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Many studies have confirmed the impact of VbE. Below are some illustrations of benefits, and a summary of major independent research carried out in 2009.

VbE: Original Research

Neil Hawkes original thesis

VbE was researched and developed by Dr Neil Hawkes in the 1990s and 2000s. We have since summarised his original research findings.

To download the research, click below:

VbE schools survey (2019)

VbE schools took part in a survey on the positive impact of VbE at their school in a number of areas.

VbE: Independent Research

Below is an extract of the findings from an academic study into the impact of Values-based Education in Australia.

The report can be downloaded below:

The key findings of the research are summarised below:


Values-based schools emphasise values education in their curriculum and teaching. As a consequence, learners become more academically diligent, the school assumes a calmer, more peaceful ambience, better learner-teacher relationships are forged, learner and teacher wellbeing improve and parents are more engaged with the school.

Explicit teaching of values provides a common ethical language for talking about interpersonal behaviour. It also provides a mechanism for self-regulated behaviour. An important outcome is a more settled school which enhances quality teaching and enables teachers to raise expectations for learners performance.

Academic Diligence

Learners academic diligence was enhanced. Learners:
– Showed increased attentiveness in class and a greater capacity to work independently
– Assumed more responsibility for their own learning
– Asked questions and worked together more cooperatively
– Took greater care and effort in their schoolwork
– Took more pride in their efforts

School Ambiance

The improvements in school ambience included:
– Conflict among learners decreased or was managed more constructively
– Learnerse demonstrated greater empathy, honesty and integrity
– More tolerant and cooperative learner interactions
– Safer and more harmonious classrooms and playgrounds
– Greater kindness and tolerance among learners
– Learners actively seeking to include peers without friends
– Learners taking greater responsibility with school equipment and routine tasks
– Learners treating the school buildings and grounds with respect

Learner-teacher Relationships

The impact on learner-teacher relationships was evidenced by:
– More trusting relationships between staff and learners
– The establishment of more democratic classrooms
– Teachers giving learners more power by allowing them choices in learning activities
– Teachers being more conscious of scaffolding learners to manage their own behaviour or resolve conflict with others
– Teachers seeking opportunities to acknowledge and reinforce appropriate behaviour
– Teachers listening to learners and responding to their concerns and opinions
– Learners perceiving that teachers treat them fairly
– Learners behaving more respectfully towards teachers
– Learners showing greater politeness and courtesy to teachers

Learner-teacher Wellbeing

The positive impacts on learner and teacher wellbeing included:
– Learners feeling a greater sense of connectedness and belonging
– Learners gaining a greater capacity for self-reflection and self-appraisal
– Learners developing a greater capacity for regulating their own and their peers’ behaviour
– Teachers receiving collegial support and strong leadership
– Teachers obtaining confidence and knowledge through opportunities for professional development and through staff collaboration
– Teachers re-examining their practices and role
– The fostering of relational trust among staff and between teachers and families

When Values Education is explicit, a common language is established among learners, staff and families. This not only leads to greater understanding of the targeted values but also provides a positive focus for redirecting children’s inappropriate behaviour. Teachers perceive that explicitly teaching values and developing empathy in learners results in more responsible, focused and cooperative classrooms and equipped learners striving for better learning and social outcomes. When values are explicitly endorsed, acknowledged and valued within a school culture, it becomes incumbent on schools to ensure that staff, as well as learners are both benefactors and recipients in respectful and caring interactions. The common focus draws teachers together to create a collaborative and cohesive school community which supports teachers to do their job more effectively. This has important ramifications for learners’ academic progress and wellbeing.

Impact on Wellbeing

Professors Lovatt and Hawkes produced a paper that explores research into the impact of VbE on learners’ wellbeing.

It concluded that the results of the studies have added to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that values education is consistently accompanied by greater self-awareness on the part of learners and more harmonious social interactions in the playground and in the classroom.

In this improved learning environment, one can find academic diligence and improvement occurring without any other obvious determining factor.

To download the full report from which the information is extracted, click here.

Impact on Academic Attainment

VbE research above demonstrates the improvement of wellbeing on individual learners and on the school as a whole.

The Department for Education funded research into the link between the level of wellbing and academic attainment, in November 2012. It was carried out by the Institute of Education and Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre.

The report concluded that ” For academic progression, better emotional wellbeing is a key factor in primary school, whereas low levels of troublesome behaviour and more school engagement emerge as significant in adolescence.”

The full report can be downloaded by clicking here

Other Research

Other Research Showing Congruence with Values-based Education