Date of Award
PHD - Doctor of Philosophy
This qualitative study examined the relationship between values taught and values experienced in three values-oriented high schools, i.e., high schools whose educational philosophy and objectives include an emphasis on specific values. The research questions focused on description of values taught and experienced within the schools, the perception of leaders and teachers about this relationship, and the theories of action developed by school leaders and teachers to enhance the relationship. Primary data sources included interviews with leaders and teachers, observations of classrooms and public spaces, and document reviews in each school. Data were analyzed both within each school and across the three schools to develop a multi-site case study that addresses the research questions. Findings present a description of the three schools’ values systems with four major components: (a) public values; (b) acknowledged values; (c) personal values; and (d) implicit values. Within these values systems, the relationship between values taught and values experienced may be one of harmony, i.e., values taught and values experienced working together in a complimentary manner, or dissonance, i.e., values taught and values experienced perceived to be at odds with one another. Multiple examples of both harmony and dissonance were found in all of the research sites. School leaders and teachers exhibited a high degree of perception regarding the relationship between values taught and values experienced, with some exceptions when the values involved individual roles and actions. Theories of action developed by leaders and teachers to enhance the relationship include: (a) creating a distinctive culture and language around values; (b) consciously and continually aligning the school’s value system with changing realities in the school; (c) using multiple types of meetings to support values; (d) making adult values education a priority; and (e) emphasizing reflection. The implications of the study are relevant to leaders and teachers who wish to improve values education in their schools.
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Number of Pages
Merson, Barbara, "Harmonies and Dissonances: The Relationship between Values Taught and Values Experienced in Three Values-Oriented High Schools" (2018). Educational Studies Dissertations. 145.
Curriculum and Social Inquiry Commons, Educational Leadership Commons, Nonprofit Administration and Management Commons, Organizational Behavior and Theory Commons, Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education Commons
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