The Purpose of Values Education in Schools Today

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purpose of values education in schools today

Values are core traits and qualities that represent an individual’s beliefs and guiding principles, which form the foundation of who we are. Values of people in society differ from one another due to the culture, upbringing, religious beliefs and many other experiences that shape each and every human being. Primarily, values are fundamentally taught at a young age, these values are predominantly learnt from family and friends, the community and through education. Therefore, schools and teachers have the opportunity to input into children positive and worthwhile values, to help build and strengthen personal and social skills and responsibilities. (Chilana, Dewan 1998, p 65) This paper outlines key aspects about core values in education today. Values can be looked upon and read in many different ways and can interpret many different meanings to an individual. This then can be seen as a global issue towards the teaching and learning styles of each teacher. Issues and key ideas are addressed from local, national and international examples of values framework in order to come to a conclusion as to what is a balanced way of teaching values education in schools today.

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United Sates who once said, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”(National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools, 2005 p. 1) In believing in this statement, wouldn’t it be true to say that values should be the driving force in shaping the curriculum. The Curriculum Framework for Kindergarten to Year 12 Education in Western Australia states, “In recognition that values underpin and shape the curriculum, the Curriculum Council has determined that core shared values should be explicitly articulated within the Curriculum Framework.” (Curriculum Council of WA, 1998, P. 324) The Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) supports values education and “acknowledges that education is as much about building character as it is about equipping students with specific skills.” I would like to point out in the acknowledgment that MCEETYA acknowledges that education is as much about building character, ‘as much’ is then lead to believe that values, morals and character building is an essential ingredient in the developmental and educational needs of a student.

The purpose then of values education in schools today is to provide students with a foundational understanding of what is right and wrong reflecting on this personally and or culturally seen throughout each learning area and therefore throughout the curriculum. The universal problem, however, that commonly arises with vales education is the selection of what values are the correct values to be taught, reinforced or not noted as of high priority. We will begin by analysing the Australian Values now currently taught in education and discuss what differences and points of agreements can be seen with a haphazard selection of 2 values.

In 2005 endorsed by MCEETYA, nine values were nominated for the Values Education in Australian Schools. These values include; 1. Care and compassion: Care for self and others
2. Doing your best: Seek to accomplish something worthy and admirable, try hard, pursue excellence 3. Fair go: Pursue and protect the common good where all people are treated fairly for a just society 4. Freedom: Enjoy all the rights and privileges of Australian citizenship, free from unnecessary interference or control, and stand up for the rights of others 5. Honesty and trustworthiness: Be honest, sincere and seek the truth 6. Integrity: Act in accordance with principles of moral and ethical conduct, and ensure consistency between words and deeds 7. Respect: Treat others with consideration and regard, and respect another person’s point of view 8. Responsibility: Be accountable for one’s own actions, resolve...
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