The outcomes of any educational system determine whether it is a failure or a success. The facilitators and learners thus strive to achieve the objectives of teaching and learning processes. The learning outcomes include course outcomes, program outcomes and the general education outcomes.
Course outcomes are normally skills, knowledge and values resulting from individual courses. They usually contain certain general education outcomes. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the instructors to impart the relevant information to students as per the course requirements in order to meet the educational goals. However, program outcomes are not in terms of individual courses or experiences.
They show what graduates of a program know or can do on completion of the course of study in that program. On the other hand, general education outcome comprises of communication, analytical, collaborative, critical thinking and problem solving skills, which students exhibit on the application in the context of disciplinary needs. They all appear in the curriculum, which both the course and program implements.
Therefore, values, attitudes, skills and knowledge should be specific in all the learning outcomes. Therefore, the paper seeks to explore the values and attitudes of SLO by analyzing the interrelationships among beliefs, choices, and cultural, social and or scientific institutions and practices. It emphasizes on the Student Learning Outcome (SLO).
SLO significantly illustrates what a learner anticipates from studying from his or her involvement in academic and extracurricular activities, as well as experiences at any learning institution. They reveal the learners’ progress in the course, certificate, diploma and degree programs and the level of experience in the places of work after the completion of their programs.
In deed, the outcomes are the paramount concern of governments, researchers, educators, parents and students as well as other stakeholders. However, outcomes are also the most exigent to quantify. As such, the researchers confirm the validity and reliability of the data collected only after several iterations.
The primary concern of SLO is on the added knowledge, skills and abilities obtained and or exhibited. It also addresses the values and attitudes changed due to the learning process and experience. For example, knowledge outcomes involve discipline content and methods of inquiry. Skills outcomes include quantitative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills required in future employment. Values are vital for students to be ready for new ideas, accept diversity and commit themselves to life-long learning.
As such, instructors introduce students to key cultural works, contrasting and comparing these works across time and space. The course focuses on a set of common questions and themes, for example, relationships among individuals, family and state, and explores these through literary texts from a number of different cultures and periods especially the ancient Greece, Heian Japan, nineteenth-century Africa among others (Lou Para. 4).
How would the cultural values and expectations shape an individual’s choices? The paper seeks to address and examine the question in relation to what human beings share in common across cultures.
First, life is about making choices. Every person belongs to a particular culture with various norms, beliefs and value systems. The outcomes of cultural beliefs significantly shape an individual choice such that a person laments for his/her entire life span with nothing to say about the happiness that life offers. In a culture where conflict is the better part of their lives, miseries and deaths make people learn and make hard choices.
For example, Chief Joseph, who comes from a Nez Perce, purposes to make a strong choice on whether to surrender or to fight courageously. In fact, he chooses the former: surrendering forever (Jowett 34). The events depicted in Chief Joseph surrender speech are how socio-cultural values enslave individuals. In 1877, Chief Joseph led 800 of his people to Canada to fight for the outstanding land reserved for Native Americans.
However, they suffered a fair deal of beating, with others succumbing to death. This resulted to emotional and physical fatigues, the death of famed warriors and the wise men, suffering and death of the children. Since the culture had directed their motives, the chief had to make the final choice following the incident. He concludes that his heart is sick and sad. Therefore, he made a choice not to fight again in his life endeavors.
Second, the characteristics of a child’s cultural background significantly interfere with his/her psychological, learning, as well as his/her character content. Just or unjust, wanted or unwanted, behavioral differences are a salient part of every culture.
Culture makes a person acquire different beliefs, ambitions and principles that influence the choices they make. For instance, Socrates made a choice not to escape from jail because of the guidance accorded to him by reason, principle and belief in God. He purposes to adhere to the plan of God, rather than his plans (Jowett 53).
Socrates is a philosopher, who wanted to fulfill the divine mission by trusting in the will of God. However, Crito views the character of Socrates as only a virtuous citizen, who seemed unjustly jailed, and was ready to die in obedience to the laws of the State. Crito has made a choice of persuading Socrates to escape because he and other friends will be disgraced forever if they allow Socrates to perish.
