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Trial Answer to Sample Comp Question
& Critical Comments

Edward G. Rozycki, Ed. D.

RETURN
edited 8/10/10

Relevant WebReadings:
Pluralism & Rationality
What is Worth Knowing About Values?
Values Education or Values Confusion?
Ethical Issues in Education

 

 

 

 

Educational Administration A6

Is it possible to give appropriate guidance to students concerning values issues without merely indoctrinating them? What should the place of values education be in the curriculum? Should the focus of values education be on rules of correct behavior (as for example Kant thought), or on character development (as for example Aristotle held)? Consider specifically the difficulties that American multiculturalism poses for values education. Do not fail to consider how the success of such a program might be evaluated: might difficulties in evaluation affect the ways in which such a program might be implemented?.

Trial Response to Question
Critical Comments
A. Values education must be modeled in order for students to comprehend what a value is. The question is "How does a student really know if this is a value if it is not taught or modeled at home? There are many cultures and religions that indoctrinate a set of values that conflict with a value system taught in schools. A. Comments: How do you know that values education must be modeled in order for students to comprehend what a value is. Certainly there is no research to support this contention. (Or is this just a bad locution? Is what you mean that values must be modeled -- by the student? -- for us to ascertain that they have been effectively taught.)
B. What type of behavior do you want the students to exhibit if a teacher is trying to teach courage? How would a teacher teach cooperation? In order for a value to have an exhibited behavior, four ideas would have to be present. They are knowledge, ability, opportunity, and priority. B. The issue is whether we can tell if a student has acquired a value after having exposed her to certain pedagogical treatments. Four conditions must be met to enable us to understand the behavior as an exhibition of a value. These conditions should be explained clearly. You must show how these are important conditions for connecting values to behavior This is important for the rest of your response. Without it, the rest fails

C. It would be difficult for a teacher to disregard material to be assessed on a state test in order to teach courage. Would a school system be willing to alter the traditional curriculum to incorporate the instruction of values? Is this a priority in American education today? Would state legislatures award federal funding to schools if they teach values as opposed to having high-test scores?

C. Good points. Show how the enabling conditions above require much in the way of additional time and resources.
D. Students can learn what courage means by modeling examples to represent the behavior of courage. The question is "does this behavior represent courage in all cultures?" To behave correctly in one society (school) does not mean this is correct behavior in all societies. If the American school system were to indoctrinate the concept of values education in the curriculum, teachers would be caught up in teaching what behaviors are acceptable in each culture with respect to the particular character trait. There would be not enough time to teach subject content in class, only values. Children model appropriate character traits from what they witness at home

D. More directly important: if the student is really showing courage, isn’t the situation dangerous? Or is is fake? In that case, what makes the students behavior courageous? That she believes the situation is dangerous? In any case, won’t her parents object? Maybe courage is a value that even a highly effective values education cannot inculcate in a school situation.

You are right here:"Multiculturalism" makes values education very problematic

E. Teaching how a student should act appropriately in a particular setting is stifling only to that setting and the student will have difficulty transferring their behavior into a different social arena

E. Do you mean "specific to that setting"?

F. The idea of indoctrinating values education in a multicultural society is difficult at best. The American education system is comprised of a variety of subcultures and religions with their own value system that is practiced outside of school. How would this education system even begin to evaluate if a child is being courageous? Would the system use a rubric? Rubrics are very subjective and open to interpretation. Would there be a numeric system? If a child answers a paper correctly on what is taught in class regarding courage, does that mean the child fully understands how to behave in a courageous manner? If so, how would this be identified by educators? The matter of validity and reliability would also have to be addressed if one was to grade values. The test instrument would have to be designed on measuring behaviors, not knowledge of values. This would not be easy and the reliability of such an instrument could be held in suspect.

F. Difficult? This is weak; but you have a point you can expand.

 

Perhaps a different value should be used. Something that wouldn't introduce such factors as risk or danger. How about kindness?

The issues of subjectivity and rubric are distractors. You can use the enabling conditions above to show that evaluation become a nightmare of costly and hard, even if possible , to replicate conditions

G. The question is " Is the measure measuring the behavior that demonstrates courage?" This is only a specific criterion of behaviors of courage in one setting. Would this behavior be classified as courage in another setting? The success of this program would have to be evaluated by the staff teaching values education. How would this be done? If there was a week with few fights in school, does this mean the students were more? cooperative that week?

 

G. Basically, depending upon how the enabling conditions are met, the same behavior could be an expression of different values.

Not unless the enabling conditions could be argued to be the same.

H. In conclusion, values education can be taught, but the behaviors of specific values varies depending on the culture and background of the individual .

H. I don’t think you can draw this conclusion. The opposite is more justified, unless you only want to mean that values can be preached in school but not easily, if at all, determined as behavioral objectives.

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