expository essay on value education

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Importance of Value Education

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Importance of value education

What is Value Education? Value-based education emphasizes the personality development of individuals to shape their future and tackle difficult situations with ease. It moulds the children so they get attuned to changing scenarios while handling their social, moral, and democratic duties efficiently. The importance of value education can be understood through its benefits as it develops physical and emotional aspects, teaches mannerisms and develops a sense of brotherhood, instils a spirit of patriotism as well as develops religious tolerance in students. Let’s understand the importance of value education in schools as well as its need and importance in the 21st century.

Here’s our review of the Current Education System of India !

This Blog Includes:

Need and importance of value education, purpose of value education, importance of value education in school, difference between traditional and value education, essay on importance of value education, speech on importance of value education, early age moral and value education, young college students (1st or 2nd-year undergraduates), workshops for adults, student exchange programs, co-curricular activities, how it can be taught & associated teaching methods.

This type of education should not be seen as a separate discipline but as something that should be inherent in the education system. Merely solving problems must not be the aim, the clear reason and motive behind must also be thought of. There are multiple facets to understanding the importance of value education.

Here is why there is an inherent need and importance of value education in the present world:

  • It helps in making the right decisions in difficult situations and improving decision-making abilities.
  • It teaches students with essential values like kindness, compassion and empathy.
  • It awakens curiosity in children developing their values and interests. This further helps in skill development in students.
  • It also fosters a sense of brotherhood and patriotism thus helping students become more open-minded and welcoming towards all cultures as well as religions.
  • It provides a positive direction to a student’s life as they are taught about the right values and ethics.
  • It helps students find their true purpose towards serving society and doing their best to become a better version of themselves.
  • With age comes a wide range of responsibilities. This can at times develop a sense of meaninglessness and can lead to a rise in mental health disorders, mid-career crisis and growing discontent with one’s life. Value education aims to somewhat fill the void in people’s lives.
  • Moreover, when people study the significance of values in society and their lives, they are more convinced and committed to their goals and passions. This leads to the development of awareness which results in thoughtful and fulfilling decisions. 
  • The key importance of value education is highlighted in distinguishing the execution of the act and the significance of its value. It instils a sense of ‘meaning’ behind what one is supposed to do and thus aids in personality development .

In the contemporary world, the importance of value education is multifold. It becomes crucial that is included in a child’s schooling journey and even after that to ensure that they imbibe moral values as well as ethics.

Here are the key purposes of value education:

  • To ensure a holistic approach to a child’s personality development in terms of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects
  • Inculcation of patriotic spirit as well as the values of a good citizen
  • Helping students understand the importance of brotherhood at social national and international levels
  • Developing good manners and responsibility and cooperativeness
  • Promoting the spirit of curiosity and inquisitiveness towards the orthodox norms
  • Teaching students about how to make sound decisions based on moral principles
  • Promoting a democratic way of thinking and living
  • Imparting students with the significance of tolerance and respect towards different cultures and religious faiths

There is an essential need and importance of value education in school curriculums as it helps students learn the basic fundamental morals they need to become good citizens as well as human beings. Here are the top reasons why value education in school is important:

  • Value education can play a significant role in shaping their future and helping them find their right purpose in life.
  • Since school paves the foundation for every child’s learning, adding value-based education to the school curriculum can help them learn the most important values right from the start of their academic journey.
  • Value education as a discipline in school can also be focused more on learning human values rather than mugging up concepts, formulas and theories for higher scores. Thus, using storytelling in value education can also help students learn the essentials of human values.
  • Education would surely be incomplete if it didn’t involve the study of human values that can help every child become a kinder, compassionate and empathetic individual thus nurturing emotional intelligence in every child.

Both traditional, as well as values education, is essential for personal development. Both help us in defining our objectives in life. However, while the former teaches us about scientific, social, and humanistic knowledge, the latter helps to become good humans and citizens. Opposite to traditional education, values education does not differentiate between what happens inside and outside the classroom.

Value Education plays a quintessential role in contributing to the holistic development of children. Without embedding values in our kids, we wouldn’t be able to teach them about good morals, what is right and what is wrong as well as key traits like kindness, empathy and compassion. The need and importance of value education in the 21st century are far more important because of the presence of technology and its harmful use. By teaching children about essential human values, we can equip them with the best digital skills and help them understand the importance of ethical behaviour and cultivating compassion. It provides students with a positive view of life and motivates them to become good human beings, help those in need, respect their community as well as become more responsible and sensible.

Youngsters today move through a gruelling education system that goes on almost unendingly. Right from when parents send them to kindergarten at the tender age of 4 or 5 to completing their graduation, there is a constant barrage of information hurled at them. It is a puzzling task to make sense of this vast amount of unstructured information. On top of that, the bar to perform better than peers and meet expectations is set at a quite high level. This makes a youngster lose their curiosity and creativity under the burden. They know ‘how’ to do something but fail to answer the ‘why’. They spend their whole childhood and young age without discovering the real meaning of education. This is where the importance of value education should be established in their life. It is important in our lives because it develops physical and emotional aspects, teaches mannerisms and develops a sense of brotherhood, instils a spirit of patriotism as well as develops religious tolerance in students. Thus, it is essential to teach value-based education in schools to foster the holistic development of students. Thank you.

Importance of Value Education Slideshare PPT

Types of Value Education

To explore how value education has been incorporated at different levels from primary education, and secondary education to tertiary education, we have explained some of the key phases and types of value education that must be included to ensure the holistic development of a student.

Middle and high school curriculums worldwide including in India contain a course in moral science or value education. However, these courses rarely focus on the development and importance of values in lives but rather on teachable morals and acceptable behaviour. Incorporating some form of value education at the level of early childhood education can be constructive.

Read more at Child Development and Pedagogy

Some universities have attempted to include courses or conduct periodic workshops that teach the importance of value education. There has been an encouraging level of success in terms of students rethinking what their career goals are and increased sensitivity towards others and the environment.

Our Top Read: Higher Education in India

Alarmingly, people who have only been 4 to 5 years into their professional careers start showing signs of job exhaustion, discontent, and frustration. The importance of value education for adults has risen exponentially. Many non-governmental foundations have begun to conduct local workshops so that individuals can deal with their issues and manage such questions in a better way.

Recommended Read: Adult Education

It is yet another way of inculcating a spirit of kinship amongst students. Not only do student exchange programs help explore an array of cultures but also help in understanding the education system of countries.

Quick Read: Scholarships for Indian Students to Study Abroad

Imparting value education through co-curricular activities in school enhances the physical, mental, and disciplinary values among children. Furthermore, puppetry , music, and creative writing also aid in overall development.

Check Out: Drama and Art in Education

The concept of teaching values has been overly debated for centuries. Disagreements have taken place over whether value education should be explicitly taught because of the mountainous necessity or whether it should be implicitly incorporated into the teaching process. An important point to note is that classes or courses may not be successful in teaching values but they can teach the importance of value education. It can help students in exploring their inner passions and interests and work towards them. Teachers can assist students in explaining the nature of values and why it is crucial to work towards them. The placement of this class/course, if there is to be one, is still under fierce debate. 

Value education is the process through which an individual develops abilities, attitudes, values as well as other forms of behaviour of positive values depending on the society he lives in.

Every individual needs to ensure a holistic approach to their personality development in physical, mental, social and moral aspects. It provides a positive direction to the students to shape their future, helping them become more responsible and sensible and comprehending the purpose of their lives.

Values are extremely important because they help us grow and develop and guide our beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. Our values are reflected in our decision-making and help us find our true purpose in life and become responsible and developed individuals.

The importance of value education at various stages in one’s life has increased with the running pace and complexities of life. It is becoming difficult every day for youngsters to choose their longing and pursue careers of their choice. In this demanding phase, let our Leverage Edu experts guide you in following the career path you have always wanted to explore by choosing an ideal course and taking the first step to your dream career .

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Your Article is awesome. It’s very helpful to know the value of education and the importance of value education. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Anil, Thanks for your feedback!

Value education is the most important thing because they help us grow and develop and guide our beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Susmita, Rightly said!

Best blog. well explained. Thank you for sharing keep sharing.

Thanks.. For.. The Education value topic.. With.. This.. Essay. I.. Scored.. Good. Mark’s.. In.. My. Exam thanks a lot..

Your Article is Very nice.It is Very helpful for me to know the value of Education and its importance…Thanks for sharing your thoughts about education…Thank you ……

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Expository Essay

Expository Essay About Education

Caleb S.

A Guide to Writing an Expository Essay about Education

expository essay about education

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Have you been assigned an expository essay about education? Do you need help with where to start?

