The Power of Values In Education

7 June 2012

When it comes to student motivation; values in education are more important than the value of education.


We talk a lot about the value of education, which is an important topic and one that should be discussed.  However there is a significant difference between the two.

In the previous post titled Three Ways [Almost] Guaranteed to Help Motivate Even The Most Unmotivated Student Pt 2, I mentioned that when it comes to motivation, we say what we believe but we do what we value.

That is why we all make new years resolutions and then are not motivated to keep them.  We believe in the change but our value system remains unchanged.

The power of value applies to all areas of life.

I can remember the time when this became apparent in my marriage.  My wife went shopping one day and came home with a $200 pair of shoes.  I nearly died!

I couldn’t for the life of me understand how someone could justify spending that much money on a little bit of rubber and leather.  That was until she reminded me that I had just spent $180 for a one hour flying lesson. I was more than happy to spend the same amount of money because I saw the value in it.

Your relationship as a teacher with your students is just like my relationship with my wife.  If I can’t see the value in it then I won’t be motivated to participate in it.

As a husband, I can even appreciate the value difference and allow my wife to engage in shoe shopping but there is no way that you will ever find me in a shoe shop spending that kind of money.

This is why we need to show our students the values in education.  Values such as:

  • Having a good attitude
  • Always trying your best
  • Learning is more important than performance
  • Problem solving is a skill for life

And so on.

When you take the time to articulate what are the values in education rather than just the value of education, your students will be more inclined to engage in their work because they can see the value of doing so.

In the next post, I will explain how we can instil these values in our students.  Hint: It is not about rewards and punishment.

If you would like to learn more about how to motivate, manage and engage your students you can check out the Student Motivation Seminar site.

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