|Strategies and Methods for Teaching Values in the Context of Science and Technology (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 61 p.)|
Values have cognitive and affective bases. These involve behavioural components because a value perception when activated leads to action.
Besides subjectivity of the teacher, the other major problem is that student responses in paper and pencil tests, may not be true. There are two other inherent problems: the competitiveness among the students of showing the better development of value; and difference in their behaviour in a different setting. Nevertheless the complexity in the nature of value assessment should not prevent the teacher from assessing the value.
In the participating countries, evaluation is treated as an integral part of education at all levels of school education. Many have been using formative and summative evaluation practices and frequently the emphasis has been on continuous evaluation of cognitive abilities. Of late the need for evaluation of pupils' affective qualities is being felt. In some countries the Ministries of Education (e.g. India, Thailand, Philippines) have delineated certain core values and are requiring the schools to develop them through relevant integrated or other appropriate approaches.
It is against this background that the participants discussed the issue of evaluation of values. The evaluation procedures/practices/strategies followed for evaluating affective qualities are not only diverse but are also at varying stages of evolution, development and implementation. Evaluation techniques for assessing value learning outcomes depend upon the contextual situations, and the nature of the values themselves. The actual evaluation of value outcomes takes the form of obtaining, as objectively and reliably as possible, a measure of the actual and natural behaviour of the learner in different situations manifesting the value of interest.
The participants felt that as far as the conceptual awareness and understanding of different values is concerned, it is possible to assess them reasonably well by using paper-and-pencil tests specially designed for the purpose. Similarly, the opinions, convictions and attitudes of students towards values can also be reasonably assessed through carefully developed attitude scales (Likert, Semantic Differential) and other kinds of rating scales, inventories, checklists, opinionnaires/questionnaires and projective techniques. However, the assessment of the extent of value internalization as reflected in actual behaviour in daily life contexts is difficult but not impossible to evaluate.
The participants discussed the different procedures/practices/strategies that could be used for evaluation of values. It was felt that the practice of using formative, diagnostic and summative evaluation may be followed for evaluating outcomes in both cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Such evaluation practices should also be continuous, comprehensive and improvement oriented. The assessment of the extent to which the student has imbibed values is very complex and entails the use of many kinds of information and data collected through various test and nontest ways.
The following approaches/techniques/strategies were discussed and suggested by the workshop:
Paper and Pencil Tests
- Attitude Scales/Rating Scales: are used for measuring pupil attitudes. Likert and Semantic Differential type of scales are also often used. Ratings by science teachers and other teachers, heads of schools, parents, peer group members, and self-ratings are all useful in assessing values.
- Questionnaires/Opinionnaires/Checklists/Inventories: Depending upon the purpose, use can be made of carefully developed questionnaires/opinionnaires directed towards assessment of specific aspects of affective behaviour. They could be used for survey purposes and could be filled in by students, teachers, parents and others. In addition to the usual type of items calling for information, some open-ended items could be included on specific aspects of values.
- Observation Methods/Interview/Case Studies: Direct and systematic observations of pupils is by far the most valid approach for the evaluation of values. This could be carried out by all teachers in the school, peers, parents and others who are in close contact with pupils. All observation is to be done without allowing the students to know that they are being studied (least they make fake behaviours which are desirable than display actual behaviours). Observation schedules could be developed and the data on these could be a good supplement to analyse and interpret data from other sources. Structured or unstructured interview techniques also can be used profitably for value evaluation purposes.
Case studies of pupils who show evidence of values internalization and who do not, would throw light on the effectiveness/impact of values education programmes, and help planning remediation measures.
- Moral Dilemmas and Situational Analysis: Moral dilemmas, both general and subject specific, could be developed, standardized and used as tests of values. Situational analyses and moral dilemma techniques have similarities since both present a brief account of certain incidents or happenings or dilemmas involving moral or ethical values and the respondents have to suggest the action they would take to solve the dilemma. The situational analysis approach may also involve enactment of role playing to describe incidents and calling for analysis and decisions.