Education is a vital building block in the foundation of our society. Education brings positive change and allows us to develop skills and knowledge to be responsible citizens. Writing an essay about education can give you valuable insight into how it works to benefit us all. 

But is it all that easy? Crafting a thought-provoking expository essay on education can be a challenge, but don't worry. We’re here to help.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to write an interesting and engaging paper about education. Moreover, you’ll get essay examples to help you get started.

So read on to learn!

Arrow Down

  • 1. Expository Essay - The Basics
  • 2. Expository Essay About Education: Writing Steps
  • 3. Expository Essay About Education Examples

Expository Essay - The Basics

To start off, let's define what is an expository essay.

An expository essay is a type of writing in which the main purpose is to inform the reader about a certain topic or subject. This type of essay should be written in an objective, impartial tone and backed up by facts, statistics, or other reliable sources.

Essays need to have a clear introduction and conclusion so the reader knows what the main points are. They also need to have strong evidence that supports the argument presented throughout the paper.

An expository essay on education would require you to explain any aspect of education. For instance, its benefits or how it can be improved, etc.

Let's now take a look at how you can write an essay about education yourself.

Expository Essay About Education: Writing Steps

Writing an essay would be easier if you follow certain steps. Here are the steps you need to follow to write an engaging and interesting education essay.

Step 1: Brainstorming Ideas

Before you start writing your essay about education, it's important to brainstorm some ideas.

Think about expository essay topics about education that you find interesting or want to learn more about. You should also make sure the topic is relevant and has enough evidence to support it.

Brainstorming will help you create a list of ideas that you can work with as you write your essay. Check out some general expository essay topics to help you brainstorm.

The video below about what is education will help you brainstorm about your topic, so be sure to check it out:

Step 2: Find Out More About Your Topic

Now that you have some ideas, it's time to do some research. Gather reliable sources and read through them to learn more about your topic.

Take notes as you go so that you can refer to them when writing your essay. This will help ensure the information you include in your paper is accurate and up-to-date.

Step 3: Organize Your Ideas

Once you’ve done your research, you should start organizing your ideas. You can do this by creating an outline or using a mind map.

The outline should consist of the main points of your essay and any sub-points that will help you support those points.

An organized structure will make it easier for you to write your paper later on.

Step 4: Start with the Introduction

The introduction is one of the most important parts of your essay. It should capture the reader's attention and introduce them to the topic.

Start by introducing your topic and then provide some background information about it. This will give your readers more context as they move on to the main points of your essay.

Step 5: Write the Body

The body of your paper should be structured around each point from your outline. This is where you will include evidence and examples to support your argument.

Include a few sentences for each point and make sure that they are linked to each other in a logical way.

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Then, use evidence and examples to support your point and make sure that everything is linked logically.

Remember to include in-text citations so that you can give credit to the sources you used.

Step 6: Create the Conclusion

The conclusion is where you wrap up your essay and provide a summary of all the main points. You should also include a call to action or something that will make readers think about what they’ve read.

Make sure to keep it brief and don’t include any new information.

Step 7: Editing and Proofreading

Once you’ve finished writing your essay, it’s time to edit and proofread it to make sure everything is correct.

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes and make sure that the structure of your paper is logical. Also, make sure to read over your paper for any factual errors.

You can also ask a professional essay writer to look at your paper and give you feedback. This can help you identify any issues or mistakes that you may have missed. Taking the time to do this will ensure that your essay is as good as possible. 

Now that we know how to write an expository essay, let’s read a few example essays.

Expository Essay About Education Examples

Reading essays can be a great way to learn how to write one yourself.

So, before you start writing your own essay, take some time to read through these expository essay examples on education. 

Expository Essay About Education in Time of Pandemic

Expository Essay About Education System in the New Normal

Expository Essay About Importance of Education

Expository Essay About Higher Education

Short Expository Essay Example 

Let’s take a look at a short expository essay example on education:

Reading these will help you understand the structure and format of an expository paper better. Check out our blog about expository essay examples if you need samples on other topics.

To wrap up,

Writing an education essay doesn't have to be difficult. By following these steps and taking the time to do your research, you can write a great essay that will capture the reader's attention.

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Expository Essay

Values-Based Education for a Better World

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  • First Online: 15 November 2023
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expository essay on value education

  • Ron Toomey 5  

Part of the book series: Springer International Handbooks of Education ((SIHE))

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Over a decade ago, in a previous edition of the International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing , we wrote about the effects of implementing what we then dubbed the “new” Values Education: the symbiotic effects between the explicit teaching of a school’s values and the enhancement of the quality of student learning and the effectiveness of teaching. As such, the “new” Values Education, more recently called Values-based Education (VbE), was essentially a novel conception of the craft of teaching and the processes of learning. At times, we also expressed the view, without much real elaboration, that VbE presented an approach to learning and teaching better suited to the times in which we were then living. We also suggested that it had the capacity to enhance students’ cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being without fleshing out details of the enhancement of spiritual growth. This chapter seeks to bolster those two claims in ways that suggest how VbE might help humankind address the life-or-death challenges it presently confronts around environmental degradation, widespread social and cultural disharmony, the escalation of youth suicide, domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect, to name just a few.

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Toomey, R. (2023). Values-Based Education for a Better World. In: Lovat, T., Toomey, R., Clement, N., Dally, K. (eds) Second International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-24420-9_2

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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education

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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education

15 Values Education

Graham Oddie, Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder

  • Published: 02 January 2010
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This article offers a metaphysical account of value as part of a general approach to values education. Value endorsements and their transmission are unavoidable in educational settings, as they are everywhere. The question, then, is not whether to teach values but which values to teach, in what contexts and how to teach them effectively. This article discusses the contestedness of value endorsements, the place for noncognitive value endorsements in education and the role of inculcating beliefs in education. The article also describes the rationalist and empiricist response problem of intrinsic motivation.

Moral education has received a great deal of attention in the philosophy of education. But morality is just one aspect of the evaluative, which embraces not just the deontic concepts—right, wrong, permissible, obligatory, supererogatory, and so on—but also the full range of concepts with evaluative content. This includes the so‐called thin evaluative concepts (e.g., good, bad, better, worst ); the thick evaluative concepts (e.g., courageous, compassionate, callous, elegant, cruel, charming, clumsy, humble, tendentious, witty, craven, generous, salacious, sexy, sarcastic, vindictive ); and the concepts that lie somewhere between the extremes of thick and thin (e.g., just, virtuous, sublime, vicious, beautiful ). Value, broadly construed to embrace the entire range of evaluative concepts, presents an educationist with some problems. Should values be part of the curriculum at all? If so, which values is it legitimate for educators to teach and how should they be taught?

1. The Contestedness of Value Endorsements

Philosophers disagree wildly about the metaphysics of value, its epistemological status, and the standing of various putative values. Given the heavily contested nature of value, as well as of the identity and weight of particular putative values, what business do we have teaching values? Perhaps we don't know enough about values to teach them (perhaps we don't know anything at all 1 ).

It might be objected to this argument against the teaching of values, from value's contestedness, that value theory is no different from, say, physics, biology, or even mathematics. There is much about these disciplines that is contested, but no one argues that that's a good reason to purge them from the curriculum. This comparison, however, is not totally convincing. True, philosophers of physics disagree over the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics, but there is little disagreement over its applications, its significance, or the necessity for students to master it. Similarly, even if there is disagreement over the foundations of mathematics or biology, few deny that we should give children a solid grounding in arithmetic or evolution.

The contestedness of value has been used to argue for a “fact/value” distinction that, when applied to educational contexts, leads to the injunction that teachers should stick to the “facts,” eschewing the promulgation of “value judgments.” Given the contestedness of values, an educator should pare her value endorsements down to their purely natural (nonevaluative) contents, indicating at most that, as a matter of personal preference, she takes a certain evaluative stance.

2. The Value Endorsements Informing the Educational Enterprise

Attempts to purge education of value endorsements are, of course, doomed. Value endorsements are not just pervasive, they are inevitable. The educational enterprise is about the transmission of knowledge and the skills necessary to acquire, extend, and improve knowledge. But what is knowledge—along with truth, understanding, depth, empirical adequacy, simplicity, coherence, completeness, and so on—if not a cognitive good or value? 2 And what is an improvement in knowledge if not an increase in cognitive value? Sometimes cognitive values are clearly instrumental—acquiring knowledge might help you become a physicist, a doctor, or an artist, say. But instrumental value is parasitic upon the intrinsic value of something else—here, knowledge of the world, relieving suffering, or creating things of beauty.

