Embedding Values and Attitudes in Curriculum

Shaping a Better Future

image of Embedding Values and Attitudes in Curriculum

For the first time, the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project conducted comprehensive curriculum analyses through the co‐creation of new knowledge with a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers, academic experts, school leaders, teachers, NGOs, other social partners and, most importantly, students. This report is one of six in a series presenting the first‐ever comparative data on curriculum at the content level summarising existing literature, examining trends in curriculum change with challenges and strategies, and suggesting lessons learned from unintended consequences countries experienced with their curriculum reforms.

This report highlights how clearly articulated and experienced values and attitudes can support students’ positive lifelong learning outcomes and promote a more equitable and just society. Despite the variety of values espoused in national curricula, there is an emerging trend in prioritising values that enhance well-being and learning across different countries. This report acknowledges that incorporating values and attitudes in curriculum design and implementation does not come without its challenges – values and attitudes can be intensely contested constructs. However, it also examines the desire by authorities to see curriculum reflecting future-focused goals to improve society as a stronger imperative for countries/jurisdictions than the challenges presented. This report offers strategies that can support effective design and implementation.


Lessons learned from embedding values in curriculum

This final chapter outlines the lessons learned and some unintended consequences of embedding values education in curriculum design. These include: 1) the acknowledgement that values and attitudes may be indirectly “caught” rather than directly taught; 2) the need to support school leaders and teachers to reconcile tensions among values which may vary among societal norms, school ethos, parental expectations and students’ own beliefs; 3) the need to acknowledge the integrity of subject content as well as the association between subject content and real-life contexts; 4) the importance of awareness of risks and opportunities in messaging through media; 5) the need to make conscious efforts to reflect student voice; 6) the multidimensional considerations to consider when measuring attitudes and values. Research gaps are also suggested to further consolidate the knowledge base on values curriculum.


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