Way back in 1990 I applied for the job of Chief Executive with an educational charity whose mission was to promote values education. When I asked in the interview how the Trustees defined   “values education” there was a long silence  and then it was proposed we break for lunch!!!  To cut a long story short, it took about six months to really understand what we were trying to achieve. My definition was more or less accepted:

Values education is an activity during which people are assisted by appropriately qualified adults (and sometimes older children), in schools, homes, clubs and religious and other youth organisations, to make explicit those values underlying their own attitudes; to assess the effectiveness of these values for their and others’ long term well-being and to reflect on and acquire other values which are more effective for short term and long term well-being.

I’d like to leave for another time  expansion  of the many aspects  in that definition. What is interesting is that over the years I realised that the values being discussed in values education sessions were ethical values. So, in effect, “ethics education” is a more accurate phrase for describing what goes on in values education ( and in many other “educations” aimed at helping people become more ethical).  Consequently, for me, the definition of “ethics education” is the same as for values education.

Articles on values education

If you would like to see an extensive range of articles on values education you can see them here: www.valueseducation.co.uk Just remember as you read to substitute “values education” with “ethics education”.

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