The Importance of Teaching Values in Education

What’s the value of a value-based education?

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” — CS Lewis

Earlier this year we contacted a number of educators and technologists from around the world for their thoughts on the trends and challenges facing education and technology in 2016. One interesting thing we noted about the results was the fact that there were so many unique insights and so few overlapping ideas. Just as interesting, however, was an area where their thoughts did converge — namely, the importance of teaching values in schools.


Putting values back into education

While technological advances are wont to throw up all kinds of questions about pedagogical practices and the evolution of the learning environment, the role of value-based education gets far less attention. This seems strange, given that developing a basic set of values has always been a cornerstone of a students’ education.

So what kinds of values should teachers help students to develop, and how can they do so without coming across as preachers more than they do educators?

To decide, an educator would first need to consider context: students now live in a fully globalized world in which more people than ever are connected via the web. One of the significant results of this greater communication and access to advanced technology is the deluge of information we receive — news, entertainment, opinions, advertisements and so on. How are young minds to cope with all this stimulation? Are they properly equipped to cope with it at all?

Values education can help ensure that they are.

Even though the world changes rapidly, the values that students need to develop are actually not really much different to those that were taught in bygone generations. It is just the application of those values that has changed.

Showing respect to others, for instance, or caring for the environment are just as important as they ever were — and maybe even more so — but they are now applicable in a variety of new ways. For example:

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