A Curriculum Framework for Seventh-day Adventist Secondary Schools


The South Pacific Division Curriculum Unit has enlisted the help of a number of teachers in preparing this document.  We would like to thank all who have contributed time, ideas, materials and support in many tangible and intangible ways.  In particular, the following people have helped most directly in the writing and editing of this document:


Tania Calais                                                      Nunawading High School

John Cox                                                          Avondale College

Don Dickens                                                     Sydney Adventist High School

Calvin Durrant                                                  Avondale College

Allan Hedges                                                    Curriculum Unit  South Pacific Division

Lyndsay Hiscox                                                Brisbane Adventist High School

Elwyn Jenkins                                                   Macquarie University

Peter Kuch                                                       Avondale College

Donna Lloyd                                                     Keilor High School

Tanya Martin                                                    Newcastle Adventist High School

Clinton Max                                                      Christchurch Adventist High School

Louise Mocilac                                                  Adelaide High School

Murray Oliver                                                   Avondale Adventist High School

Daniel Reynaud                                                 Longburn Adventist College

Wayne Vogel                                                    Carmel Adventist College


Tania Calais                                                      Nunawading Adventist College

Jennifer Kavur                                                  Gilson College

Jeanette Mead                                                  Lilydale Adventist Academy

Karelle Stanton                                                 Hilliard Christian School


Adelle Faull                                                       Sydney Adventist College

Clinton Max                                                      Avondale High School

Glenda Roberts                                                 Macquarie College


It is our wish that teachers will use this document to improve their teaching and so better attain the key objectives of Seventh-day Adventist education.




Dr Barry Hill

Director Secondary Curriculum Unit



South Pacific Division

Seventh-day Adventist Church

Department of Education

148 Fox Valley Road                                                                             November 1997

WAHROONGA   NSW   2076                                                              Second Edition



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                          2

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                            3

WHAT IS A FRAMEWORK?                                                                    4

USING THE FRAMEWORK                                                                     5

SECTION 1  PHILOSOPHY                                                                      6

A Philosophy of Education                                                                                                         7

A Value Base for Teaching Language                                                                                        8

Objectives                                                                                                                                 9

SECTION 2  THE PLANNING PROCESS                                               10

Foundation Values                                                                                                                   11

Planning the Teaching of Foundation Values                                                                          12

Strategies For Teaching Values                                                                                               13

Suggestions for Planning Units                                                                                               14


Teaching Foundation Values:  Static Image — Photograph                                                           18

Teaching Foundation Values:  Macbeth                                                                                       21

Example of a Planning Summary:  To Kill a Mockingbird                                                             24

SECTION 4  PLANNING ELEMENTS                                                     27

Strategies for Teaching Values                                                                                                   28

Values — Longer List                                                                                                               32

Teaching Thinking                                                                                                                     38

Key Competencies                                                                                                                    41

Assessment                                                                                                                              44

SECTION 5  APPENDICES                                                                       46

Appendix - Teaching Values From a Range of Texts                                                                   47



A  Framework

In the Adventist secondary school context, a “framework” is a statement of values and principles that guide curriculum development.  These principles are derived from Adventist educational philosophy which states important ideas about what Seventh-day Adventists consider to be real, true and good.

A framework is also a practical document intended to help teachers sequence and integrate the various elements of the planning process as they create a summary of a unit or topic.

The framework is not a syllabus.

The framework is not designed to do the job of a textbook.  Although it contains lists of outcomes, values, and teaching ideas, the main emphasis is on relating values and faith to teaching topics and units.


Objectives of the Framework

1.       One objective of the framework is to show how valuing, thinking and other learning skills can be taught form a Christian viewpoint.  The Adventist philosophy of art influences this process.

2.       A second objective is to provide some examples of how this can be done.  The framework is therefore organised as a resource bank of ideas for subject planning. It provides ideas, issues, values and value teaching activities of art, so it is intended to be a useful planning guide rather than an exhaustive list of "musts".


The framework has three target audiences:-

1.       All English teachers in Adventist secondary schools.

2.       Principals and administrators in the Adventist educational system.

3.       Government authorities who want to see that there is a distinctive Adventist curriculum emphasis.





The framework is comprised of four sections — philosophy and objectives, suggestions on how to plan, examples of topic plans and a set of lists of important ideas, values, issues, teaching strategies and other elements which are useful in building a planning summary.  The nature and purposes of each section are set out below.

It is suggested that you read this page describing these four sections now before attempting to use the document for the first time.



Section 1 is the philosophical section.  This section contains a philosophy statement, a statement of the value base for teaching language, and a set of objectives which have a Christian bias.

This section is meant to help teachers refresh their memories of the Christian perspective they should teach from.  They may consult this section when looking at longer-term curriculum planning, and when thinking about unit objectives.  They may also consider adapting it or using it as is to form part of their program of work.



Section 2 is the "how to" section of the framework.  It explains processes teachers can follow when planning a topic or unit of work while thinking from a Christian perspective.  It is followed by sample summaries compiled by working through the steps.  Because it suggests ideas for integrating ideas, values and learning processes in teaching, this section is the heart of the document.



Section 3 shows practical examples of how to use the framework in topic and unit planning.  It is meant to show how Section 2 can be used to produce a variety of possible approaches to teaching valuing, thinking and other learning.



Section 4 contains the various lists of ideas, values, and teaching strategies that teachers may consult when working their way through Section 2 of the framework.  It is a kind of mini dictionary of ideas to resource the steps followed in Section 2.







A Philosophy of Education           .       .       .                       7

A Value Base For Teaching Language        .       .               8

Objectives       .       .       .       .       .       .       .               .       9




Seventh-day Adventist education is based upon a world view derived from the Christian faith.  This view begins with an eternal, loving and personal God who has always existed, is all-powerful and is the source of all life, truth, beauty and Christian values.

God, through Christ the Son, created this world as a part of His perfect universe.  Furthermore, He sustains His creation by His power and through the natural laws He instituted.  Although created perfect, this planet has been corrupted by sin, resulting in a world that is out of harmony with the rest of creation.  However, God has instituted plans to restore this world to its original perfection.

Man was originally created in God’s image:  a unity of body mind and spirit; endowed with intellect, emotion, and the power of choice.  Sin, however, has not only corrupted man’s environment, but man himself.  God’s image has been marred, yet may be restored through a personal response to the initiative of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Man’s meaning, therefore, is found not in himself but in his rela-tionship to his Creator.

All truth finds its centre and unity in God.  God communicates truth to man in a general way through the natural world and His providential acts and, more specifically, through Jesus Christ, and His inspired word.  Man comprehends truth through observation and reason, but these avenues to understanding require faith and the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Since all truth is God’s truth there is no dichotomy between the sacred and the secular.  Rather, Christian faith pervades all of life and every activity has spiritual significance.

God, through His moral laws, has outlined standards of ethical behaviour based on His own character of love.  When adopted by man these laws develop a commitment to selfless service and a personal and loving concern for all.

Man’s appreciation of beauty and his innate creativity, although marred by sin, still reflect God’s image.  Without the direction of the Holy Spirit these capacities may be used for evil instead of good.  Appreciation of beauty and creativity extend to all man’s cultural activities and involve relationships with God, other people, and the natural world.


