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Influences On Ethics

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Influences on Ethics


This paper is to research and define three Influences on ethics: (1) Experience, (2) the media, and (3) the History of Ideas according to Paul and Elder (2002). Accordingly, give reasonable real life examples of these influences applied to real- file situations from professional publications or the Internet demonstrating knowledge of the concepts. The concept examples are demonstrated in real life situations relating experiences to children learning experiences, followed up with information from Utah Educational Network. Media has a negative influence, validated by the American Academy of Pediatrics', messages are harmful to children and media controls are necessary. Lastly, the history of ideas, involves the evolution of critical thinking from classical period to present.


Everyone has experiences; however, rarely does anyone give thought to experiences and what happens, as a result, of the action. Given the same experience, each person-involved, the experience has a different meaning, based on objective factors in ones life. Experience is something that one has no control over, experience is something that just happens according to Paul and Elder, (2002). Challenges that some on has faced in life is how one interprets the experience. Before one can take ownership of an experience; meaning the experience internal, almost as being a part of the sole. The mind accepts and rejects what is meaningful.

As example children, children learn by doing. Children build on experiences from abstract to concrete. A preschooler may have the concept of the color red by association to objects that are red such as a fire truck, an apple. As the preschoolers has enhance his knowledge based on many experiences or opportunities to work with the color red. Based on the amount of activities where have been introduced to this child, he or she may be able to elaborate on the concept of red by pointing to the color red when asked. If a child is confident and feeling, comfortable with what he has learned in his environment, when asked he may point to and say the color, "red".

In the same token, a child who enters preschool with no prior knowledge of the color red, by introducing the child to the color red in the preschool environment, he will learn the color red by identifying the color red as he experiences working with objects that are red. Once the child experiences the concept of recognizing the color red, he may demonstrate this knowledge of the color red by point or saying, "red", when asked.

Consequently, these two children entering preschool simultaneously; the children had different experiences with the color red, therefore, transitioned from abstract to concrete at a different rate based on the level of experience. Just as adults, according to Utah Educational Network, (2003) many factors influence a Childs' ability to acquire critical thinking skills, and they have a profound impact on the child perception of his environment. Just to list a few: (1) culture of child, (2) community type, (3) ordinal position in family, (4) economic position and stability of family, (5) exposure to stress, violence, or abuse, and (6) disabilities, whether the child or a family member.

The Media

According to Paul and Elder (2002), media is a powerful force as well as, sometimes, controlling. Media such as the radio, listening to radio in the car while on the way to work or school. Media influence opinions of the public, which can be either positive or negative. The radio may be playing in the car while driving to work, or school. Is the influence positive or negative? As children listen to the music, or the talk show host while riding to school, the music, the disc jockey, or talk show host may be swearing obscenities. How does this affect one, children are cursing at an earlier age, adults curse more on a daily basis, parent even curse at their children, These influences have a negative affect on everyone; however, some of society accept these negative influences, while other prohibit these negative influences. Commercials, advertisements are too sexual orientated.

According to American Academy of Pediatrics (n.d.), media is sending the wrong messages to children and young adults, messages that can hurt young children or influence their lives in a negative manner. The brochure informs parent of the need to monitor the types of negative behaviors that influence children at an early age. In addition, the negative behaviors introduced earlier, other negative behaviors media exposes children are to beer, smoking, violence, and unhealthy eating habits. The length of time negative influences adapted can be immediate, while others take time to manifest due to the amount to exposure.

The History of Ideas

Historically, according to Paul and Elder, (2002), the idea of critical thinking is ancient. Approximately 2500 years ago, Socrates, a Greek teacher revealed, ethical principles can be reasoned through mere questioning, however, due to the lack of skills and understanding of Socrates' ideas, he was



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