse resulted to various important ramifications to the Middle East’s international politics. The Ottoman Empire had for a long time acted as the main force of unification among the various Islamic nations in the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire controlled Turkey and this acted as a symbolic aspect of the base of power and a form of centralized leadership which governed the whole of the Islamic world and all the Arab nations. This powerful form of leadership served as a major vessel for managing foreign relations with the superpowers such as France and Britain.
These superpowers by then had vested interest in the affairs of the Middle East. For example Britain in 1914 was interested in the protection of the Gulf and the Suez Canal[i]. This interest was mainly due to the vital role played by the gulf and the Suez Canal in acting as a link to the Abadan currently Iran with oil and India region[ii].
To the foreign powers, the Ottomans acted as a symbol of a legitimate Muslim power over the whole of the Islamic and Arab world while at the same time France was the major power of influence over Lebanon and Syria while Britain was controlling Egypt. The Collapse of Ottoman Empire and the following Caliphate abolishment in 1926 meant the sense of the only force responsible for unification of the Islamic world soon became a thing of the past.
Most of the nations under the Islamic world soon became colonized by the French who fully took over Lebanon; Britain colonized Palestine, while some of the countries gained their own independence such as Turkey and Yemen. Many Arabs who during the WWI fought the Turks due to the force of Arab nationalism fulfilled their hope of gaining independence. The colonization of the Middle East by the French and the British led to a rise of various anti-European in the whole of the Middle East such as the Balfour Declaration.
Mansfield, P (1973) The Ottoman Empire and its successors, the making of the 20th century
Publisher Macmillan, PP 149
[i] Mansfield, P (1973) The Ottoman Empire and its successors, the making of the 20th century
Publisher Macmillan, PP 149
Pedagogy Of The Oppressed
Fearing to read a book could limit education to the society as the book will never have access to the society as the Freire books could not go beyond the classroom boundaries and the book could have very big help to the society. According to the freire engaging other peoples in activities would have very great change to them as they will benefit from all what will be discussed rather than oppressing them by not including them.(Freire 2007) Books would help in understanding the people in the society and even educating them on different maters concerning the society. People could risk imprisonment by just reading the book because when one has the passion of reading a certain book its better be endangered rather than just having anything to block your success. As they used to hide the books I could be in the first line to do that just to have chance of reading the content and helping someone in the society.
Reading would be the very top priority because the pedogosing difference involves the act of awakening ethical conscious that will help overcome the societal difference. Reading will help in assisting the society and educating them in different ways thus making it as the first priority.
Freire, P. (2007). Pedagogy of the oppressed, New York. Continuum International Publishing Group.