The Adventist perspective of education sees the following beliefs as being the organizing framework of language learning experiences.

1.       The ability to use language is God-given.

2.       Language, which is intimately linked to the processes of thought, enables us to assess the universe and our place in it.

3.       Growth in language is integral to personal development and to realising our God-given individuality and humanity.

4.       Language enables us to know God and communicate our understanding of Him; explore and expand our private and public worlds; organise our experience; and form, recognise and reveal our values.

5.       Learning for the most part occurs as students use language, as they speak, listen, read, write, observe and reflect upon the processes of their own learning.

6.       Language learning best takes place in activities that are enjoyable and that are appropriate to students' needs, interests and capacities.  These activities should include everyday communication and personal expression, both formal and informal, literature and the mass media.

7.       As values are inextricably embedded in language, Adventist teachers should recognise that their faith will inevitably disclose itself in all forms of language activity.

8.       Most effective teaching of Christian values through the subject English will be accomplished when there is congruence between the lifestyle of the teacher and the values being taught.



Listed below are  some values-oriented and more spiritual objectives for teaching English. 

1.       To help students realise as fully as possible their God-given language potential.

2.       To develop and refine students’ values.

3.       To develop a student’s sense of judgement and critical discrimination.

4.       To make available a range of situations within the parameters consistent with Christian belief, in which students may use and develop their language capabilities.

5.       To develop an awareness of the part that values play in shaping a text.

6.       To develop an awareness of the part that the presuppositions and the philosophy of life held by the writer can affect the text.

7.       To develop the creative potential of students and appreciation of creativity in others.

8.       To develop students’ aesthetic sensibilities.

9.       To develop receptivity to others' views and experiences. 

10.   To develop the desire and ability to communicate with God and about Him.

11.   To use English as a vehicle for developing their own system of values.

12.   To use the process of exploring the text as a means of exploring and assimilating positive values.





The planning process


Foundation Values .       .       .       .       .       .       11

Planning the Teaching of Foundation Values     12

Strategies For Teaching Values    .       .       .       13

Suggestions for Planning Units    .       .       .       14



A value is an estimate of worth or merit placed on same aspect of our experience.

While countless values can be found in English text (see examples in Section 4), there is a hierarchy of values in the teaching and learning of English in a Christian context.  This framework identifies the most important of these values as being “foundation values.”

These foundation values are found at all levels of learning.  They are overlapping in meaning and interdependent.  As students identify them, question them, use them and internalise them, they become an important part of personal and group experience.

The foundation values are enumerated below:


·         creativity                 disposition to be original, flexible, fluid in thought or deed

·         critical ability           skilful judgment of worth, of balanced view, showing clarity of thought,  analytical

·         excellence               of high quality, doing one’s best, fully meeting criteria

·         freedom                  ability to make real choices, liberty, independence,

·         honesty                   integrity, truthfulness, sincerity, frankness, openness

·         inquiry                    disposition to search and question, quest for knowledge

·         responsibility           accountability, reliability, acting on one’s own initiative, autonomy


·         goodness                 moral excellence, virtue, kindness, generosity, excellence of quality

·         loyalty                     faithfulness to one’s obligations, allegiance, cause, purpose

·         openness                 willingness to accept other views, new knowledge or change, tolerance

·         perseverance          steady persistence or purpose, continuing steadfastly despite obstacles

·         purpose                   sense of direction, pursuit of goals, determination


·         gratitude                 thankfulness, warm or deep appreciation, thoughtfulness

·         justice                     sense of fairness, moral rightness, righteousness, belief in law, equitableness

·         love                        self-sacrifice, affection, attachment, passion, intimacy

·         trust                        commitment, reliance on or confidence in a person or cause, conviction of  truth, belief

·         truth                       commitment to identify, accept, pursue, believe truth



There are two basic strategies for planning the teaching of “foundation” values in English text.  The foundation values as defined in this document are listed on the following page.  One strategy is to select the values first, identify them, and structure the exploration of their context and meaning.  This is the deductive model.  A second strategy is to be inductive and discover values as they emerge naturally in the text, with little or no prior direction or structure.  The diagram on the next page summarises these strategies.

Before attempting much inductive work, students need a deductively formed value base so they understand the concept of values in general and what the foundation values mean.  Younger students in particular need more direction and practice in asking and answering questions like “what did you learn from this?”

The Inductive Model

Some suggestions for using this model are:

·           Involve the discussion of an issue, idea, character, theme, etc.  It can be done in small groups, whole groups, teacher centred.

·           Use open-ended higher order questions.

·           Present a problem, (e.g. a crisis situation) and ask for ways to resolve the problem.

·           Explore choices - reasons, judgments, consequences - to identify character qualities, concerns, issues.

·           Ask what the text tells about the writer's beliefs, values,world view, qualities, implicit and explicit choices. The writer can be treated as a character.

·           Role play, adoption of a persona.

·           Use assignments on texts to identify values and the writer's development of themes around these.  These can result in oral presentations.

The Deductive Model

Some suggestions for using this model are:

·           Define possibilities of values associated with characters, issues, decisions. You could then move from these possibilities to the inductive.

·           Ask students to overtly seek values exhibited in  characters and prove their existence by quotes, links and examples from the text.

·           Use five relationship links. e.g. stranger, acquaintance,friend, intimate, inner self as a frame of reference to explore values.

·           Define the value, then give students models of how these operate in relationships, life etc. Then ask students to apply the model in a new setting.

·           Use a film or other text to show how commitment to a value such as deceit requires a precarious, extended cover-up operation.

·           Use assignments on texts to first define the value, then have students discover them in relation to the themes and issues of the text.






The following section of the framework explains some steps you may go through to integrate values, learning experiences, and communication, valuing and thinking skills into the unit planning process.  Assuming that you have decided the approximate content area you want covered, there are at least seven steps that could be part of the process, not necessarily in any particular order.  Remember that you may omit any of these steps if they do not suit your planning style.  They are:

1.       Decide on some outcomes

2.       Choose the text

3.       Decide the values to emphasise

4.       Select your teaching activities

5.       Decide on some types and levels of thinking to emphasise

6.       Note the key competencies you may include

7.       Plan some assessment tasks



Having chosen your topic, use your state syllabus or curriculum profile and this framework to choose and list your outcomes.  The purely language- and communication-oriented outcomes will be found in state syllabi.  The values-oriented objectives of this framework are on page  .


The selection of text is an important step in determing the values students are exposed to.

Students learn values in English through the interrelationship that exists among the participants in any learning situation, the text being considered, and the context in which it is being conducted.  In an ideal situation there should be a free flow of ideas which may arise from the text, the teacher, the collectively held values of the students, or the values held by a particular individual.

Text is a term used to denote examples of ways people communicate, and can be perceived as a tool used in teaching genre and values.  A more detailed description of text and guidelines for choosing text appear on pages   .


Every topic makes reference to values.  Choose some of the values that you may emphasise in your topic or unit.  These values can be categorised in different ways.  This framework has used the categories of academic, aesthetic, environmental, ethical, faith, health and personal development, management, quality of language use, social and readiness to learn.  See pages  for lists of these values.


