How Value Education Shape Curriculum?

How Value Education Shape Curriculum?

We should have a clear concept of what curriculum means from the viewpoint of education. There are many definitions of and about curriculum because of the ever-dynamic nature of education in terms of content, character, and nature.

As a result, no definite definition has been accepted by all. However, let us consider some definitions that are considered fairly exhaustive and transparent. These are:

  1. “A group of courses that a student takes under the guidance of the school or college.” (Good, Charles V, Dictionary of Education (edited), New York, 3rd edition, 1959, p. 149)
  2. “A group of courses developed considering three referents: a. Man’s categorized and preserved knowledge – i.e., the subject fields. b. A society with all its institutions, processes, beliefs, values, etc. c. Man’s mental, psychological, physical, and environmental needs and patterns” (Herrick, Virgil E, Strategies of Curriculum Development, Charles E. Merrill Books INC., Columbus, Ohio, 1965)

In other words, the curriculum is a pattern that provides a consistent framework of values and priorities for dealing with the operational decisions of the teaching-learning situation.

In the words of an English educationist, Cunningham, “Curriculum is a tool in the hands of an artist to mold his ideas in his studios.” Underlined words are used to encompass all the essentials that constitute a “Curriculum.” It means in the way that:

  • Tool is for Teaching aids and methods.
  • Artist is for: Teachers (male/female).
  • Ideas are for The aims and objectives of the institutions.
  • A studio is for a school/any educational institution.

Revealed knowledge, being obligatory for all humans, should form the core of the curriculum. The figure below illustrates the relationship between man, knowledge, and curriculum (Hashim, 2008).

Just as man is of dual nature – having a body and a spirit – so should the curriculum possess a center or a core consisting of revealed knowledge (‘Um al-naqliyah), which fulfills the spiritual needs of the individual, and acquired knowledge (film al-aqliyah), which fulfills the physical and intellectual needs necessary for societal development radiating from it.

Both types of knowledge, fard ‘ayn and fard kifayah, are essential for happiness in this world and the next. The balance between them must be preserved.

As the core of the curriculum, fard ‘ayn (revealed knowledge) must be obligatory for all students. To fulfill the requirement of fard kifayah (acquired knowledge), students will choose to specialize in at least one field of study.

Essentials for Developing a Curriculum

It should be noted here that a curriculum is essentially shaped and put into educational activities by six recognized authorities. These are presented below in sequential order of their power and prestige.

State Authority

This authority ordains and issues orders to include geopolitical and socioeconomic elements and situations, including history, religion, philosophy, and literature, that the people of the state use to sustain their individual, collective, material, and international lives.

Court Decrees

In cases where disputes or the need for change or reformation in prevailing educational methods, contents, principles, etc., arise, the State’s Court resolves these issues by issuing decrees, orders, verdicts, and approvals.

Prevailing Politics, Economy, Social Values, Religious Movements, etc.

Sometimes, these factors play significant roles in bringing about changes in educational philosophies and contents.

Professionals such as Educationists, Scholars of Education, Journalists, Critics, etc

They also exert their influence in bringing about changes to prevailing educational elements.

Global Events

Events like war, famine, treaties, trade, inventions, innovations, discoveries, classics, literature, etc., can strongly impact the trends and values of educational philosophy and ideals in a country.

School Community

Teachers, parents, and social groups, especially those with elite status, can also influence curriculum changes to meet the needs of the concerned community.

The curriculum should reinforce the following Islamic concepts (Hashim, 1999):

  1. The Islamic view of the Creator (tawhid, iman, and God’s attributes).
  2. The creation of man and his purpose, namely, to worship Allah, be His khalifah, promote good, forbid evil, and spread the message of Islam.
  3. Man’s relationship with the Creator, which includes his consciousness of Allah, accountability to Allah, performing good deeds, worshiping, and supplicating.
  4. Man’s relationship with others, involving establishing justice, respecting life, property, and dignity, developing sound akhlaq (character), and showing religious tolerance.
  5. Man’s relationship with the environment, emphasizing his role as God’s vicegerent, working in harmony with all of Allah’s creations, and recognizing or discovering Allah through His creation.
  6. Self-development, providing room for self-reformation and learning from past mistakes.
  7. Man’s destination, which includes promoting accountability by evaluating our roles, understanding the Last Day and the Hereafter, and their implications.
  8. Development of an Islamic ethos to create an environment conducive to Islamic practice.

