Schools throughout the world are finding that Values-based Education (VbE), educates students with a life-enhancing understanding of an ethical vocabulary, based on positive values such as respect, trust, justice and compassion. This process strengthens their resilience, mental health and wellbeing. It nurtures ethical intelligence, academic diligence and relational trust, which supports the development of good character. VbE empowers staff and students to be authentic and proactive; transforming schools and colleges to educate students holistically for the needs of the 21st Century – exactly what our world needs if it is to be sustainable.
Below is an extract from the conclusion of my Oxford University doctoral research into the potential impact of values education in schools.
Impact of values education include:
- helping to develop a positive school ethos that is more harmonious because of the direct correlation between values education and behaviour;
- creating a calm and purposeful environment where everyone feels valued;
- enabling staff to feel valued in a culture of care and support;
- enabling pupils to understand themselves, through an awareness of their inner selves, so that they grow to be self-disciplined and self-led, having the ability to observe and determine their own positive behaviour;
- creating personal and school harmony by introducing an ethical vocabulary, through the explicit and regular consideration of values words (such as peace, co-operation, care and respect), which is learned by hearing, reading, reflecting on, writing about, discussing and practising;
- fostering a school ethos that emphasises quality holistic education, with an emphasis on high personal moral and academic standards;
- supporting the development of high quality relationship between all who work in the school;
- helping pupils to be in touch with their inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions;
- encouraging pupils to develop their positive dispositions and to choose their attitudes;
- promoting self-knowledge and thinking skills (of adults and pupils) through reflective silent sitting in assemblies and lesson time;
- encouraging the skill of active listening;
- developing emotional intelligence: by talking about and understanding their feelings, pupils learn to express themselves more clearly, to control their behaviour and empathise with others;
- having the positive support of parents and the community.