Hero is any individual who manages to positively influence others to adopt some specific character to an individual or group of people .This means one who is able to impart change to people in the community. In the end of chapter five of Individuality and Community, Jose Tapia who was a teacher in Julia de Burgos Junior High was a hero. He is courageous in addressing racial aspects when he was teaching in the classroom. He constantly influences his students to embrace the core values of integrity, excellence and community. He encouraged the young people to appreciate the learning environment they were since the environment plays a key role in shaping their lives .He was against the negative influences from other teachers like Blessington who were always negative.
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Saint Leo University has well articulated core principles, which are integral to its school mission and ultimately ensure that the institution achieves its objectives. According to Mr.Tapia, core values of excellence, integrity and community plays a crucial role in determining success of a given institution. The core values in the university ensure that it accommodates the diverse individual differences and needs of the community within the university. It provides an environment where every individual can develop intellectually and participate in achieving the goals of the institution. The core values within the university ensure that students achieve their objectives regardless of their background and protect students from any form of discrimination, for instance, racial discrimination within the institution. At Saint Leo University, educating learners translates into giving them the required tools to arouse their highest capabilities, to acknowledge the significance of their core values and to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to change the community and their lives. The institution puts students’ needs as the first priority in order to provide a favorable environment for learning.
Mr. Tapia emphasized the core value of excellence in influencing the students to seek more knowledge and skills in order to understand themselves and others within the society and institution. The university’s element of excellence aims at empowering the students to employ their skills and knowledge acquired from the university to benefit the community. By doing this, the university ensures that a student becomes an asset rather than a liability to the society. The knowledge and skills obtained will enable the students provide the needed leadership in the society that is responsible for every individual. The core value acknowledges the part played by the student in determining and shaping the destiny of diverse communities in the world.
The university in its core values has by extension adequately developed the core value of community. According to Mr.Tapia, the aspects of community foster cordial learning communities everywhere they operate both locally and globally. Through the core values of the community, the university promotes a spirit of togetherness, belonging, unity and interdependence anchored on common trust and respect to develop socially responsible communities that challenge other members within the environment to listen, change, learn and serve. The core values serve the community by inspiring the members to exhibit unequivocal dedication by strengthening the bond within the community and institution to achieve the set objectives (http: //www.apa.org/ethics/code2002.html).
When Mr. Tapia was lecturing in the classroom in Julia de Burgos Junior High, he emphasized the aspect of integrity among the students and community. The university also upholds and imparts the aspect of integrity as core values that enable the institution achieve its goals. The students, management and faculty uphold integrity by remaining true to their words and maintaining commitment to a fair cause in an action-oriented manner. Integrity enables the students and other stakeholders in the institution excel in education and create powerful character out of every learner with the aim of being resourceful to the community. Integrity in the institution stresses that the members in the institution live by its mission and deliver on its promise and at the same time promise to be honest, fair and reliable in action. This leaves every individual with a responsibility to accomplish every duty accorded to them. Integrity in the institution promotes the elements of honesty and precision as well as maintains the promises in order to evade unclear and uninformed commitments and decisions.
The core values in education entail clarifying, teaching, modeling and asking the learners to embrace values and apply them in their individual, educational and professional lives. The institution stresses the element of excellence arguing that this serves the role of ensuring that the university must put considerable effort to empower the learners with the needed skills and knowledge. This will ensure that the institution develops individuals who would show themselves as leaders in the community. Through excellence, this aspect inculcates the spirit of unity through development of a hospitable and favorable environment that promotes aspect of responsibility to each other in the institution and community. This core principle has the element of respect to all members of the society regardless of race, age, political affiliation, religion, color or creed acknowledging the significance and strong points of the different groups in the society
Mr. Tapia being a hero in the institution and having the greatest influence on students argues that core values within the institution are mission statements that are anchored and consistently remind members of the institution of the goals they have outlined to achieve. The core values of excellence, community and integrity enable the learners to understand their responsibilities in the community as well as application of the attained skills and knowledge for higher development of the community. The core values have an aspect of being a motivation towards attainment of a specific and important objective within the institution and the wider society. The core values in themselves are not rules and regulations governing the institution, but they are simply guidelines and principles that enable the members of the institution to draw inferences on the way to attain and accomplish the institutions’ missions and objectives. These core values are not enforceable in law and cannot be employed as reference point to judge a certain kind of behavior. They are only moral parameters that have the role of directing individual’s conscience and behavior in both the community and institution. The core values are not extensive in nature since they lack the element of enforceability. This means that these core values must be supplemented by other principles and values in order to have regulation aspect.
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