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Module 1: SELF RESPECT

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general approach to the concept of respect

Respect is included as one of the other 3Rs because it is considered to be an integral part of good citizenship.

Pupils may think of respect in terms of the attitude that parents and teachers demand of them, but the approach should be shown to embrace more than that. Where we have respect, we avoid degrading, insulting or injuring, and we treat with consideration. Respect is therefore one of the most important elements in creating a responsible society.

In order to make the concept a reality, respect should be the context in which the modules in this section are approached. Therefore, the class will not just be faced with theory but wilt be continually challenged to put it into practice.

The teacher's role is crucial, particularly in terms of the respect he or she shows to the class. Being willing to listen to pupils' ideas and, where appropriate, letting them make their own decisions will demonstrate that they are valued as individuals. It will also make it possible for them to understand that, with mutual respect, each person can be given their true value.

As pupils listen quietly to each other, show respect for views with which they disagree and speak in an unthreatening way, opportunities will emerge for them to recognise not only their own skills and abilities, but others' as well. This can lead to a greater sense of responsibility for themselves and for the choices they make. It should also help them create open, trusting relationships with fellow-members of the community.

respect for the individual

Everyone wishes to be respected and needs the dignity of being considered of worth. Such self-esteem often comes from being accepted by the group with which one has chosen to identify.

It is also true that

• even if our values and lifestyle differ from those of other group-members, they will respect us if they see that we are benefitting from our chosen way of life.
• self-respect grows when the choices made between right and wrong bring an inner sense of well-being - a clear conscience.

 

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