The enterprise of creating and transmitting knowledge is freighted with cognitive value, but episodes within the enterprise also express particular value endorsements. A curriculum, for example, is an endorsement of the value of attending to the items on the menu. It says, “ These are worth studying.” The practice of a discipline is laden with norms and values. To practice the discipline you have to learn how to do it well : to learn norms and values governing, inter alia, citing and acknowledging others who deserve it; honestly recording and relaying results; not forging, distorting, or suppressing data; humbly acknowledging known shortcomings; courageously, but not recklessly, taking cognitive risks; eschewing exaggeration of the virtues of a favored theory; having the integrity to pursue unwelcome consequences of discoveries. In mastering a discipline, one is inducted into a rich network of value endorsements.

The thesis of the separability of fact and value, and the associated bracketing of value endorsements, is not just tendentious (it precludes the possibility of facts about value) but also is so clearly unimplementable that it is perhaps puzzling that it has ever been taken entirely seriously. The educational enterprise is laden with value endorsements distinctive of the enterprise of knowledge and the transmission of those very endorsements to the next generation. Without the transmission of those values, our educational institutions would disappear. So, even if the value endorsements at the core of education are contested, the enterprise itself requires their endorsement and transmission.

3. The Place for Noncognitive Value Endorsements in Education

To what extent does the transmission of cognitive values commit us to the teaching of other values? It would be fallacious to infer that, in any educational setting, all and any values are on the table—that it is always permissible, or always obligatory, for a teacher to impart his value endorsements when those are irrelevant to the central aims of the discipline at hand. For certain value issues, a teacher may have no business promulgating his endorsements. For example, the values that inform physics don't render it desirable for a physicist to impart his views on abortion during a lab. Physicists typically have no expertise on that issue.

But it would be equally fallacious to infer that cognitive values are tightly sealed off from noncognitive values. Certain cognitive values, however integral to the enterprise of knowledge, are identical to values with wider application. Some I have already adverted to: honesty, courage, humility, integrity, and the like. These have different applications in different contexts, but it would be odd if values bearing the same names within and without the academy were distinct. So, in transmitting cognitive values, one is ipso facto involved in transmitting values that have wider application. 3 This doesn't imply that an honest researcher will be an honest spouse—she might lie about an affair. And an unscrupulous teacher might steal an idea from one of his students without being tempted to embezzle. People are inconsistent about the values on which they act, but these are the same values honored in the one context and dishonored in the other.

I have argued that there are cognitive values informing the educational enterprise that need to be endorsed and transmitted, and that these are identical to cognate values that have broader application. However, this doesn't exhaust the values that require attention in educational settings. There are disciplines—ethics, for example—in which the subject matter itself involves substantive value issues. In a course on the morality of abortion, for example, it would be impossible to avoid talking about the value of certain beings and the disvalue of ending their existence. Here, explicit attention must be paid to noncognitive values. There are other disciplines—the arts, for example—in which the point of education is to teach students to discern aesthetically valuable features, to develop evaluative frameworks to facilitate future investigations, and to produce valuable works. Within such disciplines it would be incredibly silly to avoid explicit evaluation.

4. The Role of Inculcating Beliefs in Education

Grant that there are noncognitive values, as well as cognitive values, at the core of certain disciplines. Still, given that there are radically conflicting views about these—the value of a human embryo, or the value of Duchamp's Fountain—shouldn't teachers steer clear of explicitly transmitting value endorsements? Here, at least, isn't it the teacher's responsibility to distance himself from his value endorsements and teach the subject in some “value‐neutral” way?

In contentious areas, teachers should obviously be honest and thorough in their treatment of the full range of conflicting arguments. Someone who thinks abortion is impermissible should give both Thomson's and Tooley's famous arguments for permissibility a full hearing. Someone who thinks abortion permissible should do the same for Marquis's. 4 However, even if some fact about value were known , there are still good reasons for teachers not to indoctrinate, precisely because inducing value knowledge is the aim of the course.

Value knowledge, like all knowledge, is not just a matter of having true beliefs. Knowledge is believing what is true for good reasons. To impart knowledge, one must cultivate the ability to embrace truths for good reasons. Students are overly impressed by the fact that their teachers have certain beliefs, and they are motivated to embrace such beliefs for that reason alone. So, it's easy for a teacher to impart favored beliefs, regardless of where the truth lies. A teacher will do a better job of imparting reasonable belief—and the critical skills that her students will need to pursue and possess knowledge—if she does not reveal overbearingly her beliefs. That's a common teaching strategy whatever the subject matter, not just value. 5

The appropriate educational strategy may appear to be derived from a separation of the evaluative from the non‐evaluative, but its motivation is quite different. It is because the aim of values education is value knowledge (which involves reasonable value beliefs) rather than mere value belief, that instructors should eschew indoctrination.

5. The Natural/Value Distinction Examined

In ethics and the arts, noncognitive values constitute the subject matter. But that isn't the norm. In many subject areas, values aren't the explicit subject matter. Despite this, in most disciplines it isn't clear where the subject itself ends and questions of value begin. Even granted a rigorous nonvalue/value distinction, for logical reasons there are, inevitably, claims that straddle the divide. It would be undesirable, perhaps impossible, to excise such claims from the educational environment.

Consider a concrete example. An evolutionary biologist is teaching a class on the evolutionary explanation of altruism. He argues that altruistic behavior is explicable as “selfishness” at the level of genes. His claim, although naturalistic, has implications for the value of altruistic acts. Suppose animals are genetically disposed to make greater sacrifices for those more closely genetically related to them than for those only distantly related, because such sacrifices help spread their genes. Suppose that the value of an altruistic sacrifice is partly a function of overcoming excessive self‐regard. It would follow that the value of some altruistic acts—those on behalf of close relatives—would be diminished. And that is a consequence properly classified as evaluative. Of course, this inference appeals to a proposition connecting value with the natural, but such propositions are pervasive and ineliminable.

Here is an argument for the unsustainability of a clean natural/value divide among propositions. A clean divide goes hand in glove with the Humean thesis that a purely evaluative claim cannot be validly inferred from purely natural claims, and vice versa. Let N be a purely natural claim and V a purely evaluative claim. Consider the conditional claim C : if N then V . Suppose C is a purely natural claim. Then from two purely natural claims ( N and C ) one could infer a purely evaluative claim V . Suppose instead that C is purely evaluative. The conjunction of two purely evaluative (natural) claims is itself purely evaluative (natural). Likewise, the negation of a purely evaluative (natural) proposition is itself purely evaluative (natural). 6 Consequently, not‐ N , like N , is purely natural, and so one could derive a purely evaluative claim ( C ) from a purely natural claim (not‐ N ). Alternatively, not‐ V , like V , is purely evaluative. So, one could derive a purely natural claim (not‐ N ) from two purely evaluative claims ( C and not‐ V ).

Propositions like C are natural‐value hybrids : they cannot be coherently assigned a place on either side of a sharp natural/value dichotomy. Hybrids are not just propositions that have both natural and evaluative content (like the thick evaluative attributes). Rather, their characteristic feature is that their content is not the conjunction of their purely natural and purely evaluative contents.

Hybrids are rife among the propositions in which we traffic. Jack believes Cheney unerringly condones what's good (i.e., Cheney condones X if and only if X is good), and Jill, that Cheney unerringly condones what's not good. Neither Jack nor Jill knows that Cheney has condoned the waterboarding of suspected terrorists. As it happens, both are undecided on the question of the value of waterboarding suspected terrorists. They don't disagree on any purely natural fact (neither knows what Cheney condoned); nor do they disagree on any purely evaluative fact (neither knows whether condoning waterboarding is good). They disagree on this: Cheney condones waterboarding suspected terrorists if and only if condoning such is good . Suppose both come to learn the purely natural fact that Cheney condones waterboarding. They will deduce from their beliefs conflicting, purely evaluative conclusions: Jack that condoning waterboarding is good; Jill that condoning waterboarding is not good. So, given that folk endorse rival hybrid propositions, settling a purely natural fact will impact the value endorsements of the participants differentially because natural facts and value endorsements are entangled via a rich set of hybrids.

I don't deny that there are purely natural or purely evaluative claims, nor that certain claims can be disentangled into their pure components. I am arguing that there are hybrids—propositions that are not equivalent to the conjunction of their natural and evaluative components. The fact that we all endorse hybrid claims means that learning something purely natural will often exert rational pressure on evaluative judgments (and vice versa). An education in the purely natural sciences may thus necessitate a reevaluation of values; and an education in values may necessitate a rethinking of purely natural beliefs.

