PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION: What do we mean by values and what role does it play in the realisation of educational goals?



8a i). Explain the role played by values in the realization of goals of education.


 Unit Objectives

     By the end of the unit you should be able to:

  • Define values
  • List the characteristics of values
  • State the types of values
  • Describe the methods to be used to inculcate values.
  • Explain the factors which are contributing to erosion of values in Kenya

Meaning of values

What are values?

Values are standards of behaviour. Value makes life in a society meaningful. A society without values will be a bad society. A value is what is desired. Values are the guiding principles or rules of life. Values tell us how to behave in different situations.

Meaning of value.

According to Dewey (1961) the term value has two different meaning. On the one hand, it donates the attitude of pricing a thing, finding it worthwhile, for its own sake or intrinsically. Thus, value in this sense is to appreciate, but to value also means a distinctly intellectual act, an operation of comparing and evaluating.

Characteristics of values.

  • Vales are neither subjective nor purely objective.
  • Values are co-operative results of an interaction between personal and impersonal elements.
  • Values are created and preserved by God.
  • Values are not based on attitudes.
  • Values are abstract.
  • Values are feelings put in the condensed form.

8.4  Types of values.

  •      Professed values(What we believe in)
  •      Operational values(What we practice)

   Values may also be classified as follows:

   (a) Social values.

Social values make life in a society meaningful. People live in society and them to succeed they should confirm to the social values in that society    

    The different social values include:

  • Social conformity. Every person has to live according to the social norms fixed by the society.
  • Discipline. Every person should be self-disciplined.
  • Social sensitivity. Every person should be socially sensitive.
  • Social justice. Everyone should be just.
  • Fellow feelings. It includes charity, love, kindness and sympathy.
  • Cleanliness. It is the second to godliness.
  • Cooperation.
  • Equality.
  • Hard work.

 (b) Moral values.

They are important in the lives of an individual. Morality is the base for good character.

 The moral values include: Honesty, truthful, faithfulness, justice, self-control, and truthfulness.

 (c) Cultural values.

  Cultural values are acquired through experience and practice.

     They include:

  • Tolerance.
  • Courtesy:

The courtesy values include:

    1. Showing respect to elders and teachers.
    2. Appreciating help given by others however small it may be.
    3. Showing consideration for the viewers of others.
    4. Greeting others.
    5.  Speaking politely.
    6. Avoiding unnecessary talks.
    7.  Patience.

(d) National Values

(i) Social justice: freedom from want, ignorance and disease; human dignity; freedom of conscience; promotion of cultural heritage; equal opportunities for all citizens; and a higher and growing national income equitably distributed.

(ii) Peace.

The tree tenets of Nyayo philosophy (peace, love and unity) provide the practical foundations of development. For where there is peace, there is stability and discipline resulting in investments, enterprise and progress.

(iii) Love.

Where there is love, there is trust and readiness to work with others, learn from them and contribute to the cause of nationhood;

(iv) Unity.

Where there is unity, there is strength rooted in the understanding of a common purpose, loyalty, patriotism and mutual dependence. It is important that the Harambee spirit as a traditional African concept for development and the Nyayo philosophy of peace, love and unity as practical foundations for development should be an integral part of national education and training programmes.

(v) Internationalism

Kenya’s political philosophy also embodies the acceptance of the spirit of internationalism as enshrined in the United Nations Charter. This is important in the global world. National development and survival depend on the ability of a nation to relate to other nations and share ideas. Education and training should foster positive international understanding and enable Kenyans to cope with various foreign influences and remain true Kenyans.

(vi) Nationalism

Education and training should prepare and equip Kenyans to be strongly nationalistic and patriotic towards national independence, integrity and values. Education and training should foster positive international understanding and enable Kenyans to cope with various foreign influences and remain true Kenyans. Develop national cultural programmes to educate and influence Kenyans and inculcate national values and ideals. The Kamunge commission recommended that education and training should prepare Kenyans to be nationalistic and patriotic towards national independence and values.


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