Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Core Values: After Three Years of Research, What Do We Know?

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Teen violence, crime, drug abuse, and unwed mothers are a concern to parents and educators. This research has been guided by a study by Phi Delta Kappa on "core values" that was undertaken to determine if there are common values, such as honesty, civility, equality, freedom, and responsibility, on which all people in the United States agree. This paper discusses what values educators and adolescents hold and compares those beliefs with the educators' predictions of the teens' beliefs. A sample of high school students, teachers, and administrators in rural eastern Kentucky were previously surveyed to provide their views to surveys originally developed by Phi Delta Kappa's (PDK), "What Do You Really Believe?" for teens and "How Would Teenagers Respond?" for educators, as well as a revision of the "What Do You Really Believe?" survey for educators. Based on the results of the present research, an area of interest for future research would be to determine how parents would respond to the value statements compared to their perception of teen responses and actual teen responses recorded. The many approaches to values education include values clarification, values transmission, values orientation, values stimulation, moral development and reasoning, and character formation/education. If there is a consensus on "core values" today, it seems appropriate that schools assist parents and the general public in transmitting these values to succeeding generations.