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Didactic aspects of Value Education

Limits of traditional and possibilities of modern educational theory and practice in value education Iva Jedlikov University of Hradec Krlov_Faculty of Education

Value education belongs to the most frequent themes in todays modern world of education. Of course it does not mean, that all participants in the process of education understand the importance of education of children and young people to values and through values for a good existence and co-existence in todays world. Value education is in fact a theme first of all for responsible participants in educational process. As really responsible educators are usually understood the teachers. They take part in the educational process many days, weeks, months and years and they want to see the results of their work. Of course, they hope to see good, positive results of their work. But they recognize, that every generation of their pupils is more and more different in comparison with further generations. Our dynamic society changes very considerably and children and young people change in this society, too. Their plans, their attitudes change, maybe their values change, too. The next reason for the importance of schools and teachers in educational process is the considerable change of the family and first of all the change of the education in families. It is evident just in values of the young generation. Sometimes it looks like, many parents have lost their former responsibility in education of their children. Values, which were many years taken for granted from the family education, are not taken for granted more. That is why the teachers at schools and educators at schools and in other educational institutions are so important for value education of the young generation. There are good arguments for strengthening of teachers and educators in their effort of good value education of children and young people: 1. They have chosen educational work as their profession, with best intentions to share in the personality development of children. 2. They have studied several years in not easy studies at teacher training colleges, university faculties etc. They have special qualification for their educational work. It means teachers and educators have both necessary conditions to realize good educational work: they have strong motivation for it and they have also necessary professional equipment. And in this moment a serious question appears: What is the professional equipment of teachers and educators for effective value education in todays society? In other words: Is their didactictheoretical equipment up-to-date and dynamic enough for effective value education? When we take into consideration such a fact, that in educational practice at schools and other institutions


there are also teachers and educators, who have studied several ten-years periods ago (we do not think in this moment about the possibility of burn-out-syndrom and leaving the teacher profession), we must also analyse, which aspects from the traditional educational and instructional theory (and of course school practice) are usable and suitable for the educational work with todays children and young people with all the life and society dynamics and educational deficits of families just in values. Can the traditional education, e.g. traditional educational methods and forms be effective enough just in value education? There are really great doubts in it. Traditional educational work is realized with rather great classes, where the teacher motivates and regulates the learning process of all the pupils in the same pate and way. Such teaching-learning process is directed on an average pupil with an average motivation and interest, average abilities, average learning pate etc. Maybe there are no such average pupils in the class, because they have either strong motivation and a great interest or very low motivation etc. In fact there are not average children at all! Every child is a real individuality and the traditional way of educational work cannot reflect it enough. These words are intended for all learning themes and subjects and even more they are valid for the value education.

In the non-respection of the individuality of a child is the strongest limit of traditional educational and instructional theory and practice for effective value education. The other limit of traditional educational theory and practice for realizing of value education lies in the deviding of the whole learning content into separated learning subjects. Such a system of educational work is also very unadvantageous for effective value education, because acquiring of values cannot be a theme for only one separated learning subject. It is a complex of themes for many learning situations and we cannot make a special learning subject responsible for all this thematical complex. The next limit of traditional educational and instructional theory and practice is in the limited learning activity of pupils. This fact is important for questionable efectivity of all learning subjects, and for value education, even more, of course. The pupils are mostly only passive receivers of information, and it means, that the result of educational process is uncertain.

Low learning activity in traditional organization of learning process is the reason for low effectivity of education, including value education. All these limits are strong enough for our conclusion, that traditional educational and instructional theory is not suitable for successful and effective value education.


Modern educational and instructional theory has several suggestions, how to find more effective ways of teaching and learning process for different learning themes and especially for value education. At first the individualized learning activity must be mentioned. In the process of concretization of learning content and directing of learning tasks for concrete child the respecting of individual learning needs and possibilities of every child is a very important aspect of respecting of children as individualities. The second good reason for the transformation of learning process from traditional model to an individualized learning activity is the need or demand of active learning process, an important condition for the effectivity of learning process. In the individualized learning process the child can take part in organization of learning, choosing learning tasks, choise of pate of learning. This participation brings the co-responsibility of the child and it is also very motivating for the process of learning and creates a good chance for higher effectivity of learning process: The child participates in deciding about the concrete organization of learning. The child can choose from the offered list of learning tasks. The child need not accept non friendly average learning pate (for some children going too fast, for other children too slow). These aspects are good conditions for childrens activity in the learning process. Together with all these moments must be mentioned also the possibility of respecting the fact, that different value orientations can be given to the children in families and the teacher can more better act on the child and react on possible deficits in value orientation caused in the family. That all cannot be realized in the traditional learning model. The second possibility in new (= more effective) organization of learning process is project learning. Although project learning has already its history, it must be mentioned as a modern model of learning. Re-forming and transforming of traditional devided learning content into complex project tasks is not usual at all schools in Europe. It can be characterized as a not taken opportunity for intensive activization of children for learning, and just this moment is necessary for effective value education. Complex project tasks are always connected with practice, with a real life, and that is why the learning projects are so attractive for children and motivate them for learning process very strong. The didactic advantages of project learning are evident: it develops the creativity of children and skills needed for solving problems, it brings the children to self-discipline, to co-operation, to respecting of meanings of other children, to tolerance. They learn for real life and develop important values for their successful present and future life.There are surely many themes of value education, which can be formulated in the form of learning projects.


Group and cooperative learning are further possibilities of new organization of learning process, which are very useful for effective value education. This model is analysed in the texts of other authors. Another possible model of an effective learning process is open learning. As the other mentioned models of modern teaching-learning process open learning has grown from the ideas and principles of reform educational theory from the beginning of the 20th century, too. Open learning reflects many demands of an effective education, which are not respected in traditional education enough. New organization arrangements in education make respecting of individual learning needs of children possible as in the individualized learning but also give much more opportunities for co-operation of children. The learnings blocks of free work give the possibility in the framework of a week to intensify learning of special parts of learning contents special for each child or for a group of children. In this way all the necessary conditions for effective learning and advantages of non-traditional teaching-learning process are realized. As it was shown, there are good possibilities of modern educational theory and practice for realizing education well, effective and child-friendly, and that is very important just for value education. Utilization of all positive aspects bringing children and their teachers to educational intention and concretization for themes and tasks of value education ought to be a challenge for all interested persons in the field of value education.