Teaching Values: Let's End Our Misguided Approach By Katherine Casey and Francesca Kaplan Grossman

Teaching Values: Let's End Our Misguided Approach

Premium article access courtesy of TeacherMagazine.org.

"Schools and teachers don't get to choose whether they teach values. Schools and teachers are always affecting values by, for example, what they decide to praise and punish, how fairly they balance different students' needs, how they define students' obligations to each other. The question isn't whether schools teach values, it's whether they choose to be deliberate about it."
—Richard Weissbourd, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Kennedy School of Government

Children grow up in families, and also in schools. Their experiences in schools help shape the adults they will become and the world they will build. As a nation, what can be more important to us than schools that support the healthy development of our young people? Why then, do so many of our schools still look and feel impersonal, industrial, and disconnected?

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Comment by Joe Beckmann on March 3, 2013 at 11:09am

This is an absurd premise: it is not possible to teach without teaching values, since teaching itself is a value.

For more than twenty years, American achievement measures have included themes like "responsibility," "creativity," "collaboration," "work with cultural diversity," "inquiry," "listening," "work with tech," and "planning skills." These themes were the heart of the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Report of 1992, and central to Arnold Packer's Verified Resume, as funded by Kellogg and Ford.

It's embarrassing that Weissbourd didn't know this, and, even more, that Teacher Magazine could rant about values without acknowledging their central premise.

Comment by Kris Blakeley on February 28, 2013 at 12:05pm

I do believe that good schools do teach values and integrate those into behavioral structures and projects. I believe it is the building leaders who guide this ship and create the climate for the building. I also believe we have MANY schools who are personable and connected because the staff has developed that climate.




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