However, Socrates, who has strong principles, thinks otherwise. He gives several reasons to justify his denial. Socrates argues that Crito presents only the opinions of the people whereas he (Socrates) leads by reasoning based on the notion put forth by the impudent experienced man (Jowett 37). The choice he took made him strong to withstand fears of death, loss of property and reputation as well as dismissing the injuries of his children. In fact, he is ready to stick to the plan of God (Jowett 39).
Third, in every society, situations influence the behavior of people. However, Socrates had principles that could not be changed by circumstances. For instance, Crito could not convince Socrates to escape rather he was unwilling to reply. He chose to remain steadfast and honor himself. “Even in the course of the trial, where people propose exile as the penalty, Socrates declared that he preferred death to exile” (Aris and Philips 5). Despite being neutral in the death struggle of Athens, he suffered a fair deal of jail experience, which made him think, and choose otherwise.
Forth, cultural development has often created conflict in choices between those who want to preserve them and those who see a different dimension. For instance, in the story ‘‘Wasteland’’, the nature of death and burial are depicted. There are those who feel such burial are outdated and difficult while some fight for their continuity and compel other individual members to abide by the traditions, laws and values of the community.
The Hanging of Man, a member of the traditional pack is due the fact that he is associated with the Hanged God of Frazer and the hooded figure. It also makes an individual choose to listen and observe the reactions of others. In fact, Eliot presents the words of a person who longs for another with whom he can share a conversation. He wonders why that other person cannot converse with him (Para.2).
Cultures form the basis for choosing who is to make the decision on different types of events. For instance, the choice of husband stands out as the girl is told to be presentable. ‘‘Now, Albert’s coming back, make your self a bit smart. He will want to know what you did with that money he gave you’’. When the girl attempts to question, she is told ‘‘…You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember nothing’’ (Eliot Para.3). Consequently, the girl chose not to marry a poor Albert.
Fifth, for a frightfully long time in history culture, compelled the deference and compliance of its members to maintain the development and free exercise of choice. Whereas positive aspects influence the Americans, the Asians counterparts suffer from the negative consequences. This makes Asians more preventive in making choices as well as taking a compromise stand on some circumstances.
However, in the story Sophocles Antigone, the reader observes a series of undesirable events occurring due to the power of choice. The king Oedipus of Thebes, on realizing that he had brought about the death of his own father and becoming a husband to his biological mother had to cease being a king and the mother, Jocasta had to die. Any disease does not cause her death. However, out of shame, she chose to kill herself.
This is a culture where the dreadful events shape the choice of individuals. Moreover, due to hunger for power, the two sons of the chief, Polyneices and Eteocles also kill one another. Some chose even not to go for burial places claiming that this would yield no peace of mind (Aris and Philips 3). Culture can influence people’s choice positively or negatively depending on the circumstances around them.
In conclusion, learning outcomes form the basis for behavioral change. The manner in which a person examines various challenges coupled with the way he/she makes an objective choice models his or her behavior. Since an individual belongs to a culture, his or her behavior and choice will depend on the cultural belief system, norms and values.
Although, people occupy different geographical areas, they always have some common cultural values. Acceptable behaviors are the same in all cultures. However, the methods reinforcing such behaviors and punishing unwanted behaviors as well as shaping people’s choices vary from one culture to another.
The culture influences the ways of life of a person, as it provides measures for ethical standards and principles so that the person can live without fear, favor and/or intimidation. Therefore, every society should review and adopt cultures that enable its members to make the right choices after some negative consequences. From such outcomes, they are able to learn how to better the next generations.
Aris, and Philips. Sophocles’ Antigone 442 BC. Britain: Richer Resources Publications, 1987.
Eliot, Thomas. The Waste Land, 1922. Web. 12 Aug. 2011.
Jowett, Benjamin. Dialogues of Plato. New York: The Colonial Press, 1900.
Lou, Mary. Surrender Speech of Chief Joseph,1987. Web.12 Aug. 2011.