VbE was founded on Neil’s doctoral research thesis at Oxford University. The full thesis is available from here. To download a summary of his original research findings, click here. Below is an abstract from the theses.
“This thesis has been undertaken to consider whether values education, as conceived in Palmer Primary School, improves the quality of educational provision. To do this, it explores the research question:
Does teaching values improve the quality of education in primary schools?
The research study seeks evidence to analyse whether moral education in positive values, in the form of values education, is fundamental to the purposes of developing quality education. Significantly, the study considers whether values education can enable pupils to internalise, and act on, a code of personal ethics. It considers the argument that values education may have positive qualitative effects on the attitudes and behaviour of adults and pupils in state primary schools. Furthermore, the study seeks to ascertain whether the methods and pedagogy of values education can be an effective means of implementing the second aim of the revised National Curriculum, which is concerned with the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.
This research study seeks to establish whether values education, as the embodiment of the aim, can pass on what the National Curriculum describes as enduring values and help pupils to be caring citizens capable of contributing to the development of a just society. It reflects on whether values education can be an effective means for reestablishing the moral purpose of education and thereby affect the quality of education in the state sector of schooling.
The potential significance of this study is whether the research produces evidence that will support further, more extensive, research that will consider whether values education represents a positive paradigm shift in the way that schooling is conceived.”
It did and Neil is so pleased that his work is now accepted as the basis of good education.