Value Education as Subject Curriculum

It should be kept in mind that the ideas of the education of a state or a nation are determined, expressed, and executed by various governments, such as:

  1. Democratic
  2. Dictatorial
  3. Capitalistic
  4. Socialistic
  5. Communistic

These governments aim to achieve their respective goals. Hence, the core of all patterns of Value Education Curriculum takes on the content, color, and shape of the directives and ordinances of the government, reflecting the state’s ideological viewpoint and objectives.

In the context mentioned above, we should focus on developing a Value Education curriculum, especially as a separate subject. Value Education should be included as one of the courses offered by educational institutions for their learners.

For this subject, the class routine should schedule dedicated time periods on a weekly basis. At least 4 classes, each lasting 60 minutes, should be included in the weekly class routine for the following topics:

  1. Education – 4 credit hours
  2. Values – 4 credit hours
  3. Components of values – 12 credit hours, with each having 3 credit hours on:
    • Ethics
    • Morality
    • Religion

Human qualities such as politeness, generosity, truthfulness, dedication, etc.

All subject topics should be presented clearly, with guidance on how to instill these qualities in the minds of the learners. Methods for achieving these objectives should also be explained. Evaluation should encompass various types of exams, both practical and theoretical.

Moreover, Value Education courses for Teacher Training or Education departments should currently include:

  1. Examination of contemporary theories of value
  2. Major approaches to values education
  3. Program organization
  4. Teaching aids
  5. Teaching strategies
  6. Evaluation techniques
  7. Evaluation of programs

In this practical, job-oriented course, the main focus should be on addressing the problems and concerns of students enrolled in the course.

Value Education as a Related Study

The curriculum should be designed in a way that critical thinking and Values Education become indispensable parts of it. Value Education should not be limited to a mere 30-minute session once a week and then ignored or penalized for the rest of the time.

Since there are other subjects offered for study, Value Education should be integrated with these subjects. Teachers should collaborate with teachers of other courses to ensure that the content of Value Education is interwoven with other lessons.

This integration is essential because ‘Value Education,’ while treated as a separate subject, should not be taught in isolation. It has a significant and profound impact on other subjects as well. The following discussion will provide a deeper understanding of this matter:

History and Literature Embraces

For instance, subjects like English or History should incorporate values in their lessons, emphasizing the characters or events that impart important moral lessons to the learners.

Literary and Historical Examples of Values

Take, for example, the character of Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play or Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Macbeth’s treachery and the ruthless murder of his just king, Duncan, under the influence of his power-hungry wife, Lady Macbeth, illustrate the consequences of greed and betrayal.

On the other hand, Tipu Sultan, a noble patriot, sacrificed his life in the fight against the oppressive British rule, upholding his people’s honor and freedom.

Similarly, the noble character and compassionate deeds of ‘Hatemtaye’ demonstrate his humanity and concern for the welfare of commoners.

The Role of Educators and Parents in Moral Education

It’s crucial that the teachers are effective in presenting these subjects in a way that allows students to immerse themselves emotionally and experientially. Parents also play a vital role in reinforcing these values while their children are studying.

Historical Figures as Moral Exemplars

The history of figures such as prophets, saints, political leaders, and social reformers serves as a rich source of moral guidance and exemplification. Teachers and parents should include these moral examples in their teaching plans, as it is often said, “Examples are better than precepts.”

History, therefore, holds a recognized place in schools as a valuable subject for teaching morals. The best historical materials, including biographies, traditions, and stories, should be gradually introduced to children to impart moral values in a tangible form.

Impact of Significant Historical Events on Moral Education

Significant historical events, such as “The Great World Wars,” “The Mughal Rule and The British Rule in India,” and the remarkable conquest of Mecca by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), along with stories of figures like Sheikh Saadi, have a powerful influence on shaping children’s minds and attitudes toward becoming morally upright citizens.

Principled parents, preachers, and teachers can serve as living models, both in theory and practice, to instill moral values in children.

The Importance of Formative Years in Moral Development

The common school age, typically between 4 to 6+ years old, is a formative period. At the age of six, a child is still morally immature, but by the age of fifteen, they have often formed their moral foundations. It’s crucial to guide them during this critical period.

Just as children cannot learn geography or natural sciences solely through definitions or catechism (question-and-answer method), they require exposure to plants, animals, and natural phenomena.

Learning Morality Through Real-Life Examples

Similarly, moral judgments cannot be developed solely from books; they must be based on individual actions.

For instance, the story of Sir Philip Sidney, who, despite suffering from thirst on the battlefield, gave his water to a dying soldier with the words: “Thy necessity is greater than mine,” exemplifies patriotism in action.

