There are different definitions of values and because of this I will discuss values in light of civic education, types, and their importance in the society
What is Values
I will give five (5) definitions of values in civic education
- Values are the ideas, things, or principles cherished by people in a society.
- Values signify norms and behavioral traits which are generally accepted as being of great worth in society.
- Values are precepts, moral principles, ideas, and beliefs that people hold dear and cherish, e.g. honesty, contentment, faithfulness, justice, tolerance, fair play, etc.
- Values are standard criteria that determine how the people of a society, nation or state think and relate with one another.
- Values refer to the worth attached to things that may not be quantifiable, e.g. integrity, hard work, perseverance, etc.
Types of Values
There are three (3) types of values:
Positive Values: This has everything to do with those qualities that are good for oneself and society at large. Examples of positive values are honesty, integrity, perseverance, hard work, diligence, discipline, patience, respect, etc.
Negative Values: They are qualities that are not good for oneself and the society at large. A person with negative values will only end up destroying his/her life. Negative values are bad and worthless qualities that can only bring about one’s destruction. This could be in the form of prioritizing unhealthy habits in order to gratify oneself.
Intrinsic Values: A value that belongs naturally to somebody or something. It can also be seen as the property of anything that is valuable on its own. For instance, in some tribes in Nigeria, younger ones are expected to kneel or prostrate for the older ones as a sign of respect. The value of respect (in the above instance) is attributed to the older ones because of their age and status. In this case, his age and status are considered intrinsic values because that’s his personality and nature.
Some 15 Importance of Values
- Values help to determine and control the behavior of individuals in society.
- They act as criteria or measures for the judgment of the actions of individuals in society.
- They give focus and direction to individuals in the family and society at large.
- They help us in decision-making.
- They modify our attitudes and feelings toward other people through tolerance of different opinions and behavior.
- Values act as standards of conduct for people in a society
- They guide people toward the achievement of declared objectives e.g. individual, family, communal, corporate, and national objectives among others.
- They promote unity, harmony, and cooperation in society.
- They encourage a sense of responsibility and hard work among Nigerian citizens.
- They help youths to resist negative peer pressure in society.
- Values help us to develop respect for other people’s ways of life e.g. different ethnic and religious groups and so on.
- They encourage tolerance and friendship among people in society.
- Values promote self-reliance in society, thus creating employment opportunities for citizens.
- They ultimately promote development in society.
- Values lead to actions that promote happiness and contentment in society.
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