There are a wide range of learning experiences to choose from in teaching values.  A starter list of these activities appears on page  .

It is suggested that you also think about at least five aspects of teaching the valuing process — identifying values, clarifying values, making value judgments, making decisions or acting out judgments, and matching the valuing process with learning experiences.  These aspects of valuing are explained on pages   .


In learning language, students are also learning to think at different levels.  Good teaching ensures that students are thinking at levels that include and move beyond learning facts.

There are many good schemes for describing the thinking process.  It is worth remembering that thinking occurs at different levels of complexity.  Four types of thinking are listed below. 

i      Acquiring and integrating knowledge

       This category of thinking includes skills such as understanding ideas, facts and processes, and organising and storing these in the mind.  These processes are the hub of the process of thinking about content.

ii     Extending and refining knowledge

       Skills at this level of thinking include classifying and comparing, analysing errors and perspectives, constructing support for a position, and inquiry and deduction.  These two dimensions of learning form the process of information processing.

iii    Using knowledge meaningfully

       This dimension of thinking includes skills such as problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, experimental inquiry, and invention.

iv     Productive habits of mind

       There are a group of skills and attitudes that help learners learn more effectively.  They include being responsible for learning, setting goals, talking thoughtfully, and being critical and creative.

A fuller list of thinking skills is found in Section 4 pages    .


Because the key competencies are important life skills, it is worthwhile to think of those competencies that we may wish to emphasise. 

The seven key competencies are listed here.  A fuller explanation of each competency is found in Section 4 pages   .

It may also be useful to look through the list of language skills on pages    in Section 4 of the framework.

The seven key competencies are:

1.       Collecting, analysing and organizing information

2.       Communicating ideas and information

3.       Planning and organizing activities

4.       Working with others and in teams

5.       Using mathematical ideas and techniques

6.       Solving problems

7.       Using technology


While it is difficult to assess the valuing process, some values assessment is still possible.  The suggestions given here show some possibilities.  See Section 4 page   for more suggestions.

Assessment of Values

Ask students to attempt assessment tasks which parallel methods of teaching values.  It would be necessary to have previously taught how to attempt these tasks and to have explained clearly what they involve.  

Tasks may include:

·         Identifying values in text

·         Making judgements about decisions of characters encountered in text.  These judgements would be evaluated against criteria established by teachers or students themselves.

·         Completing stories which illustrate given values.

·         Writing compositions to show how life’s decisions bring consequences which are tied to values.

·         Ranking values from text according to a value priority.

·         Build up a profile of students’ attitudes shown over time, something which is not necessarily marked.  This may be a journal of attitudes to certain tasks, an ongoing description of incidents observed etc.

More information on assessment ideas can be found on page    





Examples of planning for valuing


Teaching Foundation Values:

Static Image – Photograph    .       .       .               18

Teaching Foundation Values : Macbeth      .       .       21

Example of a Planning Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird   .       .       .       .               24


Example:  Static Image — Photograph

1       Outcomes

·         Be aware of visual elements of static images (photographs) that create story.

·         Identify visual elements of photographs and explain the effect each creates and how each contributes to the whole visual experience, using corect terminology.

·         Analyse how elements work together to create an effect, impact and story.

·         Demonstrate understanding of visual elements by analysing a photograph and presenting findings to a class audience.

·        Develop commitment to excellence in presentation of work.

2       Purposes of the photo

a     To capture an event from a visual perspective:

·         Balance

·         Clarity

·         Imagination

·         Integrity / honesty

·         Response

·         Simplicity

·         Thoroughness

b     Audience:

·         Appropriateness

·         Clarity

·         Participation

c      Impact and Structure:

·         Balance, symmetry

·         Beauty

·         Composition

·         Contract

·         Creativity, originality

·         Economy

·         Impact

·         Shape

·         Tone

3       Student activities

a     Provide the class with a collection of photographs.  Students could provide information on events that lead up to the photograph.  They would give reasons to support views.  Secondly, students could present what they think will happen immediately after the photograph.  A project could be to write a caption to add meaning to the photo.  A question could focus on the story told.  Is it a frozen point, a moment in a sequence, a suspended slice?

b     Using the same photo, another question is "what elements in your photo do you look to to begin to build an understanding of a story," or "what elements helped you formulate your projection of the story?"  Value judgments can be made on situation, character etc.  Examples of aspects of these elements are:

·           Character

- face expression

- caught movement or action

- gesture

- position

·           Setting

- time, lighting, shadow

- place, recognised images, props

- atmosphere, weather

·           List on the blackboard aspects of the photograph that the class generates. 

- images                                         -contrast

- colour                                          -angle

- proportion                                    -focus

- point of view       

Define how each helps to create meaning.

c     Examine the purpose of the photo, showing that photographs have the purpose of eliciting response and reaction from the viewer/reader.  Questions and activities:

                          I.  What are the main images of the photo?

                        II.  What impressions, feelings, and/or attitudes are associated with each of the images in the photo — (emotive associations)?

                      III.  List the main images in order of importance, explaining their importance in relation to each other.  How does the viewer/reader’s eye move around the photo?

                      IV.  How do the various images work together and support each other to form the complete photo story?

                        V.  Are there any symbols or signs in the photo?  What immediate response do you have to the sign or symbol?  Why?  What effect?

                      VI.  What statements are being made by the various images or signs or symbols?

                    VII.  What is the purpose of this photograph, and is it portrayed in the images or signs or symbols? 

4       Examine the audience.

                       I.  What in the photo will you remember?  Why?

                     II.  List adjectives to describe your attitude to the photo etc.

                   III.  What “way of life” is promoted by the photograph?

                   IV.  What age group/interrest group/type of audience would you expect to relate to this photograph?

                     V.  Summarise your finding, making statements as to who is targeted in this photograph. Images in photos appeal to human experience.

5       Teacher instructs by identifying elements and aspects of a photograph.  Write an immediate response to the photo as a whole.  Then think about these elements listed below and discuss the impact of each element as you go.

                I.  Is the photo pleasant to your eye?  Why?

              II.  What is it about the photo that attracts you?  Why?

            III.  What stands out in the photo?  (Main image, sign, symbol, lettering, animal, human?)

            IV.  Why does it stand out?  What else in the photo makes it stand out?

              V.  Could you remove any section or image etc from the photo and still retain the purpose?

            VI.  By cropping the photo, can you modify the purpose?

          VII.  Re-arrange the position of the images, signs or symbols to evaluate shape and tone etc.

          VIII.  Assess what happened before and after the moment of the photograph.

6       Provide a collection of photos.  The student selects one and analyses it, presenting findings to the class.

7       Other activities

                     I.  Photocopy images, cut out and examine separate from the complete photo.  Look at balance, response etc.

                   II.  Use photocopy to enlarge different images to show how the dominant image carries the main purpose.  Assess how the change of dominant image or sign or symbol changes impact and purpose.  Change values such as balance, respect for response and clarity, impact.


