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Caribbean Journal of Education

Educating for Values, Attitudes, and Character Development: Policy and Practice in the Formal Curriculum in Social Studies and History

Publication Date: 
September 2003

Educating for values, attitudes, and character development is a lifelong issue, with concerns about the relevance and cultural appropriateness of the type of education and training offered at the various levels of the education system. In recent years in Jamaica, much emphasis has been placed on informal and nonformal learning to foster positive values, attitudes, and character development, mainly because of disillusionment with the formal curriculum’s ability to achieve such outcomes. This accounts for the use of organized service learning, partnership and volunteerism, peace and conflict resolution programmes as accepted means of fostering these values and attitudes. Values are those qualities that an individual or society considers intrinsically worthwhile, and as such, proper guiding principles for behaviour. Attitudes influence how we respond to issues, people, and events. Therefore fostering positive attitudes and values in students promotes desirable character development, which influences one’s relationships with others and with the environment.

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