04 SES 14 B, Research on Value Development and Values Education in Schools
The topic of values recently has become a publicly—sometimes even hotly—debated issue (Verwiebe, 2019). Part of this public interest relates to values in childhood, which contrasts with the fact that research on values at such an early age is still in its infancy (Döring et al., 2015). Many aspects relating to this subtopic remain unexplored, such as values in the school context, even though scholars (e.g., Makarova et al., 2012) highlight its pivotal role (e.g., in the transmission of values). The present investigation ventured a—in part exploratory—step into this under-researched field by studying children’s values at primary schools in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, a multilingual European border region. The province is characterized by a rather specific historical and sociopolitical context, which, for instance, is reflected in the tripartite division of the school system according to the language groups cohabitating the territory (i.e., Ladin, Italian, and German speakers). The sample consisted of 450 fourth- and fifth-graders (Mage = 9.81, SD = 0.73; 217 girls, 233 boys) of all three school systems, who self-reported their values on the Picture Based Value Survey (PBVS-C; Döring et al., 2010) based on Schwartz’s (1992) value theory. In addition to confirming age- and gender-related differences as reported in previous research (e.g., Daniel et al., 2020; Döring et al., 2015), the present study found that children differ in the importance they attribute to specific values depending on the school system they attend. Children attending German schools attribute more importance to self-transcendence than those attending Italian schools, less importance to conservation than children attending Ladin schools, and more importance to openness to change than children attending Italian and Ladin schools. Instead, children attending Italian schools rate self-enhancement higher than children attending German and Ladin schools do. The findings are discussed in light of the existing literature as well as the sociopolitical reality of the province.
Daniel, E., Benish-Weisman, M., Sneddon, J. N., & Lee, J. A. (2020). Value Profiles During Middle Childhood: Developmental Processes and Social Behavior. Child Development, 91(5), 1615–1630. Döring, A. K. (2010) Assessing Children’s Values: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 28(6), 564–577. Döring, A. K., Schwartz, S. H., Cieciuch, J., Groenen, P. J. F., Glatzel, V., Harasimczuk, J., Janowicz, Nyagolova, M., Scheefer, E. R., Allritz, M., Milfont, T. L., & Bilsky, W. (2015). Cross‐cultural evidence of value structures and priorities in childhood. British Journal of Psychology, 106(4), 675–699. Makarova, E., Herzog, W., Weber, K., & Frommelt, M. (2012). Werte und Wertetransmission. Wertevermittlung durch Erziehungsziele und Werthaltungen der Eltern. Bern: Uni Bern. Retrieved from https://www.elenamakarova.ch/projects/value-transmission/ [19.10.2018] Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theory and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 1–65). New York: Academic Press. Verwiebe, R. (2019). Werte und Wertebildung – Einleitende Bemerkungen und empirischer Kontext. In R. Verwiebe (Ed.), Werte und Wertebildung aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive (pp. 1–24). Springer.
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