Religious Education: What is the role of the teacher in the teaching of values?



4b v). Explain the role of the teacher in the teaching of values.

The role of the teacher in the teaching of values

Effective teaching of behavior change would require the teacher observing the following.

  1. Discovering the current values and attitudes of his/her students before embarking on changing them. This will include their feelings, emotions and desire.
  2. Creating an atmosphere in the classroom which will encourage development of values because both children and adults thrive in an open flexible, respectful, warm, caring and cooperative environment. Such an atmosphere encourages the learner to feel loved, understood respected, valued and safe.
  3. The learners want to be loved, regardless of whom they are, what they have achieved etc. For the teacher to demonstrate this love s/he needs to be warm caring, kind to each child.
  4. A healthy atmosphere where children can grow positively and develop holistically has to be created. When this happens, the child will accept and believe in him/herself.
  5. A child learns best when his/her emotions and level of readiness are accepted and respected. The teacher has to listen to and give the individual, space to express his/her feeling and ideas. Listen to the students openly and attempt to process with clarity the answers to his/her needs and situations.
  6. Modelling the qualities or values, which s/he wants to pass to the students in question. These values could be obedience, purity, faithfulness, trustworthiness, considerate, love, honesty, tolerance, empathy etc. She has to display these qualities in everyday interaction with the learners to be able to impart them.
  7. Being sensitive to their feelings and preferences. This calls for the teacher knowing the children under his/her care well so that he cap appeal to their emotions through his/her interaction with them in and out of class This will need development of reflective technique where the teacher can mirror on the learners behavior without expressing a positive or negative judgement. This can be done by making use of phrases like … You seem to prefer the use of … You look … You seem … you
    sound … You give the impression.
  8. Teaching communication, interpersonal and group skills: This will lead to a healthy
    interaction between an individual and others; leading to the development of a
    realistic positive self – concept and promotion of social behaviour.
  9. Providing information and structuring learning experiences which will lead the
    learners in discovering and reflecting on their feelings and in discussing possible
    That is, the learners can only work towards change of behaviour when they
    are conscious of their negative existing values, the problems their negative behaviour
    can cause other students and then plan how they can revise them and develop new
  10. Promoting personal integration and self-concept: The teacher should set attainable
    but challenging tasks or goals. Individual learners should be accepted, encouraged
    and recognized. At the same time criticism should be constructive.
  11. Promoting self-control by being humane and consistently matching of behaviors and consequences.
  12. Encouraging positive social behavior: This is done by the learners being taught to reject prejudices and learn to like others and see matters from others perspective. This can be achieved through interactive learning already discussed in the previous chapter.  Positive social behavior can be enhanced by the teacher providing opportunities for the learners to interact with people who have desirable attitudes. This will promote learning of about one’s attitudes and their effects on self and others.
  13. Allowing time for comprehension and reflection: students need to be given time to grasp and reflect on new information and experiences that will initiate change. This is made possible through:
  14. Discussion groups focusing on well-structured and interesting topics.
  15. Arranging for group decision-making a group can debate on an issue and make a group discussion on it. This fosters acceptance and ownership

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