Example:  A Unit on Macbeth by William Shakespeare


·         To elicit foundation values implicit in Macbeth

·         To define the values through examination of specific examples

·         To clarify the foundtion values through questioning, discussion and exploration

·         To analyse the values through comparing, discussing and writing

·         To apply knowledge and understanding of the values by formulating, stating and substantiating judgment(s) about motivtion, action and consequences


By the end of this unit of work, students should be able to engage with questions such as:

·         To what extent is Macbeth responsible for the moral demise he experiences?

·         Could anyone say at the death of Macbeth "Now cracks a noble heart?"  Why?

·         Explore the nature of the issues confronting Macbeth and his wife, and the consequences(s) of their choices.

·         At the beginning of the play, Macbeth has the potential to become great.  He is described as “worthy” and “noble.”  Why is this potential not achieved?

Unit Outline

Stage  1

A       Expose students to the themes of the play that lend themselves to the discussion of values which may be both positive and negative (4 lessons, whole class). 

Some themes which lend themselves to the discussion of values:

a.  The nature of evil and temptation.  Evil is not simply a matter of evil acts which a person might commit:  evil is a deeply rooted part of our human nature.  In Macbeth’s case the impulse to evil surges up at first from the depths of the sub-conscious being suddenly and without pre-meditation.  Macbeth is horrified to think that he, who has previously thought of himself (and been accepted by others) as “worthy” and “noble” Macbeth, should have such potential in his being - though at the same time he is fascinated by the evil impulse that shakes his being.

b.  The motivation to evil is not always easily definable.  In Macbeth’s case, the combined influence of the witches, his own ambition, and of his wife’s persuasions are together inadequate to account for the evil impulse.  There is still something undefinable and mysterious about it, which intensifies the sense of metaphysical dread which the play evokes.

c.  The nature of conscience and its relationship to imagination.

d.  The desensitising of the finer sensibilities which results when conscience is deliberately scarred, and the progressive brutalisation which eventually results.

e.  The extent to which commitment to a course of evil limits a person’s freedom of choice and action.

B       Find examples of these themes from the text (small groups).

C       Feedback on ideas - identify, clarify, agree upon the significant themes and foundation values implicit in them (whole class).

Stage  2

Examine selected themes and values in terms of the recurringsymbols / imagery of the play (3 lessons).

Example :

·           light and darkness

·           blood

·           (imagined) ghosts

·           shadows

·           noise and silence

·           fertility

·           natural order and balance vs chaos


·           class discussion

·           individual work

·           Strategy:  take selected excerpts — apply the inductive method — How does this excerpt relate to the idea of...?

·           brainstorm - identify

·           organise - define

·          exemplify - quotes / stage directsions and / or dialogue

Stage  3

Examine selected themes and concommitant values in terms of the language used and dramatic devices (4 lessons)


·           poetic devices (e.g. simile, metaphor etc)

·           connotations / inferred meaning

·           associations

·           emotive language

·           dramatic devices

·           invisilibity

·           anonynimity

·           soliloquy

·           conflict (interpersonal, inner, between good and evil etc)

Stage  4

Examine how you would interpret one scene on stage, in the lightof Stages 1 to 3 (3 lessons).


·           small groups

·           class discussion (group feedback)

·          viewing of television productions /interpretations of those scenes

Stage  5

Essay writing


·           brief review / summary (notes / OHTs etc)

·           discussion

·           writing an essay


EXAMPLE:          To Kill a Mockingbird


The following summary shows how the seven steps outlined in the previous section of the framework (Suggestions for Planning Units p  )may be applied when planning a unit of work. 


The types of outcomes referred to here are selected to show a reasonable range for a unit.  These types of outcomes occur frequently in syllabi.  Outcomes typically found in syllabi are:  reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, drama, literary analysis.

1.    Speaking & Listening

·           Discuss in structured or unstructured groups issues arising from the text.

2.    Reading & Viewing

·           Construct meanings from a range of texts — novel, film, poetry, short stories, news - and justify these with detailed, well chosen evidence

·           Comment on the interrelationships between the texts

3.    Writing

·           Write to explore different characters and issues through selected text types.

·           Imitate the style of selected text types.

4.    Thinking & Valuing

·           Explore different perspectives on justice, prejudice, growing up, family life;

·           Examine the quality of text.


1. Social




2. Ethical




3. Academic




4. Faith

Healthy estimate of self-worth


Learning Experiences:

·         Paired tutorial on a specific topic such as the way Negro characters are presented.

·         Group and class discussion on issues such as justice, growing up, tolerance.

·         Dramatic presentation of scenes from the novel.  Topics could include the court scene (justice), shooting of the dog (integrity), scene when Walter comes for lunch (tolerance and acceptance), Mrs Dubose (dependence and courage).

·         Research the racial, social and historical content of the novel to develop empathy and self-worth.

·         Written character study of characters such as Atticus to explore and evaluate values held.

·         Take the role of a juror to write a scene from a different perspective.

·         Imagine what goes on when the jury leaves the room - write about it, act it out or discuss it.

·         State a quote eg. "You never really know a person until you get inside their skin and walk around. . ."  How is this admonition carried out in the lives of Atticus and his children?  Discuss in writing.

Series of questions on the novel discussed. An example is “Who killed Bob Ewell?”  Answer to be written at literal and metaphorical levels.

Thinking Skills:

Acquiring Knowledge

·         Reading, viewing, discussing, internalising through questioning and research;

Extending Knowledge

·         Analysing perspectives in tutorials, essays, drama

·         Abstracting in character study

·         Comparing characters and text

·         Classifying in discussion

·         Induction - making predictions based on reading

Using Knowledge

·         Essay writing

·         Selecting evidence to support viewpoints

·         Making social judgements and decisions of various kinds

·         Investigation in research and tutorials

Productive Habits of mind

·         Critical thinking

·         Creative thinking

Story in thinking

·        Using the novel to construct meaning through storytelling.

Key Competencies:

1.       Collecting, analysing and organizing information

2.       Communicating ideas and information

3.       Planning and organizing activities

4.       Working with others and in teams

5.       Solving problems

Language Skills:

1.       Listening and speaking

2.       Composing

3.       Visual learning

4.       Comprehending

5.      Reading literature

Assessment Tasks:

1.    Debate

·         Mark the way students present a value position:

Ž     Quality of key idea in argument

Ž     Ability to persuade

Ž     Quality of criteria chosen to support a position

Ž     Evidence of value priorities.


2.    Essay

·       Some assessment of awareness of characters' values

3.    Quality of judgements about purposes of the author and her value position reflected through Atticus.

4.    Student Participation

·       Student interaction within group activities

5.    Report

·       Report on a tutorial.

6.    Oral

·       Dramatic presentation.

7.    Research

8.    Review and Comprehension

·       Mark for answers to selected questions.





Planning elements


Strategies for Teaching Values     .       .               .       28

Values – Longer List      .       .       .       .       .       .       32

Teaching Thinking        .       .       .       .       .       .       38

Teaching Key Competencies .       .       .               .       41

Assessment     .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       44



This section of the framework outlines some types of possible teacher tactics for teaching values in English text.