- Projective Techniques: Many variations of this approach could be used. Story writing based on pictures presented, sentence completion tasks involving values, completion of incomplete stories etc. are some of the examples. The assumption behind the projective techniques is that the respondent would project his ideas, feelings, beliefs, etc in responding to such tasks. The scoring, analysis and interpretation of responses to such techniques requires special training.
- Creative Self Expression: In this technique, certain science themes reflecting values are given and the respondents are asked to write short stories poems/plays/drama/songs or draw pictures. These also involve the projection of one's self into the activity. They are analysed for the value components.
- Critical Incidents or 'One moment in time' Approach: A related approach is to ask students to recall incidents related to values which they have experienced and narrate or write the same. Another approach is to present actual newspaper/magazine, reports of incidents reflecting values and requiring students to answer questions based on them. The answers are analysed in terms of values reflected. Both general and science-specific incidents could be used.
Assessment of Values through Project Work and Other Science-related Activities
Science teachers can also take into account the participation of the pupils in numerous science activities and projects. These afford opportunities to observe the development and reflection of affective qualities of behaviour such as, co-operation, neatness, self-discipline, concern for others, appreciation of the contributions of scientists, compassion, suspension of judgement until enough evidence is available, pursuit of truth, perseverance, open-mindedness, ecological concerns and protection of environment, use of science and technology for promoting human welfare and happiness etc. The teacher has to record her observations and use these as supplementary information for evaluation of values.
Development and Use of Evaluative Criteria
One of the approaches is to develop evaluative criteria for assessing each value that is deemed desirable. This involves the identification and listing of behaviours which are indicators of values internalization. Such criteria are to be developed for each value. The development of such indications of behaviour should be based on as many contexts (both general and science specific) as possible. The teacher can use these with students and assess their values development. She can prepare value profiles year after year for each individual and for the class as a whole. These would help in understanding the progress of each student, as well as the class in the development of values. Such an analysis and study would give feedback to the teacher and also help in the larger context of the evaluation of the total programme of values-oriented education.
To measure the progress of values development, some considerations are relevant. These include questions such as:
- Is the student able to actualize the desired behaviour?
- How often and widely is the behaviour demonstrated?
- Is the behaviour consistent over time?
- Is the motivation for behaviour an internal or external one?
- Is it for selfish purposes?
- What is the significance of the behaviour?
If the teacher has to find out whether a value has been developed in a student or not, she will have to observe the indicators related to that particular value.
Respect for others as a value. Some indicators of behaviour:
- Greets his teachers in school;
- Greets teachers outside school and whenever he meets them;
- Greets his parents;
- Listens to his parents and elders;
- Greets his peers;
- Advises friends to greet elders/teachers;
- Stands up when teachers come to him;
- Tells others that greeting is good manners;
- Curious to know the greeting behaviour of people of different regions/countries;
- Appreciates different forms of greetings;
- Identifies respectful behaviours/characters in stories/films;
- He takes initiative in greeting new comers to the class;
- Greets visitors coming to his house.
The programme of values-oriented science education has also to be evaluated. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the effectiveness of the programme using appropriate methodology, tools and techniques, may be undertaken in a phased manner.
Problems in the Evaluation of Values
The workshop was cognizant of the problems associated with evaluating values. The discussion on the subject led to the identification of the following:
- Defining the term 'values' in a way that is acceptable to all.
- The nature, number and complexity of values.
- Lack of know-how on the growth and development of values.
- Non-availability of suitable instruments to measure values.
- Subjectivity in the approaches to values evaluation.
- Lack of evaluative criteria.
- Lack of commitment/faith on the part of teachers. Over emphasis on cognitive aspects to the neglect of affective and psychomotor aspects.
- Lack of know-how on the integration of values with content and learning/teaching.
- Lack of training for teachers in values-oriented learning/teaching.
- Lack of co-operation among teachers and absence of team spirit.
- Overcrowded classrooms and pressure of examinations.