Values education is a term used to name several things, and there is much academic controversy surrounding it. Some regard it as all aspects of the process by which teachers (and other adults) transmit values to pupils. Others see it as an activity that can take place in any organisation during which people are assisted by others, who may be older, in a position of authority or are more experienced, to make explicit those values underlying their own behaviour, to assess the effectiveness of these values and associated behaviour for their own and others' long term well-being and to reflect on and acquire other values and behaviour which they recognise as being more effective for long term well-being of self and others.
This means that values education can take place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, offender's institutions and voluntary youth organisations. There are two main approaches to values education, some see it as inculcating or transmitting a set of values which often come from societal or religious rules or cultural ethics while others see it as a type of Socratic dialogue where people are gradually brought to their own realisation of what is good behaviour for themselves and their community.
There has been very little reliable research on the results of values education classes, but there are some encouraging preliminary results.
One definition refers to it as the process that gives young people an initiation into values, giving knowledge of the rules needed to function in this mode of relating to other people, and to seek the development in the student a grasp of certain underlying principles, together with the ability to apply these rules intelligently, and to have the settled disposition to do so Some researchers use the concept values education as an umbrella of concepts that includes moral education and citizenship education Themes that values education can address to varying degrees are character, moral development, Religious Education, Spiritual development, citizenship education, personal development, social development and cultural development.
- explicit values education is associated with those different pedagogies, methods or programmes that teachers or educators use in order to create learning experiences for students when it comes to value questions.
Commonality in Many "Educations" 
- Moral education
Morals as socio-legal-religious norms are supposed to help people behave responsibly. However not all morals lead to responsible behaviour. Values education can show which morals are "bad" morals and which are "good". The change in behaviour comes from wrestling with questions about right and wrong.
American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg who specialized in research on moral education and reasoning, and was best known for his theory of stages of moral development, believed children needed to be in an environment that allowed for open and public discussion of day-to-day conflicts and problems to develop their moral reasoning ability.
- Teacher education
Cross has made a start at documenting some teacher training attempts.
Multinational School-based Values Education Schemes 
Living Values Education Programme (LVEP) 
This project of worldwide proportions inspired by the new religious movement called the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University incorporates twelve values (unity, peace, happiness, hope, humility, simplicity, trust, freedom, co-operation, honesty, courage, love), and has formed the basis of thekiss whole-school ethos approach in schools such as West Kidlington Primary School, Kidlington whose head master Neil Hawkes and Values education coordinators Linda Heppenstall used the work and other programmes to help them form a values-based school. The LVEP website lists 54 countries where values education projects are undertaken.
Character Education 
Character education is an umbrella term generally used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop as personal and social beings. However, this definition requires research to explain what is meant by "personal and social being". Concepts that fall under this term include social and emotional learning, moral reasoning/cognitive development, life skills education, health education; violence prevention, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and conflict resolution and mediation. Lickona (1996) mentions eleven principles of successful character education. It seems to have been applied in the UK and the United States
Examples of Values Education from around the world 
Taylor gives a thorough overview of values education in 26 European countries.
The Australian Government currently funds Values education in its schools, with its own publications and funding of school forums on values education at all levels of education. A conference on "Moral Education and Australian Values" was held in 2007 at Monash University.
Promotion of moral education by a large number of teachers in Japanese primary and junior high schools was reported in 1988 to be cautious because of fears of relapsing into pre-war style moral education the subject remaining a controversial matter.
Teacher training institutions in Singapore all have curricula for learning to teach civics and moral education programmes - but students do not take these as seriously as they should due to lack of assessment. The reason has been said to be the lack of innovative teaching approaches such as the discourse pedagogy.
Values education is a part of Swedish schools. Whereas the formal curricula is about educating students to be competent democratic citizens by practising student participation, qualitative studies have shown that in everyday school life, values education and school democracy often appeared to be reduced to traditional disciplining with high focus on rules and regulations. This in turn evokes some critiques among students. Most research on values education in Sweden is done by qualitative methods, especially ethnographic or field studies as well as focus group and interview studies.  Some studies have been conducted by survey and other quantitative methods.  In addition, theoretical work with roots in Dewey and Habermas has been done on deliberative democracy and deliberative conversations in schools. 
In Thailand, values have traditionally been taught within the context of Buddhist religious education. Since 1982 there has been a revival of applied values as an extracurricular activity suitable for Buddhist, Moslem and Christian students alike to prepare Thai students for the effects of globalization.
United Kingdom 
Since 1988 the British government, although not recognising or calling it values education, has promoted and inspected values in the guise of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSCD) leaving the initiative to individual schools to decide how values education standards should be met. It is not clear whether there are standards of values education. It should be noted that the Government and state school systems have never called it "values education". Values education courses in Britain may be implemented in the form of government supported campaigns such as Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) but are more often provided by local experts in the form of LVEP, SSEHV, Penn Resiliency or Character education.
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See also 
- moral philosophy
- moral psychology
- educational psychology
- political philosophy
- social psychology
- special education
- pre-school education
- Holistic education
- Emotional and behavioral disorders
- Society for Values in Higher Education