VbE-centric Research

Positive human values will improve the quality of life for the larger community

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.

To download a PDF summary of this page, click here.

Original VbE Research

VbE was researched and developed by Dr Neil Hawkes in the 1990s and 2000s. We have since summarised his original research findings. To download the summary, click here.

The full research is available from Amazon.

Independent Research : Impact of VbE on Schools

Below is an extract of the findings from an academic study into the impact of Values-based Education. To download the full report from which the information is extracted, click here. To download the formal research paper on which the Australian Government's report was based, click click here

Values-based schools emphasise values education in their curriculum and teaching. As a consequence students become more academically diligent, the school assumes a calmer, more peaceful ambience, better student-teacher relationships are forged, student and teacher wellbeing improves 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 student performance.

Academic Diligence
Student academic diligence was enhanced. Students:
  • 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.

School Ambiance
The improvements in School ambience included:
  • conflict among students decreased or was managed more constructively;
  • students demonstrated greater empathy, honesty and integrity;
  • more tolerant and cooperative student interactions;
  • safer and more harmonious classrooms and playgrounds;
  • greater kindness and tolerance among students;
  • students actively seeking to include peers without friends;
  • students taking greater responsibility with school equipment and routine tasks;
  • students treating the school buildings and grounds ‘with respect’.

Student-teacher Relationships
The impact on student-teacher relationships was evidenced by:
  • more trusting relationships between staff and students;
  • the establishment of more democratic classrooms;
  • teachers giving students more power by allowing them choices in learning activities;
  • teachers being more conscious of scaffolding students to manage their own behaviour or resolve conflict with others;
  • teachers seeking opportunities to acknowledge and reinforce appropriate behaviour;
  • teachers listening to students and responding to their concerns and opinions;
  • students perceiving that teachers treat them fairly;
  • students behaving more respectfully towards teachers;
  • students showing greater politeness and courtesy to teachers.

Student-teacher Welbeing
The positive impacts on student and teacher wellbeing included:
  • students feeling a greater sense of connectedness and belonging;
  • students gaining a greater capacity for self-reflection and self-appraisal;
  • students 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 students, 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 students results in more responsible, focused and cooperative classrooms and equipped students 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 students 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 students’ academic progress and wellbeing.

Impact of VbE on Wellbeing

Professors Lovatt and Hawkes produced a paper that explores research into the impact of VbE on students' 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 students 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 of Wellbeing on Academic Attainment

VbE research above demonstrates the improvement of wellbeing on individual students 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

From My Heart
Neil Hawkes

This is a book that guides readers on how to bring values into their consciousness, thereby improving their well being and that of their family, community and working environment.