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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the role of rational thinking in resolving ethical dilemmas in the field of education. (150 words)

    12 Jan, 2023 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by briefly describing rational thinking.
    • Discuss how rational thinking can resolve ethical dilemmas in education field.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • Rational thinking is a systematic and logical approach to problem-solving that involves analyzing the situation, identifying the ethical principles involved, and evaluating the potential consequences of different actions.


    • Ethical dilemmas are a common occurrence in the field of education, and many times they can be challenging to resolve.
    • Examples:
      • Examples of ethical dilemmas in the field of education in India include:
        • Discrimination: Against access to education, and teacher misconduct or against students from marginalized communities.
          • For example, discrimination based on socio-economic status, caste, and religion can create ethical dilemmas for educators and administrators.
            • Similarly, teacher misconduct such as sexual harassment or abuse of students.
        • Corporal punishment: The Indian government banned corporal punishment in schools in 2010, but it is still widely used in many schools.
        • Social inequity: One of the biggest ethical issues that schools face is social inequity. Education institutions often fail to address the problems that arise thanks to the inequalities between different children because of their economic, ethnic, and other family backgrounds.
          • e.g., a child from a poorer background, who may not have enough food or enough time to be an active kid at home, will likely have a much more difficult time in school than someone from the opposing end of the spectrum.
          • Further, school administrators often punish these children for having bad academic performance instead of being offered assistance in an alternative fashion.
    • Therefore, there is need to develop rational thinking in education system to resolve these dilemmas by considering the ethical principles of non-violence and respect for human dignity.
    • Measures to resolve ethical dilemmas using rational thinking are as follows:
      • Moral sensitivity: One approach to resolving ethical dilemmas in the field of education is through the use of rational interaction for moral sensitivity (RIMS).
        • This strategy involves carefully analyzing the situation and considering different perspectives in order to make a well-informed decision. This can be applied to both social and personal ethical dilemmas in the field of education.
      • Kindness: Kindness in education can play a vital role in creating a positive and inclusive classroom environment. It can help students develop important social and emotional skills,
        • Which can play a significant role in fostering a positive and inclusive classroom environment and promoting emotional well-being, and helping students develop important social and emotional skills.
      • Gratitude: Various studies have linked gratitude to increased happiness, stronger relationships, and improved physical health and in recent years, studies on gratitude among youth suggest that it fosters more positive emotions and better attitudes toward school and world in long term.
      • Emotional intelligence (EI): It is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is considered a critical component of education, as it plays a role in shaping how students interact with their peers and teachers, and can influence their overall performance in the classroom.
      • Cultivate compassion: Cultivating compassion in education refers to the process of developing a sustained, altruistic attitude towards the suffering of others. It involves not only recognizing and understanding the emotions of others, but also taking action to alleviate their suffering.
        • It can Help students in learning to understand and regulate their own emotions, as self-awareness about one's own emotions is a key component of empathy.
      • Ethical values: Inculcating ethical values in education refers to the process of teaching and instilling moral principles and promoting brotherhood and team work standards in students.
      • Empathy: Empathy in education refers to the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and it is considered an essential skill for creating positive and inclusive learning environments.
      • Benefits of empathy in education, which include:
        • Improved relationships with peers and teachers
        • Increased understanding of diverse perspectives
        • Greater awareness of the impact of one's actions on others.


    Rational thinking plays a crucial role in resolving ethical dilemmas in the field of education. By using clear frameworks and guidelines for decision making, educators and administrators can make well-informed decisions that promote the greater good for all involved.

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