Understanding Value Education

Value means importance and education means knowledge; therefore, value education means knowledge of importance. In other words when we get the knowledge of importance of anything, importance of human being, importance of us as human being, then we have value education.
Value education deals with what is universally valuable to us, what is conductive to our individual and collective happiness and prosperity in a sustainable way.
This definition refers to it as the process that gives young people an initiation into values, giving knowledge of the rules needed to function in this mode of relating to other people, and to seek the development in the student a grasp of certain underlying principles, together with the ability to apply these rules intelligently, and to have the settled disposition to do so.

Significance of Value Education

Value education is important to help everyone in improving the value system that he/she holds and puts it to use. Once, one has understood his/ her values in life he/she can examine and control the various choices he/she makes in his/ her life. One has to frequently uphold the various types of values in his/ her life such as cultural values, universal values, personal values and social values.
Thus, value education is always essential to shape one’s life and to give one an opportunity of performing on the global stage. The need for value education among the parents, children, teachers etc, is constantly increasing as we continue to witness increasing violent activities, behavioral disorders, and lack of unity in the society etc.
Value education enables us to understand our needs and visualize our goals correctly and indicate the direction for their fulfilment. It also helps remove our confusions and contradictions and enables us to rightly utilize the technological innovations.

The Role of Value Education

Value education plays a very important role in creating a better society, more ethical organizations and groups, and better human beings. Let us look at how it does this:
  • Value education can help to build human beings who possess strength, integrity, and fortitude.
  • Value education builds the values of cooperation and peace as well as tolerance.
  • Efficiency can step up if a person possesses the right values. This may include punctuality, keeping one’s word, professionalism, lack of bias or prejudice etc.
  • Creating cordial relationships between people by encouraging the values of respect, love, and affection.
  • Promoting personality development and social cohesion.
  • Regeneration values of national pride and integration towards nation- building.
  • Building character in the young people who will lead the country in the future.
  • Promoting harmony between nations and creating a peaceful world order.
  • Identifying the core universal values of:
    • Truth (Satya)
    • Righteous Conduct (Dharma)
    • Peace (Shanti)
    • Love (Prema)
    • Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
  • To help create a foundation of the quality of life and strike a balance between external and internal values.
Thus, value education can play a significant role in the betterment of individuals, groups and society at large.

Purpose of Value Education

Need for Value Education

  • Correct identification of our aspirations. The subject which enables us to understand ‘what is valuable’ for human happiness is called ‘value education’ (VE). Thus, VE enables us to understand our needs and visualize our goals correctly and also indicate the direction for their fulfilment. It also helps to remove our confusions and contradictions and bring harmony at all levels.
  • Understanding universal human values to fulfil our aspirations in continuity. Values form the basis for all our thoughts, behaviors and actions. Once we know what is valuable to us, these values become the basis, the anchor for our actions. We also need to understand the universality of various human values, because only then we can have a definite and common program for value education. Then only we can be assured of a happy and harmonious human society.
  • Complementarity of values and skills. To fulfil our aspirations both values and skills are necessary. When we identify and set the right goals and produced in right direction. This is known as value domain, the domain of wisdom, and when we learn and practices to actualize this goal to develop the techniques to make this happen in real life, in various dimensions of human endeavor (struggle). This is known as domain of skills. Hence, there is an essential complementarity between values and skills for the success of any human endeavor. For example, I want to lead a healthy life. Only wishing for good health will not help me keep my body fit and healthy and without having understood the meaning of health, I will not be able to choose things correctly to keep my body fit and healthy.
  • Evaluation of our beliefs. Each one of us believes in certain things and we base our values on these beliefs, be they false or true which may or may not be true in reality. These believes come to us from what we read, see, hear, what our parents tells us, our friends talk about, what the magazines talk of, what we see from TV etc. Value Education helps us to evaluate our beliefs and assumed values.
  • Technology and human values. The present education system has become largely skill based. The prime emphasis is on science and technology. However, science and technology can only help to provide the means to achieve what is considered valuable. It is not within the scope of science and technology to provide the competence of deciding what really is valuable. VE is a crucial missing link in the present education system. Because of this deficiency, most of our efforts may prove to be counterproductive and serious crises at the individual, societal and environmental level are manifesting. Hence, there is a strong need to rectify this situation

Basic Guidelines for Value Education

In order to qualify for any course on value education, the following guidelines for the content of the course are important:
Universal: It needs to be applicable to all the human beings irrespective of cast, creed, nationalities, religion, etc., for all times and regions.
Rational: It must appeal to human reasoning. It must be amenable to reasoning and not based on dogmas or blind beliefs.
Natural and verifiable: It must be naturally acceptable to the human being who goes through the course and when we live based on such values it leads to our happiness. It needs to be experientially verifiable, and not based on dogmas, beliefs, or assumptions.
All encompassing: Value education is aimed at transforming our consciousness and living. Hence, it needs to cover all the dimensions (thought, behavior, work, and realization) and levels (individual, family, society, nature, and existence) of human life and profession.
Leading to harmony: The value education ultimately is targeted to promote harmony within the individual, among human beings and with nature.

Content of Value Education

The scope of value education includes all dimensions (thoughts, behavior, work, and realization) and all levels (individual, family, society, and nature – existence). Accordingly, the content of value education will be to understand myself, my aspirations, my happiness; understand the goal of human life comprehensively, understand the other entities in nature, the innate inter-connectedness, the co-existence in the nature- existence and finally the role of human being in this nature/existence entirely. Hence, it must encompass understanding of harmony at various levels and finally, learning to live in accordance with this understanding by being vigilant to one’s thoughts, behavior, and work.

Process of Value Education

The process for value education must be that of self-exploration, and not of giving sermons of telling dos and don’ts. Whatever is found as truth or reality may be stated as a proposal and everyone is to be encouraged to verify it on his/ her own right. Various aspects of reality facilitating the understanding of human values will be presented as proposals. We need to verify these proposals for our self and examine our living in this light. In other words, the process of value education adopted here is that of self-exploration which includes two things: verification at the level of natural acceptance and experiential validation in living.


Value education is required to correctly identify our basic aspirations, understand the values that enable us to fulfil our basic aspirations, ensure the complementarity of values and skills, and to properly evaluate our beliefs. It also facilitates the development of appropriate technology and its right utilization for human welfare.
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