Many studies have confirmed the impact of VbE. Below are some illustrations of benefits, and a summary of major independent research carried out in 2009.
VbE internal Research
VbE Schools Survey
VbE schools took part in a survey on the positive impact of VbE at their school in a number of areas.
Independent External Research
The key findings of the research are summarised below.
Values-based schools emphasise values education in their curriculum and teaching. As a consequence, learners become more academically diligent, the school assumes a calmer, more peaceful ambience, better learner-teacher relationships are forged, learner and teacher wellbeing improve and parents are more engaged with the school.
Explicit teaching of values provides a common ethical language for talking about interpersonal behaviour. It also provides a mechanism for self-regulated behaviour. An important outcome is a more settled school which enhances quality teaching and enables teachers to raise expectations for learners performance.
Learners academic diligence was enhanced. Learners:
Showed increased attentiveness in class and a greater capacity to work independently
Assumed more responsibility for their own learning
Asked questions and worked together more cooperatively
Took greater care and effort in their schoolwork
Took more pride in their efforts
The improvements in school ambience included:
Conflict among learners decreased or was managed more constructively
Learners demonstrated greater empathy, honesty and integrity
More tolerant and cooperative learner interactions
Safer and more harmonious classrooms and playgrounds
Greater kindness and tolerance among learners
Learners actively seeking to include peers without friends
Learners taking greater responsibility with school equipment and routine tasks
Learners treating the school buildings and grounds with respect
The impact on learner-teacher relationships was evidenced by:
More trusting relationships between staff and learners
The establishment of more democratic classrooms
Teachers giving learners more power by allowing them choices in learning activities
Teachers being more conscious of scaffolding learners to manage their own behaviour or resolve conflict with others
Teachers seeking opportunities to acknowledge and reinforce appropriate behaviour
Teachers listening to learners and responding to their concerns and opinions
Learners perceiving that teachers treat them fairly
Learners behaving more respectfully towards teachers
Learners showing greater politeness and courtesy to teachers
The positive impacts on learner and teacher wellbeing included:
Learners feeling a greater sense of connectedness and belonging
Learners gaining a greater capacity for self-reflection and self-appraisal
Learners developing a greater capacity for regulating their own and their peers’ behaviour
Teachers receiving collegial support and strong leadership
Teachers obtaining confidence and knowledge through opportunities for professional development and through staff collaboration
Teachers re-examining their practices and role
The fostering of relational trust among staff and between teachers and families
When Values Education is explicit, a common language is established among learners, staff and families. This not only leads to greater understanding of the targeted values but also provides a positive focus for redirecting children’s inappropriate behaviour. Teachers perceive that explicitly teaching values and developing empathy in learners results in more responsible, focused and cooperative classrooms and equipped learners striving for better learning and social outcomes. When values are explicitly endorsed, acknowledged and valued within a school culture, it becomes incumbent on schools to ensure that staff, as well as learners are both benefactors and recipients in respectful and caring interactions. The common focus draws teachers together to create a collaborative and cohesive school community which supports teachers to do their job more effectively. This has important ramifications for learners’ academic progress and wellbeing.
Impact on Wellbeing
Professors Lovatt and Hawkes produced a paper that explores research into the impact of VbE on learners’ wellbeing.
It concluded that the results of the studies have added to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that values education is consistently accompanied by greater self-awareness on the part of learners and more harmonious social interactions in the playground and in the classroom.
In this improved learning environment, one can find academic diligence and improvement occurring without any other obvious determining factor.
To download the full report from which the information is extracted, click here.
Impact on Academic Attainment
VbE research above demonstrates the improvement of wellbeing on individual learners and on the school as a whole.
The Department for Education funded research into the link between the level of wellbing and academic attainment, in November 2012. It was carried out by the Institute of Education and Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre.
The report concluded that ” For academic progression, better emotional wellbeing is a key factor in primary school, whereas low levels of troublesome behaviour and more school engagement emerge as significant in adolescence.”
The full report can be downloaded by clicking here
Other Research Showing Congruence with Values-based Education
Teacher Wellbeing Index – Published by Education Support – 2019
Improving Behaviour in Schools – Published by Education Endowment Fund – 2019
Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools – Published by Education Endowment Fund – 2019