Students learn values and the process of valuing as a natural outcome of studing various types of English text.  By becoming immersed in text — particularly the kind that appears to address their personal needs — they not only learn language, but become exposed to a wide range of values.  Through text they learn to use language appropriately, they make critical judgments of the world of the media, and they appreciate the qualities of literature.  As they are taught to perceive elements such as attitude, point of view, audience, purpose, and appropriate use of language, they learn to make links between these textual variables, the content they convey, and the valuing that goes on in real life.  Through learning language, students come to identify, expose, discuss and explore values and give feedback about them.

Priorities For Choosing Text

·         Assess the quality of use of language — accessability, vulgarity.

·         Refer to the focus of class interest.

·         Think about the obvious value needs of the class.

·         Select text which gives opportunity to illustrate Christian value priorities.

·         Be conscious of the Christian worldview


·         Build a classroom atmosphere which is warm and caring, respectful of the God-given value of each individual;  one which conveys a distinct set of values by its appearance, display material, style of government, and organisation to develop in the students a desire to live by what is true, honest, uplifting, and of good report.

·         Provide an environment where values, beliefs and feelings can be explored, questioned and modified through contact with the ideas of great thinkers, through a study of great writers, and through an evaluation of the techniques and processes of communication.

·         Use classroom routines and expectations to illustrate values.  Expectations also encompass standards of class work.

·         Consciously think about your model as a teacher.  Think about your use of language in teaching, discipline, and social interaction with both students and other teachers.  Be aware of your influence as a speaker, writer, listener and reader.  Be conscious of dress, ethical decisions, course organisation, preparation of materials, professionalism, and ways of relating to parents.

·         Use all opportunities of interacting with students to illustrate values.  Your reaction to their responses is particularly important.


a.    Identify Values

Constantly identify the values expressed in text, and in the use of language in general.  This may involve taking stock of a situation, pausing to note a value, or thinking about reasons for behaviours.  Some possible questions to ask are:

·           What is the message and value expressed in this scenario?

·           What feelings are evoked?

·           What values are neglected by this choice?

·           How compatible with Christianity's values are the expressed values and/or feelings?

b      Clarify Values

Help students clarify their values by clarifying meaning, seeking reasons for judgments, or stating the types of values identified.  Clarifying questions could include:

·           What do you mean by your comment about the worth of this decision?  Explain yourself.

·           Why do you hold that position about this issue?

·           How do you justify the position you take?

·           What advantages or disadvantages can be perceived in the position you have taken?

c      Make Value Judgments

Help students make value judgments.  Students may identify and form criteria for judging the worth of their choices and behaviour, evaluate the quality of choices, rank values in priority etc.  Sample questions are:

·           Was this character's decision worthwhile?  On what basis do you make your judgment?

·           What are the criteria for judging what is morally good or bad in this situation?

·           What do you think of the merit of this decision as judged against the commandments or some other Biblical criteria?

d     Make Choices or Decisions to Act

Value judgments lead us to make choices, commitments and decisions which cause us to act or refrain from acting.  Choice sometimes involves the type of values analysis which examines the consequences of choosing alternate courses of action.  Note that for Christians consequences may not be adequate reasons for actions.  The following questions illustrate this tactic:

·           Because Jane chose to treat Alex in this way, what were the short/long-term consequences (both positive and negative) for her, for other family members?

·           What evidence is there from the past, from Scripture or from other sources  that the sorts of consequences listed in (a) above would happen?

·           Should she therefore have acted like this?

e      Create Opportunities for Students to Apply their Values to the Business of Living.

Examples of these opportunities are:

·           How does this incident relate to your values or your life?

·           What do you personally get out of this portrait of an Australian family?

·           What are you going to do in response to the idea expressed in this short story?

·           How would you persuade/dissuade someone who holds a particular value position?


Positive attitudes can be taught by exposing students to text that can be seen as negative.  Teachers can:

·         Point out the impact of context, purpose, audience on language.

·         Keep within the expectations of your clients in terms of values.

·         Invite student interaction on the issue, be open.

·         Use negative context as a starting point. Get class to defend the appropriate values.

·         Play devil's advocate.

·         Link the negative with reality.

·         Discuss appropriateness of language.

·         Keep in mind the students' ability to cope with issues.


To teach values through drama, teachers may:

·         Use role reversal to look at both sides.

·         Choose those with a strong view to play the opposite view.

·         Use a "hot seat" situation - students must answer the questions put to them.

·         Read parts different ways . Invite value judgments from the audience.

·         Students choose to learn and present exerpts from a drama.  They must rationalise why this is of value to them.

·         Fill out a form which has characteristics of protagonists plotted in a continuum.

·         Have students look for good in villains (and the reverse).

·         Teamwork values are developed in production.

·         Personify values in drama.

·         Use characters to portray student values vicariously.



Values can be theoretically taught by any teachingstrategy.  Twenty strategies are listed below as a starting point for ideas.

      1.        Analogies:  Making a point by using an apparently unrelated illustration.

      2.        Analysing Values:  Examining consequences of thinking and behaviour

      3.        Application of Values: This tactic involves putting values into action in life.

      4.        Building Support for a Position:  For this tactic, we would show how to support a case both for and against a position.

      5.        Classroom Organisation and Procedures:  We can teach values such as orderliness, organisation, attention to detail, and good preparation by insisting on them in day to day classroom organisation.

      6.        Comparing and Contrasting:  We can draw out values by comparing opposing views on issues.

      7.        Debate:  Arguing logically for two sides to an issue.

      8.        Demonstration:  Showing how some value oriented action can or should be done

      9.        Explanation:  Statement of why we hold value positions, or why values are important.

   10.        Experience:  Real life experience may involve sending cards, visiting prison etc.

   11.        Hypotheticals:  We pose a life situation where a problem must be solved in reference to a value position.

   12.        Media Stimulus:  We can use media such as, news items, Quantum, and Towards 2000 programs, to raise issues and weigh them up.

   13.        Modelling:  The teacher constantly models enthusiasm, love of literature etc.  Students learn a good deal by the authority they grant people and other sources of information.

   14.        Narration:  Story telling and narration of all kinds can teach values.

   15.        Problem Solving:  We can help students weigh up values by asking them what to do next in problem situations.  An example of this approach is the ABC program entitled, ‘What Do We Do Next?’

   16.        Projects:  Projects can include a valuing element when they focus on issues.

   17.        Questioning and Clarifying:  We are constantly questioning students to help them identify and clarify their values. 

   18.        Role Plays:  When students act out roles they are forced to think about the values the role represents.

   19.        Simulation:  Simulation forces students to cast themselves in life-like problem situations.

   20.        Visiting Speakers:  Visiting speakers present value positions inherent in many life experiences.



Listed below are groups of values which can be scanned as a prompt for ideas.  Though lengthy, the list is not exhaustive, and will doubtless be added to over time. Teachers should resist the temptation to refer to masses of values in lessons and units. 

Academic Values

Ability to exercise judgment in reaching conclusions.






