Human Values Education

human-values-diagram
Values education was the focus of the national Values in Action Schools Project funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia between 2002 and 2010 that has provided extensive evidence-based research findings on the benefits of Values Education and its importance to quality teaching in Australian schools. The conclusion to the report says:

The VASP provides all Australian schools and the entire education community with additional insights and more evidence of how values education can contribute to the whole purpose of schooling and how it so well serves the goals for schooling as expressed in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008).

More resources are needed to help Australian teachers to bring values education into the curriculum. ISSEA can draw on its experience with the Education in Human Values programme at the Sathya Sai School in Northern NSW where human values education permeates the whole curriculum. Accredited professional development programmes in different aspects of education in human values are currently under development by the ISSEA in cooperation with the Sathya Sai School.

The Five Human Values

Human values make life worthwhile, noble, and excellent, and are those qualities that lie within the human personality, waiting to be drawn out and translated into action. Sathya Sai Education is based on five human values: Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Non-violence. Drawing out these five inherent human values develops good character.

You can view a video on the Values Framework as employed at the Sathya Sai School here. (Opens in new window)

Many countries around the world have realised the importance of Values Education. For instance, Thailand has incorporated Values in the national curriculum. Australia has published a National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools (2005) and New Zealand has been promoting values education in the curriculum. South Africa has embarked on an initiative on Values, Education and Democracy. All these initiatives have developed sets of values for education derived out of their specific socio-cultural situations. The Table below provides examples of values derived for education.

Although various approaches have been identified in the attempt to ‘teach values’, it is important to understand the underlying principle by which it takes place and how to channel to achieve its purpose. The approaches could be likened to various electrical appliances. For instance, an iron, a kettle, light bulb, toaster, etc., all of these have different uses (purposes), however, the underlying principle for their functioning is dependent on the flow of electricity through them. Similarly, Human values are like the electricity or potential energy; invisible, but inherent in every topic or situation.

Value Education from Australian SchoolingUNESCO / UNICEF Living Values EducationCornerstone Values - New ZealandValues in the United Nations Millenium DeclarationConstitutional Values in Education South Africa 2001Values, Education and Democracy in South Africa 2000
Care and Compassion
Doing your Best
Fair Go
Freedom, Honesty and Trustworthiness
Integrity
Respect
Responsibility
Understanding
Tolerance and Inclusion
Co-operation
Freedom
Happiness
Honesty
Humility
Love
Peace
Respect
Responsibility
Simplicity
Tolerance
Unity
Honesty and Truthfulness
Kindness
Consideration for others
Compassion
Obedience
Responsibility
Respect
Duty
Freedom
Equality
Solidarity
Tolerance
Respect for nature
Shared responsibility
Democracy
Social Justice and Equity
Non-racism and Non-sexism
Ubuntu (Human Dignity)
An Open Society
Accountability (Responsibility)
The Rule of Law
Reconciliation
Equity
Tolerance
Multilingualism
Openness
Accountability
Honour