6. Intrinsically Motivating Facts and the Queerness of Knowledge of Value

I have argued that natural and evaluative endorsements cannot be neatly disentangled in an educational setting for purely logical reasons. Still, it's problematic to embrace teaching a subject unless we have a body of knowledge . For there to be value knowledge there must be knowable truths about value. A common objection to these is that they would be very queer —unlike anything else that we are familiar with in the universe.

The queerness of knowable value facts can be elicited by considering their impact on motivation. Purely natural facts are motivationally inert. For example, becoming acquainted with the fact that this glass contains potable water (or a lethal dose of poison) does not by itself necessarily motivate me to drink (or refrain from drinking). Only in combination with an antecedent desire on my part (to quench my thirst, or to commit suicide) does this purely natural fact provide me with a motivation. A purely evaluative fact would, however, be different. Suppose it's a fact that the best thing for me to do now would be to drink potable water, and that I know that fact. Then it would be very odd for me to say, “I know that drinking potable water would be the best thing for me to do now, but I am totally unmoved to do so.” One explanation of this oddness is that knowledge of a value fact entails a corresponding desire: value facts necessarily motivate those who become acoquainted with them.

Why would this intrinsic power to motivate be queer rather than simply interesting ? The reason is that beliefs and desires seem logically independent—having a certain set of beliefs does not entail the having of any particular desires. Beliefs about value would violate this apparent independence. Believing that something is good would entail having a corresponding desire . Additionally, simply by virtue of imparting to your student a value belief you would thereby instill in him the corresponding motivation to act. How can mere belief necessitate a desire? Believing something good is one thing; desiring it is something else.

One response to the queerness objection is to reject the idea that knowing an evaluative fact necessarily motivates. Let's suppose, with Hume, that beliefs without desires are powerless to motivate. A person may well have a contingent independent desire to do what he believes to be good, and once he becomes acquainted with a good he may, contingently, be motivated to pursue it. But no mere belief, in isolation from such an antecedent desire, can motivate. That sits more easily with the frequent gap between what values we espouse and how we actually behave.

This Humean view would escape the mysteries of intrinsic motivation, but would present the educationist with a different problem. What is the point of attempting to induce true value beliefs if there is no necessary connection between value beliefs and motivations? If inducing true evaluative beliefs is the goal of values education, and evaluative beliefs have no such connection with desires, then one might successfully teach a psychopath correct values, but his education would make him no more likely to choose the good. His acquisition of the correct value beliefs , coupled with his total indifference to the good, might just equip him to make his psychopathic adventures more effectively evil.

There are two traditions in moral education that can be construed as different responses to the problem of intrinsic motivation. There is the formal, rationalist tradition according to which the ultimate questions of what to do are a matter of reason, or rational coherence in the body of evaluative judgments. But there is a corresponding empiricist tradition, according to which there is a source of empirical data about value, something which also supplies the appropriate motivation to act.

7. The Rationalist Response to the Problem of Intrinsic Motivation

Kant famously espoused the principle of universalizability: that a moral judgment is legitimate only if one can consistently will a corresponding universal maxim. 7 A judgment fails the test if willing the corresponding maxim involves willing conditions that make it impossible to apply the maxim. Cheating to gain an unfair advantage is wrong, on this account, because one cannot rationally will that everyone cheat to gain an unfair advantage. To be able to gain an unfair advantage by cheating, others have to play by the rules. So, cheating involves a violation of reason. If this idea can be generalized, and value grounded in reason, then perhaps we don't need to posit queer value facts (that cheating is bad , say) that mysteriously impact our desires upon acquaintance. Value would reduce to nonmysterious facts about rationality.

This rationalist approach, broadly construed, informs a range of educational value theories—for example, those of Hare and Kohlberg, as well as of the “values clarification” theorists. 8 They share the idea that values education is not a matter of teaching substantive value judgments but, rather, of teaching constraints of rationality, like those of logic, critical thinking, and universalizability. They differ in the extent to which they think rational constraints yield substantive evaluative content. Kant apparently held that universalizability settles our moral obligations. Others, like Hare, held that universalizability settles some issues (some moral judgments are just inconsistent with universalizability) while leaving open a range of coherent moral stances, any of which is just as consistent with reason as another. What's attractive about the rationalist tradition is that it limits the explicit teaching of value content to the purely cognitive values demanded by reason alone—those already embedded in the educational enterprise—without invoking additional problematic value facts.

There are two problems with rationalism. First, despite the initial appearance, it too presupposes evaluative facts. If cognitive values necessarily motivate—for example, learning that a maxim is inconsistent necessarily induces an aversion to acting on it—then the queerness objection kicks in. And if cognitive values don't necessarily motivate, then there will be the familiar disconnect between acquaintance with value and motivation.

Second, rational constraints, including even universalizability, leave open a vast range of substantive positions on value. A Kantian's inviolable moral principle—it is always wrong intentionally to kill an innocent person, say—may satisfy universalizability. But so, too, does the act‐utilitarian's injunction to always and everywhere maximize value. If killing innocent people is bad, then it is better to kill one innocent person to prevent a larger number being killed than it is to refrain from killing the one and allowing the others to be killed. The nihilist says it doesn't matter how many people you kill, and this, too, satisfies universalizability. The radical divergence in the recommendation of sundry universalizable theories suggests that rational constraints are too weak to supply substantive evaluative content. Reason leaves open a vast space of mutually incompatible evaluative schemes.

8. The Empiricist Response to the Problem of Intrinsic Motivation

To help weed out some of these consistent but mutually incompatible evaluative schemes, value empiricists posit an additional source of data about value. They argue that detecting value is not a matter of the head, but rather a matter of the heart—of feeling, emotion, affect, or desire. It involves responding appropriately to the value of things in some way that is not purely cognitive. Many value theorists whose theories are otherwise quite different (Aristotle, Hume, Brentano, and Meinong, and their contemporary heirs) have embraced variants of this idea. 9

Different value empiricists espouse different metaphysical accounts of value, from strongly idealist accounts (according to which values depend on our actual value responses) to robustly realist accounts (according to which values are independent of our actual responses). What they share is the denial that grasping value is a purely cognitive matter. Responses to value involve something like experience or perception. That is to say, things seem to us more or less valuable, these value‐seemings are analogous to perceptual seemings rather than to beliefs, and value‐seemings involve a motivational component, something desire‐like.

What, then, are these experiences of value, these value‐seemings? According to the Austrian value theorists (Meinong and his descendents), evaluative experiences are emotions. So, for example, anger is the emotional presentation of, or appropriate emotional response to, injustice; shame is the appropriate emotional response to what is shameful; sadness to the sad, and so on. Emotions are complex states that are necessarily connected with value judgments, but also with desires and nonevaluative beliefs. A much sparser theory of value experiences identifies them simply with desires. 10 That is to say, to desire P is just for P to seem good to me. To desire P is not to judge that P is good, or to believe that P is good. Something might well seem good to me (I desire it) even though I do not believe that it is good. Indeed, I might well know that it is not good (just as a rose I know to be white may appear to be pink to me). Value‐seemings, whatever their nature, would provide the necessary empirical grounding for beliefs about value, while also providing the link between acquaintance with value and the corresponding motivations.

Imagine if you were taught the axiomatic structure of Newtonian mechanics without ever doing an actual experiment, or even being informed what results any such experiment would yield in the actual world. You might well come to know all there is to know about Newtonian mechanics, as a body of theory, without having any idea whether the actual world is Newtonian. But, then, why should you prefer Newton's theory to, say, Aristotle's, as an account of the truth? According to the value empiricist, values taught entirely as matters of reason alone would be similarly empty. By contrast, if value judgments have to be justified ultimately by appeal to some shared value data, and the value data consist of value experiences, then the job of a value educator would be, at least in part, to connect the correct evaluative judgments in the appropriate way with actual experiences of value.

9. The Theory‐Ladenness of Value Data and Critical Empiricism

If pure rationalism seems empty of content, then pure empiricism seems correspondingly blind. Notoriously, people experience very different responses to putative values. Indeed, the highly variable nature of our value responses is the root of the contestedness of value, and it is often the major premise in an argument to the effect that either there is no such thing as value or, if there is, it cannot be reliably detected. If values education goes radically empiricist, and experiences of value (affect, emotion, desire, etc.) are the empirical arbiters of value, then an uncriticizable subjectivism, or at best relativism, looms, and the teaching of values would amount to little more than the teacher, like a television reporter, eliciting from her students how they feel.