Critical Analysis

Critical Evaluation





Independent thinking




Logical thought and expression









Tentativeness in research





Aesthetic Values







































Environmental Values




Environmental quality







Ethical Values

Acting on principle



Ethical sensitivity


Flexibility in moral judgment











Obedience to law



Pursuit of truth










Faith Values

Awareness of Christian issues

















Self-motivation to develop faith


Sense of personal worth

Sense of worth in God’s eyes






Trust in God



Health/Personal Development Values





Personal growth

Positive outlook








Management Values

Achievement orientation


Career awareness








Good workmanship







Pride of achievement


Respect for authority





Use of available resources



Quality of Language Use Values


Adaptability to situations



Competence in word use


Efficiency of text







Persuasive mode of expression


Quality of use

Suitability to purpose


Social Values






Appreciation of others


Awareness of heritage





Christian marriage and home







Devotion to family











Independence (action)









Pride in school




Sense of community








Willingness to be involved


Readiness to Learn Values






















A Summary of the Dimensions of Learning by Robert Marzano

Dimension  1.       Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about Learning

·         Positive attitudes about the learning climate

Ž     Acceptance by teacher and other students

Ž     Physical comfort

Ž     Order — perception of safety in the learning process

·         Positive attitudes about tasks

Ž     Task value

Ž     Task clarity

Ž     Sufficient learning resources

Dimension  2.       Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge

·         Declarative knowledge — understanding content  such as concepts, facts, rules, values, component parts

Ž     Constructing meaning through:

Prior learning

Forming concepts through examples and non examples

Ž     Organising knowledge through:

Using physical and symbolic representations

Using graphic organisers

Using organisational patterns

Descriptive patterns

Sequence patterns

Process/Cause patterns

Problem/Solution patterns

Generalisation patterns

Concept patterns

Ž     Storing declarative knowledge by:

Elaboration — making varied linkages between the old and the new by imagining pictures, sensations and emotions, by linking images in story fashion, and by verbal rehearsal

·         Procedural knowledge — skills and processes important to a content area

Ž     Constructing procedural models

Providing students with an analogy

Think aloud models

Flow chart models

Ž     Shaping procedural knowledge — students alter the original model in learning it

Guided practice

Ž     Internalising procedural knowledge

Practice to the point of performing the procedure with ease

Speed and accuracy goals

Dimension  3.       Extending and Refining Knowledge

·         Comparing:  Identifying and articulating similarities and differences between things.

Ž     How are these things alike, different?  What characteristics are alike, different?

·         Classifying:  Grouping things into definable categories on the basis of their attributes.

Ž     Into what groups could you organise these things?  Defining characteristics?

·         Inducing:  Inferring unknown generalisations or principles from observation or analysis.

Ž     Based on these facts, what can you conclude?  How likely is it that....will occur?

·         Deducing:  Inferring using unstated consequences and conditions from given principles and generalisations.

Ž     Based on the rule or principle, what predictions/conclusions can you make/draw?

·         Analysing errors:  Identifying and articulating errors in your own or others' thinking.

Ž     What are the errors, how is it misleading, how could it be improved?

·         Constructing support:  Constructing a system of support or proof for an assertion.

Ž     What is an argument that would support the claim?  Limitations of the argument?

·         Abstracting:  Identifying and articulating the underlying theme or general pattern of information.

Ž     What is the general pattern?  To what other situations does the pattern apply?

·         Analysing perspectives:  Identifying and articulating personal perspectives about issues.

Ž     Why would you consider this to be good/bad?  What is your reasoning?  What is an alternative perspective and what is the reasoning behind it?

Dimension  4.       Using Knowledge Meaningfully

Look for the big issues  that stand out in these processes.

·         Decision making:  The process of answering such questions as "What is the best way to   ?”

Ž     Is there an unresolved issue about who or what is best?  About who or what has the most or least?

·           Investigation:  Definitional — What are the defining characteristics?  Projective — What would happen if?  Historical — How did this happen?

Ž     Is there an unresolved issue about the defining features, about how or why something happened, or about what would happen if?

·           Experimental inquiry:  The process we engage in when answering such questions as "How can I explain this?" and "Based on my explanation, what can I predict?"

Ž     Is there an unexplained phenomenon for which students could generate explanations that could be tested?

·           Problem solving:  Answers questions such as "How will I overcome this obstacle?" or "How will I reach my goal but still meet these conditions?"

Ž     Is there a situation or process that has some major constraint or limiting condition?

·           Invention:  The process of creating something that fills an unmet need or desire. 

Ž    Is there a situation that can or should be improved on?  Something that should be created?

Dimension  5.       Productive Habits of Mind

·           Self-regulated thinking and learning

Ž     Being aware of your own thinking

Ž     Planning

Ž     Being aware of necessary resources

Ž     Being sensitive to feedback

Ž     Evaluating the effectiveness of your actions

·           Critical thinking and learning

Ž     Being accurate and seeking accuracy

Ž     Being clear and seeking clarity

Ž     Being open-minded

Ž     Resisting impulsivity

Ž     Taking and defending a position

Ž     Being sensitive to others

·           Creative thinking and learning

Ž     Engaging intensely in tasks even when answers or solutions are not immediately apparent

Ž     Pushing the limits of your knowledge and ability

Ž     Generating, trusting, and maintaining your own standards of evaluation

Ž     Generating new ways of viewing situations outside the boundaries of standard convention

·           Personal goals are powerful motivators

·           Structured academic problems — like those met in maths, science and logic

·           Socratic dialogue and debate — five types of questions to develop thinking

Ž     Questions of clarification

Ž     Questions that probe assumptions

Ž     Questions that probe reasons and give evidence

Ž     Questions about viewpoints and perspectives

Ž     Questions that probe implications and consequences


(Marzano, R.  1992.  A Different Kind of Classroom.  Alexandria.  ASCD.)



The teaching and learning of English develops all the key competencies.  However some competencies receive more attention than others. 

Students spend a good deal of time solving problems, collecting, analysing and organising information, communicating ideas, and using mathematical ideas and various forms of technology .

The seven key competencies are listed below, then briefly described:

1.       Collecting, analysing and organizing information

2.       Communicating ideas and information

3.       Planning and organizing activities

4.       Working with others and in teams

5.       Using mathematical ideas and techniques

6.       Solving problems

7.      Using technology

Collecting, Analysing and Organising Information

This competency focuses on the locating and processing of information.  Informationcan be in the form of writing, statistics, graphs, charts, tables, problems etc.  Processing information includes the capacity to do the following:

·         locate information

·         sift and sort information

·         select what information is required

·         present information in a useful way

·         evaluate information

·         evaluate the sources and methods of obtaining information

Communicating Ideas and Information

This competency involves the capacity to effectively use a range of types of communication , including spoken, written, graphic and non-verbal expression.  It includes the capacity to do the following:

·         identify different audiences and purposes of communication and respond to

·         these appropriately

·         identify and use a range of forms and styles of communication to suit its purposes

·         (eg speak to school visitors, write an accident report, sketch a seating plan)

·         identify, use and adapt conventions appropriate to the mode of communication

·         (eg apply rules of grammar when needed in writing, know how to modulate

·         the voice when speaking dramatically, know how to place a diagram in a report)

