Values stay unspoken

2nd February 1996 at 00:00
Primary teachers believe they should foster "values" in the classroom informally, according to a report on values education published this week by the Scottish Council for Research in Education.

There is, however, little explicit discussion of values either within school or between home and school.

The researchers studied five primaries in depth, and questionnaires were completed by 119 heads and 191 teachers. Teachers preferred to work informally with pupils to promote values education, to which they gave wide-ranging definitions from minimising disruption in class to inculcating values for life.

But pupils may not always be aware of the message. One teacher suggested that holding the door open for others was a value, but the researchers ask whether pupils saw this as merely a school rule.

Understanding Values Education in the Primary School is available from the Scottish Council for Research in Education, price Pounds 9.

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