ERIC Number: ED436705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-30
Values Clarification: An Issue Related Paper.
Corder, Gregory W.
Values clarification involves presenting a hypothetical situation to students that requires them to make a moral judgment. That moral judgment must be publicly affirmed by the student, but not criticized by others. Values clarification's philosophical context is existentialist. The values clarification philosophies and methods were consistent with the radical humanistic ideas and the popular philosophies of the youth of the late 1960s. During the 1970s, approaches in humanistic therapy flourished. In "Values Clarification: A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students," S. B. Simon et al promote values clarification as not being concerned with the particular outcomes of any one individual's experience but with the process used to obtain his or her values. Simon asserts the traditional idea that right and wrong absolutes are obsolete and no final moral authority exists. Years later, motivated by various criticisms, Simon collaborated with L. W. Howe to publish a second book. That book reaffirmed values clarification and made clear misperceived interpretations of the theories in the first book. The four major sources of criticism were: religious conservatism, political conservatism, a therapeutic paradigm shift, and serious flaws with values clarification from the beginning. Given the amount of criticism directed at values clarification, should educators abandon it? Eventually, individuals are required to make a moral stance. Implementation of any type of values clarification should include parental consent. When students arrive upon a final moral decision, values clarification facilitators should carefully examine and even question decisions that may cause danger to others, even if the process that led to it is sound. The issues addressed in values clarification should be carefully examined before its use. (Contains 12 references.) (MKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the James Madison University School of Education Inquiry Forum (Harrisonburg, VA, April 30, 1999).