This criticism presupposes a rather naive version of empiricism, according to which experience is a matter of passively receiving theory‐neutral data that are then generalized into something like a value theory. A more promising model is provided by some variant of critical rationalism. Perceptual experiences are rarely a matter of passively receiving “theory‐neutral” data, as a prelude to theorizing but, rather, are themselves informed and guided by theory. Even if there is a core to perceptual experience that is relatively immune to influence from background theory, the information that one gains from experience is partly a function of such theory. An experience in total isolation from other experiences to which it is connected by a theory rarely conveys significant information. If someone who knows no physics is asked to report what he sees in the cloud chamber, say, then what he reports will likely be very thin indeed and hardly a basis for grasping the nature of matter. So, enabling folk to have the right kinds of experiences—informative and contentful—which can then be appropriately interpreted and taken up into a web of belief, is in part a matter of teaching them a relevant background theory that makes sense of those experiences. This might be more accurately called a critical empiricist approach.

Given value experiences, and a critical empiricist approach to knowledge of value, values education would be, in part, a matter of cultivating appropriate experiential responses to various values; in part, a matter of refining and honing such responses; and in part, a matter of providing a framework that supports those responses and that can be challenged and revised in the light of further value experiences. Further, if experiences of value are a matter of emotion, feeling, or desire, values education would need to take seriously the training of folk in having, interpreting, and refining appropriate emotions, feelings, and desires. This would not in any way diminish the crucial role of logic, critical thinking, and rational constraints like universalizability. But it would open up the educational domain to cultivation and refinement of affective and conative states.

10. The Agent‐Neutrality of Value and the Relativity of Value Experiences

The hypothesis of the theory‐ladenness of experience is, unfortunately, insufficient to defuse the problem of the radical relativity in value experiences. Compare value experiences with ordinary perception. It is rare for a rose to appear to one person to be red and to another blue. But it is not at all rare for one and the same state of affairs to seem very good to one person and seem very bad to another. If these radical differences in value experiences are to be attributed simply to differences in the value beliefs that people hold, then value experiences are too corrupted to be of any use. Experiences too heavily laden with theory cease to be a reliable source of data for challenging and revising beliefs.

This problem can be sharpened by a combination of an idea endorsed by many empiricist value theorists (namely, that value is not what is desired in fact, but what it would be fitting or appropriate to desire), with a popular idea endorsed by most rationalist value theorists (namely, the agent‐neutrality of real value). The fitting‐response thesis says that something is valuable just to the extent that it is appropriate or fitting to experience it as having that value. The agent‐neutrality of value thesis says that the actual value of a state or property is not relative to persons or point of view. So if something—a severe pain, say—has a certain disvalue, then it has that disvalue regardless of whose pain it is. It is bad, as it were, irrespective of its locus. These theses combined imply the agent‐neutrality of the fitting response to value . If a state possesses a certain value, then it possesses that regardless of its locus. And a certain response to that value is fitting regardless of the relation of a valuer to the locus of the value. Consequently, the fitting response must be exactly the same response for any valuer. So ideally, two individuals, no matter what their relation to something of value, should respond to that value in exactly the same manner. The responses of the person whose responses are fitting are thus isomorphic to value, irrespective of the situation of that person or her relation to the value in question. Call this consequence of fitting‐response and agent‐neutrality, the isomorphic‐response thesis .

Now, quite independent of the issue of theory‐ladenness, the isomorphic‐response thesis seems very implausible. Suppose that the appropriate response to valuable states of affairs is desire, and the more valuable a state of affairs, the more one should desire it. Then, the isomorphic‐response thesis entails that any two individuals should desire all and only the same states to exactly the same degree. But clearly the states of affairs that people desire differ radically. Consequently, either we are all severely defective experiencers of value or one of the two theses that jointly entail the isomorphic‐response thesis is false.

11. The Effects of Perspective, Shape, and Orientation on Perception

The fitting‐response thesis looks implausible if value experiences are analogous to perceptual experiences. There is an objective state of the world that is perceiver‐neutral, but perceivers have very different experiences of the world depending on how they are situated within it. First, there are perspectival effects: the farther away an object is, the smaller it will appear relative to objects close by, and that is entirely appropriate; objects should look smaller the farther away they are. Is there an analogue of distance in value space, and an analogue to perspective? If so, something might, appropriately, seem to be of different value depending on how far it is located from different valuers. Second, there are variable perceptual effects owing to the shape of objects and their orientation to the perceiver. An asymmetric object, like a coin, looks round from one direction but flat from another; but again, it should look those different ways. Is there anything in the domain of value analogous to shape and orientation?

Grant that pain is bad and that qualitatively identical pains are ( ceteris paribus ) equally bad. I am averse to the pain I am currently experiencing—it seems very bad to me. However, an exactly similar pain I experienced twenty years ago does not elicit such a strong aversion from me now. Nor does the similar pain I believe I will face in twenty years' time. I can have very different aversive responses to various pains, all of which are equally bad, and those different responses do seem fitting. The temporally distant pains are just further away, in value space, from me now. Time can, thus, be thought of as one dimension in value space that affects how values should be experienced.

Some people are close to me, and the pain of those close to me matters more to me than pain experienced by distant beings. If my wife is in severe pain, that appears much worse to me than if some stranger is in severe pain; and that response, too, seems appropriate. I know, of course, that my loved ones are no more valuable than those strangers, and I am not saying I shouldn't care at all about the stranger's pain. Clearly, the stranger's pain is bad—just as bad as my wife's pain—and I am somewhat averse to it as well. But suppose I can afford only one dose of morphine, and I can give it to my wife or have it FedExed to the stranger. Would it be inappropriate of me to unhesitatingly give it to my wife? Hardly. Someone who tossed a coin to decide where the morphine should be directed would be considered lacking normal human feelings. Persons are located at various distances from me, and since persons are loci of valuable states, those states inherit their positions in value space, and their distances from me, from their locus. And it seems appropriate to respond more vividly to states that are close than to those that are more distant.

Finally, we can think of possibility—perhaps measured by probability—as a dimension of value. Imagine this current and awful pain multiplied in length enormously. If hell exists and God condemns unbelievers to hell, then I am going to experience something like this for a very, very long time. That prospect is much worse than my current fleeting pain. And yet I am strangely unmoved by this prospect. Why? Because it seems very improbable to me. First, it seems improbable, given the unnecessary suffering in the world, that God exists. And if, despite appearances, a Perfect Being really exists, it seems improbable She would run a postmortem torture chamber for unbelievers. So, extremely bad states that are remote in probability space elicit less vivid responses than less bad states that have a higher probability of actualization. And that, too, seems fitting.

Of course, one might argue that these things should not appear this way to me, that the same pain merits the same response wherever it is located. But that's just implausible. As a human being, with various attachments, deep connections with particular others, and a limited capacity to care, it would be impossible for me to respond in a totally agent‐neutral way to all pain whatever its locus: the pain of total strangers; pains past, present, and future; and pains actual as well as remotely possible. It would also be bizarre if one were required to randomly allocate one's limited stock of care regardless of the distance of the bearers of such pains. So, if a value that is closer should appear closer, and desires and aversions are appearances of value, then it is entirely fitting that desires and aversions be more sensitive to closely located values than to distantly located values. 11

Distance is not the only factor affecting value perception. A valuer's orientation to something of value (or disvalue) may also affect perception. Take a variant of Nozick's famous case of past and future pain. You have to undergo an operation for which it would be dangerous to use analgesics. The surgeon tells you that on the eighth day of the month you will go into the hospital and on the morning of the ninth, you will be administered a combination of drugs that will paralyze you during the operation, scheduled for later that day, and subsequently cause you to forget the experiences you will have during the operation, including all the dreadful pain. You wake up in hospital, and you don't know what day it is. If it is the tenth, the operation was yesterday and the operation was twelve hours ago. If it is morning of the ninth, then you have yet to undergo the operation in twelve hours' time. So, depending on which of these is true, you are twelve hours away from the pain. Both are equally likely, given your information. You are equidistant from these two painful possibilities in both temporal space and probability space. You are, however, much more averse to the 50 percent probability of the future as yet‐unexperienced pain than to the 50 percent probability that the pain is now past. This asymmetric response seems appropriate. We are differently oriented toward past and future disvalues, and that can make a difference how bad those disvalues seem.