·         organise ideas and information so that meaning is communicated clearly

·         revise and adapt communication in response to feedback

Planning and Organising Activities

This competency focuses on the ability to plan, organise and manage one's own time and resources.  It includes the capacity to do the following:

·         plan one's own work activities

·         organise one's own work activities

·         make good use of time and resources

·         sort out priorities

·         monitor one's own performance

Working With Others and in Teams

This competency focuses on working with others.   It includes the capacity to:

·         interact effectively with other people on a one to one basis (eg listen carefully,show trust, keep agreements, communicate)

·         interact effectively with other people in groups (eg collaborate and cooperate,and recognise the value and contributions of others)

·         understand and respond to the needs of a client (eg use questioning,

·         listening and negotiation skills and make responses which meet mutual expectations)

·         work effectively as a team member to achieve a shared goal (eg negotiate, be responsible, work towards agreed goals, give constructive feedback to the group)

Using Mathematical Ideas

This competency focuses on using mathematical ideas and techniques for practical purposes.  It includes the capacity to:

·         clarify the purposes and objectives of the activity or task  (ie so that we can then identify the most appropriate mathematical ideas and techniques to use)

·         select appropriate mathematical ideas and techniques for our purposes

·         apply mathematical procedures and techniques with precision and accuracy

·         judge levels of precision and accuracy appropriate to the situation

·         interpret and explain a solution for given context, and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the methods used

Solving Problems

This competency focuses on problem solving strategies.  It includes the capacity todo the following:

·         apply problem solving strategies where the solution is clearly evident

·         analyse problems by identifying their similarities with previous learning

·         display confidence in problem solving

·         apply critical thinking and a creative approach to solving problems by doingthe following:

·         clarify the problem by identifying all of its relevant aspects

·         apply chosen strategies and adapt them where necessary to achieve the desired outcomes

·         explore possible solutions

·         evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies chosen to solve the problem

Using Technology

This competency focuses on using technology by combining physical and sensory skills (needed to operate equipment) with the understanding of scientific and technological principles  (needed to explore and adapt systems).  It includes the capacity to do the following:

·         clarify and define the purposes and objectives for the use of technology in a situation

·         assess the function and suitability of materials, equipment and processes for a given task

·         select and use systems, techniques, equipment and materials to achieve desired outcomes

·         use equipment, materials and processes safely, with regard for safety, the rightsof others, and social and environmental implications

·         select or adapt equipment, materials and procedures to optimise the use ofexisting resources and account for the capacity of the people involved

·         design, create, or hypothesise about possible technological solutions



Teachers may assess students’ ability to value.  This assessment may include marks and grades.  Consider the following kinds of tasks:

Types of Tasks

1.    Identify values in text.

2.    Clarify values by doing the following kinds of things:

·       Explain criteria for making choices.

·       Explain why a value is held.

·       Explain what a value means.

·       Explain how a value relates to a world view.

3.    Make ethical, aesthetic, literary and other value judgments in a wide range of contexts.  Reference can be made to clear criteria for making these judgments, and the strength of these criteria.  Examples are:

·       The quality of a perspective, point of , or argument.

·       The quality of text itself.

·       The quality of characters’ actions.

·       The quality of writers’ intentions.

·       The quality of the choices of actors and characters.

·       The amount or quality of media bias.

·       The quality of writers’ and characters’ moral, environmental, aesthetic alternatives.

4.    Rank values from text according to a given value priority.

5.    Analyse perspectives.  Such analysis can be assessed according to students’ ability to:

·       Identify and articulate points of disagreement on which there is conflict.

·       Articulate a detailed position and /or an opposing position, and the reasoning behind it.

·       Articulate important and appropriate alternatives to be considered.

·       Identify criteria by which alternatives can be assessed.

6.    Other assessable abilities:

·       Generate and assess solutions to ethical problems.

·       Evaluate moral authorities.

·       Raise and pursue fundamental questions.

·       Make plausible moral inferences.

·       Distinguish relevant moral facts from irrelevant ones.

·       Refine moral generalisations.

·       Examine moral assumptions.

·       Supply evidence for a moral conclusion.

·       Complete stories which illustrate given values.

·       Write stories or essays to show how life’s decisions bring consequences which are tied to values.

·       Give a values-oriented talk.

·       Research assignment on a text embedded with values.

Recording Attitudes and Attitude Change

Teachers can record students’ attitudes and changes in attitude over time.  Below are some suggestions for observing and recording attitudes.

·       Make students need aware of what the desirable attitudes are, and why they are important.

·       Assessment of attitudes needs to be primarily based on observation of students over the whole of the course, not just on isolated incidents.

·       Observation of students' attitudes needs to occur in contexts where students are likely to display their attitudes, eg  field trips, projects, discussions and seminars.

·       Besides observations, students attitudes can be assessed by completion of questionnaires or by the expressing of their opinions in essays.

·       Records can be kept by using marks, profiles and descriptive statements.

Ž     Mark.  Attitudes could be given a weighting when compiling the over all course mark (eg 10% or less).  This could be as a part of a test or not.

Ž     Profiles.  A listing of desired attitudes could be listed and then either:

                                        I.    Indicate on a check list those which are observed (based on reflection or impressions over the term, or accumulated check lists);

                                      II.    Report only those observed (based on reflection or impressions over the term, or accumulated check lists);

                                      III.    Use a four or five point rating scale (based on reflection over whole term).

Ž     Descriptive statements.  Assessments could be referred to when completing reports or testimonials.







Appendix – Teaching Values

From a Range of Texts  .       .       .       47





This appendix provides further examples of how different teachers would go about teaching values by using various kinds of text.


Examples of how values can be elicited from this text.

·       Examine themes.

·       Write an essay using the values of one of the characters in a different setting.

·       Compare the setting of this story with the student’s own situation.

·       Act out the story.  What type of persons are the characters?

·       Write another ending to the story to reveal the characters and values of a different character.

·       Does the author’s technique reveal his values?  Is this a valid question to ask?  What pre-requisites do we need to be able to make this type of judgment?

·       To what extent do the characters reflect the author’s values?


Example:  “The Verger” by Somerset Maugham

1.    Assessing Attitudes:

·       What was the Verger’s attitude towards:

Ž     His own work?

Ž     The parson?

Ž     The church wardens?

·       Did these attitudes change when he was fired?  If so, why?

·       If you were in the Verger’s position, what would have been your attitudes:

Ž     At the beginning?

Ž     At the end of the story?

·       What do you see in the Verger’s reply that he was unwilling to learn to read?  Is he justified in his attitude?

·       If you were to act out this short story, how would you act each of the characters? 

·       How do the characters change throughout the story?  Why do they change?

2.    Examine the Setting:

·       Is the setting ‘value free’?  If not, where does it reveal values?

3.    Define the Values:

·       What characteristics make the protagonist what he is?

4.    Emotional Content:

·       How would you feel?  Why?

·       How does the character feel?  Why?

5.    Explore the Themes:

·       What do you see as the ‘moral’ of this story?

·       What conclusions could we draw from this story?

·       Are you happy with these conclusions?

6.    Literary Style:

·       Is the protagonist treated sympathetically by the author?


