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What Is Personal Responsibility?

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Personal responsibility is the idea that human beings choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable. The definition of education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. In the world of education, we can approach this from two different angles.

The first angle we will discuss will be that of the student. Students typically never have to worry about legality due to being a minor. Most legal conflict at this stage would fall upon that of the instructor. Students do however have to remain morally accountable for their own actions. Where conflict can arise is where people are judging minors on what ‘morals’ they stand for. Morals are what is right and prudent at this point in time. Is it fair to expect a minor to be able to understand what is right and prudent? If this were the case, minors would be able to make legal and rash decisions on their own, whether morally correct or not. Another issue we have with this is that morals are subjective. What you may believe to be right or wrong, may not be right or wrong to someone else.

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This is why morals are often founded on the basis of personal experiences and stories. The second angle to this is the personal responsibility of the educator. Educators are supposed to be advocates and guardians for their pupils. In many instances the educator is an adult, and the student is a minor. In circumstances like these, educators need to tread carefully in how they teach. They should be held to the highest standards. One could also argue that educators should be the ones who project what common morality consists of.

All too often now we have educators who physically or verbally abuse their students. We see educators in the media who conduct themselves in a distasteful manner on a daily basis. These are typically educators who lack moral compass and personal responsibility. When adults conduct themselves in such a manner, this is where legal matters can now be introduced into the picture. As an educator, you must not overstep boundaries. You must not only show restraint and values, but you must be understanding of the demographic you are instructing. It is not uncommon to see educators who lack personal responsibility and lash out or attack those who they deem a nuisance.

In conclusion, I think personal responsibility when broken down, is a subjective sociological standard used as a moral focal point in order to appease whomever it is that is currently not projecting moral consistency. An educator should not assume that personal responsibility is something a minor should completely understand. Especially in fallacy cases where unconscious bias could be playing a significant role. In fact, modern science is now showing where the brains of minors are not even able to make rational decisions. This is due to the amygdala not being completely developed. Research shows that around age 25 is when this part of the brain which controls rational thought, starts to become fully developed. I believe we should all take a look within ourselves and try to understand our own definition of personal responsibility.


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What Is Personal Responsibility? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
“What Is Personal Responsibility?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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