Values Education Essay

1647 words - 7 pages

A multitude of complex and contentious legal issues face individuals and groups alike in Australia on a day-to-day basis. By notion, Legal Studies is then intended as an opportunity for students in their senior years of schooling to develop knowledge and tangible skills, as well as shape the values, attitudes and beliefs necessary to enhance their awareness and ability to actively participate as informed, proactive and critical members of society (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007). To effectively navigate the legal and moral mindfield that beckons, it is vital for students to be informed about their rights and responsibilities within legislation (Eekelaark, 1992). Essential to the progression of students through the syllabus is the concept of Values Education, which when taught in conjunction with Productive Pedagogies models in the classroom describes explicit or implicit school-based activities which promotes a student’s knowledge and understanding of values, which develops the skills and dispositions of students so they can enact particular values in their everyday lives as individuals and members of the community (Queensland Government Department of Education and Training, 2004).
In Queensland, Legal Studies consists of six prescribed sections of study throughout Year 11 and 12: “The legal system”; “Crime and society”; “Civil obligations”; “You, the law and society” (renting and buying; family; jobs; sport; environment; consumers; technology; rights and responsibilities – at least two units to be chosen); “Independent study” and “Law in a changing society” whereby students collect, organise, analyse and synthesise relevant information and evaluate its quality and validity across a variety of sources (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007). Through the processes of critical analysis, examination and problem solving, students are empowered to develop their understanding that law is not a passive notion but instead is influenced various conflicting values, attitudes and beliefs. For this reason, the incorporation and embedding of Values-Based Education within the Senior Legal Studies syllabus is increasingly important, signalled by the inception of key national policy documents namely the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools (Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training, 2005). This document incorporates a foundation vision for improved Values Education in Australian schools; eight Guiding Principles as well as key elements and approaches providing practical guidance to support schools in implementing Values Education; and nine values for Australian Schooling that emerged from Australian school communities and from the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, which underlines the importance of Values-Based learning experiences in the classroom, working in conjunction with modern educational policy to complement both the fundamental inclusion of values within the Senior...

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