Example:  “The Pearl” by J. Steinbech

1.    Examine the Setting of the Story:

·       A Spanish/Mexican community suffering Spanish colonial dominance.

2.    Define Themes:

·       Racism and greed

·       Community

·       The family

·       Ignorance etc

Examine emergence of themes throughout the plot.  An example is the writer’s style and technique.

3.    Examine Properties of Characters:

·       Gauged by behaviour/speech etc, leading to a variety of outcomes throughout the novel.  eg Kino:  frustration — violence; loyalty — protection etc.

·       Canvass alternate behavioural patterns, choices, etc  eg acceptance of the status quo as against pursuing change.

·       Transfer ideas to student’s situation - construct parallel conflict situations; propose acceptable or unacceptable resolutions; evaluate the lessons learned etc

4.    Examine Aesthetic Properties of the Work:

·       An example is a description of the sea bed, town, doctor etc.  Use of imagery and motif etc. to add emphasis.  Examples are preying scavengers, shadows, optical illusions, etc.

5.    Examine the Value Positions:

·       What is the value and message expressed in a scenario?

·       What values are neglected?

·       What methods are used by the characters to solve problems?

·       Compare the author’s position with that of the characters.  Is there disparity?


Example:  “Beach Buriel” by B. Dawe

1.    Themes: 

·       How death unites humanity

·       The destructive nature of war


Describe personal beliefs and attitudes to death and war.

Research the affects of war on a country currently in the news.

Find five quotations from famous writers about death.

Compare Dawe’s position with that of other authors.

Does his position differ from the Christian position?  How?

2.    Comparison texts:


·       the war images presented in “Dulce et Decorum Est” (Wilfred Owen), and “Weapons Training” (Slessor), and compare with Dawe’s presentation in “Beach Burial”.

3.    Aesthetics of the text:  eg imagery, mood


·       Compare other poet’s images for death and sorrow.

·       Design your own image to create the mood of sadness.

4.    Assess the values presented by the poem


·       Complete an evaluative table:

Value    Positive Negative           Relevance to me

5.    Teaching Tactics: 

·       Describe

·       Analyse

·       Compare

 (See those used in 1 - 4)


Example:  Completing a Passport Application

1.    Concepts for discussion when teaching the values related to passport application are:

·       It is an official identification of who you are and therefore it requires:

·       Honesty in the supplying of information.

·       Accuracy in the details given

·       Neatness in filling out the passport

·       It is a document which implies citizenship and therefore needs our:

·       Respect

·       Commitment

2.    Some activities require the careful following of instructions:  For example, as we follow instructions we need:

·       Patience

·       Thoroughness

·       Orderliness

·       Planning ahead

·       Accuracy

·       Perseverance

3.    We require help in completing forms, and this activity causes us to show certain values.  Necessary values-oriented behaviour when asking for help:

·       Graciousness

·       Honesty

·       Humility

·       Punctuality

4.    The activity of checking on progress of our application it requires us to show attitudes.  Important attitudes to demonstrate are:

·       Tactfulness

·       Endurance

·       Respect


The report needs to be current – from television, video, radio, etc.  See that the class view television news, a documentary, newspapers, or that they listen to a radio report.  It is useful to have a transcript of the report.

1.    Examine the components of news to determine the producers’ priorities.  Possible value-oriented aspects may include:

·       A do gooder

·       Advertising

·       Economic relevance

·       Environmental and scientific issues

·       Famous person interviews

·       International, national, and local news segments

·       Personal interest stories

·       Political issues

·       Someone in difficulty

·       Sport

2.    Examine structure.  Ascertain the values by using activities such as:

·       Asking how long it lasted

·       Asking where it came from

·       Assessing any bias or exaggeration

·       Checking for backup film

·       Comparing honesty, with two reports on the same topic

·       Discovering the interviewer's values

·       Establishing the ranking of the position of report

·       Evaluating for possible manipulation

·       Evaluating in terms of possible propaganda value

·       Evaluating the timing of the item’s presentation

·       Focusing on one story

·       Looking carefully at the use of loose and periodic sentences

·       Noting the control of tense

·       Questioning the degree of sensationalism

·       Ranking of ideas within the paragraphs

·       Studying photographs of the event

3.    Examine language by the following:

·       Establish whether there is exaggeration

·       Assess for use of emotive words

·       Assess the level of the vocabulary.

·       Note the amount of actual speech recorded

·       Separate factual statements from opinions

4.    Compare features

·       Compare report with report on similar topic in another medium and/or alternate presentation in the same medium (T.V., Radio, Newspaper)

·       Analyse the different perspectives of the different producers.

·       Establish criteria for assessing the truthfulness of a report.

·       Establish and compare emotions aroused by the different reports.

·       Discuss what emotions the author may want you to have.

·       Evaluate the position a Christian would need to take in relationship to the report.

5.    Discover possible values:

·       Concern (empathy) for others in trouble

·       Honesty

·       Manipulation

·       Objectivity

·       Prejudice

·       Tolerance

6.    Assess the worth of values:

·       Which are good or bad?

·       How prevalent are they in the news?

·       Rank the values.

7.    Apply Principles:

·       Prepare the same story for another medium.

·       Rewrite story in an unemotional way.

·       Assess how a writer with a Christian perspective may deal with the same incident.

·       What effect does this have?  For example is it less interesting?

·       Rate its newsworthiness.


The text of the language of conversation exhibits values in numerous ways.  Below are listed six themes which show how valuing happens in conversation.  Each theme is illustrated by an example of different kinds of values.

A    Themes for discussion:

1     Language is part of symbolic communication which is portrayed in the following ways:

·       Letters (eg  abc)

·       Words

·       Gestures

·       Body language

2     Language reveals identity through the following characteristics of spoken speech:

·       Accent

·       Vocabulary

·       Sentence structure

·       Non-verbal communication

·       Tone

·       Pitch

·       Speed

·       Manner

(We could ask what values are revealed about the participants through these.)

3     Language reveals character qualities such as:

·       Cheerfulness

·       Confidence

·       Courtesy

·       Dignity

·       Empathy

·       Encouragement

·       Enthusiasm

·       Humility

·       Humour

·       Modesty

·       Politeness

·       Purity

·       Respect

·       Self-control

Questions which can be used in discussion are:

Ž  How easy is it to assess character qualities from a short segment of conversation?

Ž  What particular features of conversation reveal these character qualities?

4     Within a language there can be many variations which affect the way we respond to the speaker:

·       Those affecting the sounds we hear — accent ,  dialect ,  idiolect

·       Those affecting the levels of formality — slang to formal

·       Those related to degree of intimacy — phatic to familiar

·       Those related to intention — straightforward to ironic

How can these differences hinder effective communication?

5     The language of conversation is often ambiguous.

6     Because of the complexity of the communication process it is easy to misunderstand the intention of the speaker.  Therefore, there needs to be:

·       Tolerance and understanding

·       An interaction of words, non-verbal activity, context and anything else which may influence the speaker at that time


B    There are guidelines for developing sensitivity to meaning in conversation.  Here are two examples:

·       Understanding the background of a person helps us to appreciate his/her communication style.

·      Listening requires understanding the intention as well as understanding the words.