What about the shape of value, and the effect of shape together with orientation on perception? Should the value of one and the same situation be experienced by folk differently if they are differently oriented with respect to it? Suppose that a retributive theory of justice is correct, and that in certain cases wrongdoers ought to be punished for their wrongdoing; that such punishment is some sort of suffering; and that the punishment restores justice to the victim. The suffering inflicted on the wrongdoer is, then, from the agent‐neutral viewpoint, a good thing. Consider three people differently, related to the wrongdoer's receiving his just deserts: the wrongdoer himself, the wrongdoer's victim, and some bystander. It is fitting for the victim to welcome the fact that the wrongdoer is getting his just deserts. A neutral bystander will typically not feel as strongly about the punishment as the victim does, but provided she recognizes that the deserts are just, she should be in favor. What about the wrongdoer? His punishment is a good thing, but he has to be averse to the punishment if it is to be any sort of punishment at all. The difference in the victim's and the bystander's degree of desire for the just deserts can be explained by their differing distances from the locus of the value. But the differing responses of the victim and the wrongdoer cannot be explained by distance alone. Desire and aversion pull in opposite directions. Unless the wrongdoer is averse to his punishment, it is no punishment at all. Unless the victim desires the wrongdoer's punishment, it will not serve its full role in restoring justice.

Value is one thing, the appropriate response to it on the part of a situated valuer is another. The same value may thus elicit different responses depending on how closely the value is located to a value perceiver, the shape of the value, and the orientation of the valuer toward it. The thesis that the appropriate responses to value are experiences, which, like perceptual experiences, are heavily perspectival, defuses what would otherwise be a powerful objection to the agent‐neutrality of value. If the appropriate response to an agent‐neutral value were the same for all, then value would impose a wholly impractical, even inhuman, obligation on a person to effectively ignore his singular position in the network of relationships. Fortunately for us, experiences of agent‐neutral values can legitimately differ from one valuer to another.

Interestingly, these features of value experience help explain the attraction of Nel Noddings's ethics of caring, perhaps the most prominent contemporary educational ethic in the empiricist tradition. For Noddings, the prime value seems to be caring relationships and fostering such relationships through fostering caring itself. But one is not simply supposed to promote caring willy‐nilly, in an agent‐neutral way. Rather, one is supposed to be attentive to the caring that goes on fairly close to oneself. Consequently, it would be bad to neglect one's nearest and dearest even if by doing so one could foster more caring relationships far away. But it is not just distance in the network of care that is important. I am located at the center of a particular network of caring relationships, and my moral task is to tend not just to the amount and quality of caring in my network but also to my peculiar location in the network. So, it would be wrong for me to neglect my caring for those close to me even if by doing so I could promote more or better caring among those very folk. I should not cease to care for my nearest and dearest even if by doing so I could promote higher quality caring among my nearest and dearest. 12

12. Teaching Values on the Critical Empiricist Approach

Agent‐relative responses to agent‐neutral values are, thus, entirely appropriate on a critical empiricist conception of value. If this is right, it is not the job of an educationist to try to impose a uniform experiential response to all matters of value. Rather, it is to try to provide the necessary critical and logical tools for making sense of agent‐neutral values in the light of our highly variable agent‐relative responses, and to elicit and refine the fitting response to value in the light of a valuer's relation to it.

But this, of course, raises a difficult question for any would‐be value educator. How is it possible to teach appropriate responses to value and coordinate such responses with correct value judgments? Partly, this is a philosophical question involving the nature of value and the fitting responses to it, and partly, it is an empirical question involving the psychology of value experience and the most effective ways to develop or refine fitting responses.

Let us begin with a fairly uncontroversial case. It is not difficult for a normal human being to appreciate the value of her own pleasures or the disvalue of her own pains. A normal child will almost always experience her own pain as a bad thing. There is no mystery here, given empiricism, for the child's aversion to pain is part and parcel of the experience of the pain's badness. Indeed, it is through aversion to states like pain, or desire for pleasure, that a child typically gets a grip on the concepts of goodness and badness in the first place, since the good (respectively, bad) just is that to which desire (respectively, aversion) is the normal and fitting response.

Correct judgments on the goodness of one's own pleasures and the badness of one's own pains thus follow rather naturally on the heels of one's direct experiences of those pleasures and pains. What about judgments concerning more remotely located goods and evils? Provided one has some capacity to empathize, one also has the capacity to experience, to some extent, the disvalue of another's pain or the value of another's pleasure, albeit somewhat less vividly than in the case of one's own. Clearly, normal people do have an innate ability, perhaps honed through evolutionary development, to empathize with others in these crucial ways. 13 Recent research suggests that this capacity may be realized by the possession of mirror neurons and that these structures have played a crucial role in the evolution of social behavior. 14 With empathy in place, there is the capacity to experience values located beyond oneself.

What may not always come so naturally, and what might conceivably require some tutoring, is that the exactly similar pains and pleasures of others must have exactly the same value and disvalue as one's own. Even for a good empathizer, given the perspectival nature of value experience, another's exactly similar pain will seem less bad than one's own. And the more distant the pain is, the less bad it will seem. One has to learn, at the level of judgment, to correct for this perspectival feature of value experience. That will mostly be a matter of learning to apply principles of reason—specifically, that if two situations are qualitatively identical at the natural level, they must be qualitatively identical at the level of value. Presumably, knowledge of the agent‐neutrality of the goodness and badness of pain and pleasure will feed back into one's capacity for empathic response, enhancing and refining such responses. A defect in empathy may, thus, be corrected by becoming cognizant of the actual structure of value.

A person may, of course, have a very weak capacity for empathy, or even lack it altogether. This seems to be a feature of severe autism. Interestingly, an autistic person is often capable of using his experience of what is good or bad for him, together with something like universalizability, to gain a purchase on goods and evils located in other beings. His purchase on these more remote goods and evils lacks direct experiential validation, but he can still reason, from experiences of his own goods and evils, to judgments of other goods and evils. An autistic person may not thereby acquire the ability to empathize—just as a blind person may not be taught how to see—but he may still learn a considerable amount about value. 15 The value judgments he endorses will admittedly rest on a severely reduced empirical base, and that may never be enlarged by the theory, but the theory might still be quite accurate.

A more radical defect is exhibited by the psychopath, who seems to have no capacity to reason from his experience of his own goods and evils to goods and evils located elsewhere. 16 It is not clear how one might go about teaching value judgments or value responses to a psychopath. It might be like trying to teach empirical science to someone who has vivid experiences of what is going on immediately around him, but lacks any capacity to reason beyond that or to regard his own experience as a situated response to an external reality. Clearly there are limits to what can be taught and to whom.

13. Conclusion

Value endorsements and their transmission are unavoidable in educational settings, as they are everywhere. The question, then, is not whether to teach values but which values to teach, in what contexts, and how to teach them effectively. Clearly, the constraints of reason are crucial to the cultivation of a coherent set of value endorsements. But reason alone is insufficient. To access values we need some value data, experiences of value. And, to mesh motivation appropriately with value endorsements, value experiences have to be desiderative. This critical empiricist model of value knowledge suggests a model of values education that is richer and more interesting than either its rationalist or its naive empiricist rivals—one in which the cultivation and refinement of emotion, feeling, and desire and the honing of critical skills both play indispensable roles.

Of course, any teaching of values could go awry. That we are serious about teaching values, and that we attempt to do so with due respect for both reason and experience, does not guarantee that we will succeed. We ourselves may have got value wrong. Or, we might possess and try to pass on the right values, but our students reject them. Here, as elsewhere in the educational enterprise, there is always a risk that things might turn out badly despite our noblest intentions and sincerest efforts.

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Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development.

Education originated as transmission of cultural heritage from one generation to the next. Today, educational goals increasingly encompass new ideas such as liberation of learners, critical thinking about presented information, skills needed for the modern society, empathy and complex vocational skills.

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expository essay on value education

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Expository Essays

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What is an expository essay?

The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note : This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. Therefore, the expository essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph Essay

A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of:

  • an introductory paragraph
  • three evidentiary body paragraphs
  • a conclusion

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5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

  • Video Overview
  • Quick Example
  • Formatting Guide

An expository essay attempts to explain a topic in-depth, demonstrating expert knowledge and understanding.

This form of essay is structured around the clear, factual presentation of information, devoid of the writer’s personal opinions or arguments.

The primary goal is to inform or explain rather than persuade.

Unlike an argumentative essay, which is built around defending a particular point of view with evidence and persuasion, an expository essay maintains a neutral stance, focusing on delivering straightforward facts and explanations.

An example of expository writing could be an article explaining the process of photosynthesis.

The article would systematically describe each stage of how plants convert sunlight into energy, detailing the role of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.

It would explain the sequence of reactions – first, second, third, fourth, fifth – that occur and the importance of each step in supporting the life of the plant.

