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Values education is a term used to name several things, and there is much academic controversy surrounding it. Some regard it as all aspects of the process by which teachers (and other adults) transmit values to pupils. Others see it as an activity that can take place in any organisation during which people are assisted by others, who may be older, in a position of authority or are more experienced, to make explicit those values underlying their own behaviour, to assess the effectiveness of these values and associated behaviour for their own and others’ long term well-being and to reflect on and acquire other values and behaviour which they recognise as being more effective for long term well-being of self and others.
This means that values education can take place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, offender’s institutions and voluntary youth organisations. There are two main approaches to values education, some see it as inculcating or transmitting a set of values which often come from societal or religious rules or cultural ethics while others see it as a type of Socratic dialogue where people are gradually brought to their own realisation of what is good behaviour for themselves and their community.
There has been very little reliable research on the results of values education classes, but there are some encouraging preliminary results. One definition refers to it as the process that gives young people an initiation into values, giving knowledge of the rules needed to function in this mode of relating to other people, and to seek the development in the student a grasp of certain underlying principles, together with the ability to apply these rules intelligently, and to have the settled disposition to do so Some researchers use the concept values education as an umbrella of concepts that includes moral education and citizenship education
Themes that values education can address to varying degrees are character, moral development, Religious Education, Spiritual development, citizenship education, personal development, social development and cultural development.
 There is a further distinction between explicit values education and implicit values education where: explicit values education is associated with those different pedagogies, methods or programmes that teachers or educators use in order to create learning experiences for students when it comes to value questions. Implicit values education on the other hand covers those aspects of the educational experience resulting in value influence of learning, which can be related to the concept of hidden curriculum. This discussion on implicit and explicit raises the philosophical problem of whether or not an unintentional action can be called education. Similarly one should clarify the distinction between a teacher and an educator.
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