The Present Context: Concept and objectives of Value Education -The subject value education has come to acquire increasing prominence in educational discussions at all levels during recent times in our country. The issue has been projected as one of the national priorities in the National Educational Policy (NPE), 1986. The Policy declares: “the growing concern over the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for readjustments in the curriculum in order to make education a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values”. According to the National Curriculum for Primary and Secondary Education (1985), the crisis of values our society is passing through “demands more explicit and deliberate educational efforts towards value development”. The first term of reference for the National Commission on Teachers (1983) was “to lay down clear objectives for the teaching profession with reference to the search for excellence, breadth of vision and cultivation of values..”. The Working Group to review teachers’ training programs in the light of the need for value orientation (WG) set up by the Government of India in 1983 recommended for the inclusion of a value education component in the teacher education program besides spelling out details of curriculum, methodology and teachers role.
Concept of Value Education
Value Education, as it is generally used, refers to a wide gamut of learning and activities ranging from training in physical health, mental hygiene, etiquette and manners, appropriate social behavior, civic rights and duties to aesthetic and even religious training.
To some, value education is simply a matter of developing appropriate behavior and habits involving the inculcation of certain virtues and habits. In opposition to such a conception, it is pointed out that value education has an essentially cognitive component in it and that this should not be ignored. Actually the ability to make a moral judgment based on sound reasoning is a very important aim of value education and has to be deliberately cultivated.
The moral development of a child, according to some, results automatically from the social life of the school. The child as a member of the group imbibes the attitudes, values and general behavior of the group and continually tries to mold himself according to the group norm. Such adjustment to life constitutes his moral development. Value Education is a process of aiding the child in such adjustment. Such a view is contested on the ground that although children learn the rules of group living from the social life of the school, such learning does not constitute value education. For morality, it is pointed out, is not concerned so much with `what is‘ as with `what ought to be‘ and `what ought to be done‘.
Value Education, according to one more view, is essentially a matter of educating the feelings and emotions. It is the `training of the heart’ and consists of developing the right feelings and emotions. It does not involve any cognitive abilities that can be trained. Like poetry, it is `caught’ rather than taught. It is essentially a matter of creating the right atmosphere, imitation, and learning by example communion with nature or modeling oneself after an ideal. Such a view is countered by saying that mere imitation of a `good’ person and modeling oneself after an ideal does not confer any morality on an individual. Morality is
not a thing that simply
radiates' from one person to another. Moral development includes both thinking morally and behaving morally. Moral thinking is a distinct type of thinking characterised by the exercise of rational choice. A moral person is not only a person who does theright’ thing but also one who does the
right' thing for theright’ reason.
Objectives of Value Education
Educational objectives refer to explicit formulations of the ways in which students are expected to be changed by the educative process. That is, the ways in which they will change in their thinking, their feelings and their actions. Objectives whether of value education or of any other curricular area depend on a variety of factors, psychological, sociological, epistemological.