Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr William Connell

Second Supervisor

Dr Danielle Brady


The relationship between Values Education and corresponding moral reasoning development has been explored within a group of forty-six year eight students (twelve and thirteen years old). Participants were tested with a Sociomoral Reflection Objective Measure instrument to index their moral reasoning stage development (reported as a Moral Maturity Score). Randomly dividing the group into two equal proportions they were assigned to an Experimental or Control group. The Experimental group was presented with Values Education through exposure to age relevant moral dilemmas which envelope a societal value drawn from the Core Shared Values (Curriculum Council of Western Australia, 1998). Within each session the discussions were both inductive and didactic. After a ten-week exposure to forty-minute sessions the students were re-tested. The aim is to investigate evidence of significant change in moral development of the Experimental group compared to the Control group. The degree to which changes occur impinges upon the relevance of inclusion of Core Shared Values into the Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Council of Western Australia, 1998) being established in Western Australian schools. The Core Shared Values are to be infused into the curriculum in order to enrich the morality of students, the future societal generations, and raise the moral standards of our society. The presupposition is that the integration of these values will in fact enhance moral development through moral reasoning. The findings of this study did not support the premise that using a Values Education will improve the mora1 reasoning capacity of students within an experimental group above that of a control group. Even though overall improvements were made in both groups, neither reached statistical significance. Recommendations included in the body of the text include the consideration of a longitudinal study using values integrated into the curriculum rather than an interventionist approach.