An expository essay generally follows this essay format:

expository essay format and structure template

  • A) To persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint
  • B) To inform or explain a topic clearly
  • C) To present the writer’s personal opinions and arguments
  • D) To entertain the reader with creative writing
  • A) An expository essay uses creative storytelling techniques
  • B) An expository essay remains neutral and avoids personal opinions
  • C) An expository essay focuses on persuading the reader with evidence
  • D) An expository essay prioritizes the writer’s personal experiences

Expository Essay Examples

#1 impacts of technology on education.

955 words | 4 Pages | 15 References

impact of technology on education essay

Thesis Statement: “The integration of technology in education represents a complex and critical area of study crucial for understanding and shaping the future of educational practices.”

#2 Impacts of Globalization on Education

1450 words | 5 Pages | 9 References

impacts of globalization on education essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay examines the profound and multifaceted effects of globalization on education, exploring how technological advancements and policy reforms have transformed access to, delivery of, and perceptions of education.”

#3 The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Interpersonal Relationships

1211 Words | 5 Pages | 22 References

emotional intelligence essay

Thesis Statement: “The central thesis is that EI, defined as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, is a crucial determinant of success and well-being.”

#4 The Future of Renewable Energy Sources and Their Impact

870 words | 4 Pages | 20 References

renewable energy essay

Thesis Statement: “The essay posits that although renewable energy sources hold immense promise for a sustainable future, their full integration into the global energy grid presents significant challenges that must be addressed through technological innovation, economic investment, and policy initiatives.”

#5 The Psychology Behind Consumer Behavior

1053 words | 4 Pages | 17 References

consumer behavior essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this essay is that consumer behavior is not merely a product of rational decision-making; it is deeply rooted in psychological processes, both conscious and subconscious, that drive consumers’ choices and actions.”

How to Write an Expository Essay

expository essay definition and features, explained below

Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, expository essays do not aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view.

Instead, they focus on providing a balanced and thorough explanation of a subject.

Key characteristics of an expository essay include:

  • Clarity and Conciseness
  • Structured Organization (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)
  • Objective Tone
  • Evidence-Based (Cite academic sources in every body paragraph)
  • Objective thesis statement (see below)
  • Informative purpose (Not argumentative)

You can follow my expository essay templates with AI prompts to help guide you through the expository essay writing process:

Expository Essay Paragraph Guide

How to write a Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay

An expository thesis statement doesn’t make an argument or try to persuade. It uses ‘is’ rather than ‘ought’ statements.

Take these comparisons  below. Note how the expository thesis statements don’t prosecute an argument or attempt to persuade, while the argumentative thesis statements clearly take a side on an issue:

💡 AI Prompt for Generating Sample Expository Thesis Statements An expository essay’s thesis statement should be objective rather than argumentative. Write me five broad expository thesis statement ideas on the topic “[TOPIC]”.

Go Deeper: 101 Thesis Statement Examples

Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays

Expository and argumentative essays are both common writing styles in academic and professional contexts, but they serve different purposes and follow different structures.

Here are the key differences between them:

  • Expository Essay : The primary purpose is to explain, describe, or inform about a topic. It focuses on clarifying a subject or process, providing understanding and insight.
  • Argumentative Essay : The goal is to persuade the reader to accept a particular point of view or to take a specific action. It’s about presenting a stance and supporting it with evidence and logic.
  • Expository Essay : It maintains a neutral and objective tone. The writer presents information factually and impartially, without expressing personal opinions or biases.
  • Argumentative Essay : It often adopts a more assertive, persuasive, and subjective tone. The writer takes a clear position and argues in favor of it, using persuasive language.
  • Expository Essay : The reader is expected to gain knowledge, understand a process, or become informed about a topic. There’s no expectation for the reader to agree or disagree.
  • Argumentative Essay : The reader is encouraged to consider the writer’s viewpoint, evaluate arguments, and possibly be persuaded to adopt a new perspective or take action.

Go Deeper: Expository vs Argumentative Essays

Ready to Write your Essay?

Expository Essay Template

Take action! Choose one of the following options to start writing your expository essay now:

Read Next: Process Essay Examples


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
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  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 100 Consumer Goods Examples
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Moral Values in Education Essay

The responsibility of educating a child falls on both the parents and the teachers. In most instances, teachers are always trying to get the parents to be part of their children’s education. On the other hand, parents tend to handle any communication from their children’s teachers delicately. For instance, notes and phone calls from teachers are a cause of serious concern for parents. Furthermore, whenever parents do not hear from teachers they often assume that all is well with their children.

Therefore, it is likely that students will be at a disadvantage because of the lack of communication between parents and teachers. Consequently, it is only natural for schools to teach moral values to students. Schools are relied upon by the community and parents to instill and reinforce moral values among students.

Teaching moral values to students eliminate the bias that is common with children from different backgrounds. Some students could be major beneficiaries of a school system that teaches moral values as they lack this foundation at home. Therefore, schools should teach moral values so as to contribute to social and educational harmony.

Schools are mostly public or private owned institutions that are expected to pass knowledge to students. Consequently, when schools are given the role of teaching moral values, this job is passed on to either the government or a few individuals. Most people feel that when schools teach moral values, the government is the organ that dictates what should be taught to students. Teaching moral values that are set up through government institutions elicits sharp emotions among various individuals.

On the other hand, most people are aware of the fact that parents teach their children moral values at a very tender age. Therefore, there is a possibility of moralities clashing when schools start introducing opposing points of view as part of the students’ curriculum.

The dominance of personal opinions among various teachers presents a challenge to the validity of teaching moral values in schools. Schools should not teach moral values because this creates several dimensions of conflict that involve teachers, students, the government, and parents.

Those people who support the argument that schools should teach morality are of the view that it is futile for students to gain all other skills in life and end up lacking in moral values. Consequently, students will go to school and learn scientific applications, events in history, how to calculate, among other skills. However, this knowledge can be highly improved by a student’s ability to express honor, kindness, empathy, and integrity towards others.

Therefore, when schools teach moral values, they create a worthwhile balance in the students’ lives. Furthermore, when too much value is attached to end results and achievements, moral transgressions are likely to occur. Teaching moral values in schools do not involve a tyrannical activity that is engineered by the government and other forces.

Moral curriculums can be developed jointly by the staff, parents, sociologists, religious leaders, and other stakeholders. Consequently, a moral curriculum does not only consist of controversial biases, as most people believe. The fears that moral education can be easily highjacked by third parties and individuals with self-interests are unfounded. For instance, in schools where moral education is instituted through a joint effort, positive results are achieved.

The relationship between moral values and the education system is far-fetched. Moral education is more aligned with culture than it is related to the education system. Furthermore, all education systems are streamlined and standardized. Moral values and systems are flexible and it is unlikely that a standard education curriculum can accommodate this flexibility. For example, accommodating moral education in the school system would mean that different students receive different types of education by their cultural backgrounds.

Those who argue in favor of moral values being taught in schools claim that students need more than formal education for them to be good citizens. However, there is evidence that indicates that the most valuable citizens are the ones who explore and question authorities with the view of understanding the basis of rules and laws.

There are concerns that most moral curriculums are only meant to suppress the curiosity of the citizenry with the aim of subjecting individuals to imperialist regimes. Moreover, political and economic factors are more likely to influence the moral behaviors of children in school systems.

The debate on whether schools should teach moral values to students stretches far and wide. One school of thought believes that it is not the school’s responsibility to teach morality to students. On the other hand, another group feels that an educational experience is not complete without moral values. There are concerns that teaching moral values in schools undermines the role of culture in students’ lives.

Furthermore, it is often argued that teaching morality would create confusion in schools because different students subscribe to different moral systems. This latter view is opposed by the argument that not all moral values are subject to controversy. Proponents of teaching moral values in schools also point out that this system has proved to be helpful in the past.

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IvyPanda. (2023, October 31). Moral Values in Education. https://ivypanda.com/essays/moral-values-in-education/

"Moral Values in Education." IvyPanda , 31 Oct. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/moral-values-in-education/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Moral Values in Education'. 31 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Moral Values in Education." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/moral-values-in-education/.

1. IvyPanda . "Moral Values in Education." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/moral-values-in-education/.


IvyPanda . "Moral Values in Education." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/moral-values-in-education/.

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Essay on Importance of Education for Students

500 words essay on importance of education.

To say Education is important is an understatement. Education is a weapon to improve one’s life. It is probably the most important tool to change one’s life. Education for a child begins at home. It is a lifelong process that ends with death. Education certainly determines the quality of an individual’s life. Education improves one’s knowledge, skills and develops the personality and attitude. Most noteworthy, Education affects the chances of employment for people. A highly educated individual is probably very likely to get a good job. In this essay on importance of education, we will tell you about the value of education in life and society.

essay on importance of education

Importance of Education in Life

First of all, Education teaches the ability to read and write. Reading and writing is the first step in Education. Most information is done by writing. Hence, the lack of writing skill means missing out on a lot of information. Consequently, Education makes people literate.

