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VbE Thesis

Values-based Education (VbE) was founded on my doctoral research thesis at Oxford University. The full thesis is available from here. To download a summary of his original research findings, click here. Below is an abstract from the theses.

Does teaching values improve the quality of education in primary schools?


The research study seeks evidence to analyse whether moral education in positive values, in the form of values education, is fundamental to the purposes of developing quality education.


Significantly, the study considers whether values education can enable pupils to internalise, and act on, a code of personal ethics. It considers the argument that values education may have positive qualitative effects on the attitudes and behaviour of adults and pupils in state primary schools. Furthermore, the study seeks to ascertain whether the methods and pedagogy of values education can be an effective means of implementing the second aim of the revised English National Curriculum, which is concerned with the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.

This research study seeks to establish whether values education, as the embodiment of the aim, can help pupils to be caring citizens capable of contributing to the development of a just society. It reflects on whether values education can be an effective means for reestablishing the moral purpose of education and thereby affect the quality of education in the state sector of schooling.

The research data showed that values education does improve the quality of education.  This was endorsed by a comprehensive study in Australia conducted by Professor Terry Lovat at Newcastle University across multiple schools.


Now, in 2024, there are thousands of schools globally that have implemented forms of values-based education. 

Graduation Day at Oxford University

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