International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2003 Special Issue


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Values: Taught or Caught? Experiences of Year 3 students in a Uniting Church School

Alison Hunt
University of Adelaide




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This study investigated whether values were taught or caught in the experiences of Year 3 students in a Uniting Church school for boys. Research indicates the need for values education particularly for boys (Lovat and Schofield, 1998), the importance of the home and family in establishing a values foundation (Astill, 1998a, 1998b) and the role of schools in supporting the development of values (Fallon, 1995). Using a Humanistic Sociology conceptual framework and methodology, a prescribed Values Education program was taught and Student Personal Statements and Parent Questionnaires were analysed. Prior to the teaching of the unit the students had caught a narrow understanding of the value as it applied to themselves and their immediate classroom setting. After the program had been taught the studentsí experiences developed beyond themselves to their family and community perspectives. Their language used more positive meanings and more abstract forms.

Values, Religion and Values Education (RAVE), Boys education,
Humanistic Sociology, Core Values



 Hunt, A. (2004) Values: Taught or Caught? Experiences of Year 3 students in a Uniting Church School. International Education Journal, 4 (4), 129-143.

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