Above all, Education is extremely important for employment. It certainly is a great opportunity to make a decent living. This is due to the skills of a high paying job that Education provides. Uneducated people are probably at a huge disadvantage when it comes to jobs. It seems like many poor people improve their lives with the help of Education.

expository essay on value education

Better Communication is yet another role in Education. Education improves and refines the speech of a person. Furthermore, individuals also improve other means of communication with Education.

Education makes an individual a better user of technology. Education certainly provides the technical skills necessary for using technology . Hence, without Education, it would probably be difficult to handle modern machines.

People become more mature with the help of Education. Sophistication enters the life of educated people. Above all, Education teaches the value of discipline to individuals. Educated people also realize the value of time much more. To educated people, time is equal to money.

Finally, Educations enables individuals to express their views efficiently. Educated individuals can explain their opinions in a clear manner. Hence, educated people are quite likely to convince people to their point of view.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Importance of Education in Society

First of all, Education helps in spreading knowledge in society. This is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Education. There is a quick propagation of knowledge in an educated society. Furthermore, there is a transfer of knowledge from generation to another by Education.

Education helps in the development and innovation of technology. Most noteworthy, the more the education, the more technology will spread. Important developments in war equipment, medicine , computers, take place due to Education.

Education is a ray of light in the darkness. It certainly is a hope for a good life. Education is a basic right of every Human on this Planet. To deny this right is evil. Uneducated youth is the worst thing for Humanity. Above all, the governments of all countries must ensure to spread Education.

FAQs on Essay on Importance of Education

Q.1 How Education helps in Employment?

A.1 Education helps in Employment by providing necessary skills. These skills are important for doing a high paying job.

Q.2 Mention one way in Education helps a society?

A.2 Education helps society by spreading knowledge. This certainly is one excellent contribution to Education.

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Expository Essay on Education

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To begin with, although traditional education views information transfer to students as the most valuable aspect of the educational process. Botkin’s innovative education views knowledge as a means rather than an end, focusing on the development of the student’s personality through knowledge. It is less concerned with directing the educational process and more concerned with creating conditions in which the student can set and attain his or her own goals while reforming himself or herself and self-regulating the learning process.

Importance of education

Traditional education is mainly identified by a more or less stable structure that does not change dramatically over time. Of sure, knowledge is being accumulated, but only in topics where it is impossible to avoid, such as history and literature, which are always expanding. The exact sciences curriculum, such as physics or mathematics, may not alter for decades. Botkin proposes another option, which assumes that the educational system is a dynamic, ever-changing framework that is continually reorganized and refreshed, with new programmes and educational disciplines arising all the time.

In contrast to traditional education’s reproductive nature, innovative education is an innovative way to be a sole and especially creative process. It should teach students to write text regardless of subject, understand information even if the learner has never perceived it before, and solve issues through independent thinking rather than applying preexisting, remembered solutions.

It also abolishes the long-standing practice of the “teacher-student” relationship as “superior-inferior,” making both the teacher and the student equal partners in the educational process, working on the same task in cooperation rather than subjugation. Education is the process of acquiring knowledge, which is a lifetime activity. It also provides us with the fundamentals to specialize in a topic of interest. It assists us in gaining morality and having particular points of view in life with an open mind. But, at the end of the day, education is the product of life lessons.

Education – An important part of life

Education is vital because it provides us with the tools we need to make our aspirations a reality. It has a significant impact on the type of lifestyle you and your family will lead. Education improves professional chances, as well as career prospects and progress. The primary advantage of education is the ability to obtain a college degree. A college education can help you plan your career.

A degree can also land you an amazing career, and an outstanding position will give you an excellent income. While getting your degree, you will also improve your analytical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. This ability will also serve you well in life.

The advantages of high school graduation vs. a college degree are significant. A person with a degree has an unemployment rate of around 1.2 per cent, but a person with only a high school diploma has an unemployment rate of about 5.2 per cent. It is possible for someone with a degree remains unemployed but the rates indicate that more employment is available to those with a college degree.

The bottom line is that if you want to live a better life; you must believe that education is the answer. I never said it would be easy. I never claimed that if you don’t have a degree, you won’t be able to obtain work or make money. In other words, it is the most systematic and best way to acquire a job or make money.

Of course, a self-sufficient education system based on equality of instructor and student may appear very appealing. Botkin idealizes children and believes that such a system is feasible; the reality, however, would most certainly answer “no.”

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  1. Value of Education Essay in English for Students

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  2. Importance of Value Education: Essay & Speech

    Here is why there is an inherent need and importance of value education in the present world: It helps in making the right decisions in difficult situations and improving decision-making abilities. It teaches students with essential values like kindness, compassion and empathy. It awakens curiosity in children developing their values and interests.

  3. How to Write a High-Quality Expository Essay on Education

    Step 4: Start with the Introduction. The introduction is one of the most important parts of your essay. It should capture the reader's attention and introduce them to the topic. Start by introducing your topic and then provide some background information about it.

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    First, standardized tests positively affect academic achievements. Second, they ensure an equal and complete evaluation of students. Third, standardized tests help to focus on the most important aspects of an educational program. Therefore, this measure is highly objective, reliable, and fair.

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    Over a decade ago, in a previous edition of the International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing, we wrote about the effects of implementing what we then dubbed the "new" Values Education: the symbiotic effects between the explicit teaching of a school's values and the enhancement of the quality of student learning and the effectiveness of teaching.

  6. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It's worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline. A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

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    Abstract. This article offers a metaphysical account of value as part of a general approach to values education. Value endorsements and their transmission are unavoidable in educational settings, as they are everywhere. The question, then, is not whether to teach values but which values to teach, in what contexts and how to teach them effectively.

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    The goal is to provide teachers with some guidance for how to engage in domain-appropriate moral education that will complement, rather than compete with, teachers' more general academic aims. The suggestions and examples provided here are not meant to serve as a curriculum per se but, rather, as a template for teachers to use in adapting their ...

  9. Importance of Education Essay Examples

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    When you write an expository essay, you are exposing the main ideas of the subject, expounding on a topic in detail, or explaining the meaning of a topic, idea, or phenomenon. You will typically be expected to have an introduction, body, and conclusion, plus a strong thesis statement to keep your ideas focused.

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    Expository Essay on Importance of Education. Education is a valuable resource in acquiring skills and knowledge. Our education begins at home. Then, as we grow older, we go to schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. Education brings positive changes in a person's life. It enhances one's knowledge, skills, and intellect and ...

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    Philip Guo writes that many individuals use clichés (e.g. education teaches us how to learn) to explain the purpose of education. "The main purpose of education is to strengthen your mind" (Guo par. 1). Guo considers that permanent learning makes one's mind strong.

  13. Expository Essays

    The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

  14. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Examples of essay outlines. Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay. Argumentative essay outline. This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet's impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

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    An expository essay attempts to explain a topic in-depth, demonstrating expert knowledge and understanding. Unlike an argumentative essay, it aims to remain objective and neutral throughout. It generally follows this essay format: Open a Copy of the Structure Guide in Google Docs. Below are five expository essays to demonstrate style and tone.

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    1. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Cite this essay. Download. Learning, for me, is now no longer genuinely about being important. It in some way has been very memorable for us. Those experiences we had being experts or a pupil are ...

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    Essay on Value of Education. Topics: Importance of Education University. Words: 1257. Pages: 3. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

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    Moral Values in Education Essay. The responsibility of educating a child falls on both the parents and the teachers. In most instances, teachers are always trying to get the parents to be part of their children's education. On the other hand, parents tend to handle any communication from their children's teachers delicately.

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    Section 1 Essay structure An essay is a piece of writing made up of a number of paragraphs. Each paragraph has a specifi c role in an essay. In a fi ve-paragraph essay, the fi rst paragraph is an introduction; the second, third, and fourth paragraphs form the body of the essay; and the fi fth paragraph is a conclusion (see diagram on page 4).

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    Over the years the value of education has drastically decreased mainly by the huge uproar of the advance of technology. The advance in technology seems to be crippling the youth of today, all generations actually are being brainwashed and distracted by technology. During my high school years, students pass the class by doing the bare minimum.

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    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  23. Expository Essay on Education in 600-650 words

    A 600-650 word essay on the importance of education and the difference between traditional and innovative education. The essay explains the benefits of education for personal and professional development, and the advantages of Botkin's innovative education system. Download the pdf for free.