School – Value Judgments

In all school subjects, teachers and pupils must establish what questions are concerned with values in the sense that they can only be answered by means of value judgments.

 Any person about to adopt a standpoint concerning values needs a proper fund of knowledge to draw on. Schools should help pupils to realize this by means of practical exercises. The demand for neutrality and empiricism implies that pupils must also be informed of the rational arguments in favor of different standpoints concerning values. This is done by employing arguments which are tenable and relevant. The aim should be to motivate the pupils to adopt independent standpoints based on a respect for facts and an amenability to empirical arguments.  

Personal standpoints are the responsibility of the individual pupils it is the responsibility of schools to ensure that the documentation on which this standpoint is founded is both empirical and impartial.  

Persons who are themselves committed must be given the opportunity in school of encouraging children and young person’s to adopt standpoints of their own. Representatives of different associations and religious denominations can take part in school work. The demand for neutrality and empiricism here applies to the total repertoire of amenities for which the school management is responsible.  

It is always the duty of a school to elucidate and adhere to the basic democratic values which schools are to endeavor to induce all children and young person’s to subscribe to.  

Schools must clearly dissociate themselves from everything which  conflicts with these values.  

Neutrality and empiricism demand that society should not be portrayed as harmonious and free from conflicts. Instead it is important that children be made to realize the connection between human, social and national conflicts and, on the other hand, aggression, violence and war. Schools must make their pupils realize that different people live in different economic, social and cultural conditions and that this can give rise to antipathies between different groups.  

The discussion of conflicts and their resolution must form a natural element of many instructional contexts in school. This applies not only to school discussions of matters concerning in school. This applies not only to school discussions of matters concerning total defense and peace, law and justice or questions of belief. It applies to the teaching of all subjects, to class committee meetings and to other contexts involving discussions of human relationships and of the codes of rules which people join together in creating.