The conquest of Mecca by Muhammad (peace be upon him), where mercy was shown to deadly enemies, or Hazrat Mohsin’s act of helping a burglar with his purse, teaches children morality through living examples.

Repetition and Engagement in Moral Education

Frequently repeating such stories through conversations, reading storybooks, creating drawings, or organizing film shows can firmly implant moral convictions in children’s minds. This repetition follows the law of exercise, ensuring that lessons are well retained.

Autobiographies, biographies, and storytelling about great historical figures should be incorporated regularly and systematically into the curriculum.

The Impact of Moral Education on Learners

The extensive use of such historical and literary materials has a remarkable impact on consciously and meaningfully shaping the moral ideas and characters of learners.

A wise teacher, with a sincere concern for their students’ well-being can observe their moral development as they grow and change. Such a teacher can also foster a moral atmosphere of goodwill in the classroom.

Highlighting the Virtues of Influential Figures

Selecting great biographies and highlighting the personal virtues of influential figures such as leaders, statesmen, poets, philanthropists, inventors, preachers, and educators will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression of genuine nobility.

In the words of the German thinker Goethe, “The best is good enough for children.” This emphasizes the importance of including the study of great individuals in history and literature as a mandatory element of the curriculum.

The Natural Science

Botany, Zoology, etc., constitute the field of nature for humans. All the forces and bounties of nature serve to provide learners with an understanding of its facts and laws.

Philosophical Perspectives on Nature

Waitz, a celebrated German philosopher, says, “A correct philosophy of the world and of life is possible” only based on knowledge of oneself and one’s relationship to surrounding nature. Another author, Diester Weg, expresses almost the same thought, emphasizing that without the study of human history and the history of nature and God, a person is an ignoramus (an ignorant person) as “Ignorance of nature is an unpardonable perversion.”

Educational Insights from Nature

According to Herbert, “In nature lies the abode of real truth,” and hence, Ziller is seen to remark, “The natural sciences are necessary for education,” without which “The firm conviction of ability, that is, judicious exercise of will is impossible.

To Humboldt, “Nature to the mature mind is unity in variety,” which lies concealed under the mantle of phenomena.

Nature as a Multifaceted Educator

However, it is clear that the proper study of nature provides a multifaceted education to the curious mind.

Observing Natural Phenomena

For instance, observing natural phenomena like birds flying in the air and fish swimming in the water creates curiosity in children’s minds, allowing them to appreciate the beauty and life inherent in these creatures.

Learning from Plants and Animals

Similarly, studying plants and animals, such as butterflies, frogs, sunflowers, etc., teaches them the art of adaptation to their environment, following the laws of growth and development in biology and related sciences.

The Mango Tree: A Case Study in Nature

Take, for example, the history of a mango tree, which illustrates how it germinates from a seed, draws nutrients from the earth, breathes in the air, withstands storms, seasons, and lightning, provides shelter to squirrels and nesting places for birds, offers its bark to insects, and yields fruit, fuel, and wood for humans.

Understanding Forest Ecosystems

A forest is a vibrant society consisting of interdependent parts: trees of various kinds, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses, beetles, worms, birds, sunshine, owls, squirrels, animals, soil, springs, and the changing seasons with their storms, frost, and droughts. They all seem to coexist as companions.

The Role of Textbooks in Nature Education

Textbooks that discuss the natures and laws of these natural entities stimulate children to think scientifically and analytically.

Learning Through Observation

Likewise, a child learns the scientific classification of living things, both animals and plants, through close observation of the forest’s ecosystem. This also teaches the child the importance of rationality and reason in understanding the relationships between different parts of a forest’s body and structure.

The Wonders of Natural Sciences

This demonstrates the tremendous uniqueness and wonder of the utilities of the natural sciences. It offers manifold benefits in the form of valuable products like gold coins, silk dresses, chemicals, and beautiful depictions of bushes and jungles in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Harnessing Nature’s Wealth

To harness this wealth, humans develop skills in observation, research, and experimentation. It represents humanity’s long-standing struggle with nature and its gradual triumph over its resources, using them usefully and profitably.

Nature’s Influence on Culture and Traditions

This knowledge and experience of the principles and mechanisms of nature constitute a valuable foundation for our culture and traditions, laden with values.

The Role of Natural Sciences in Modern Life

Spencer, in his book ‘Education’ between pages 44 and 54, shows that a very small group of people are engaged in the production, preparation, and distribution of commodities, for which knowledge of the physical, chemical, or vital properties of such commodities is invaluable.

The Transformation of Thought and Life

An examination of the history of education in modern Europe and America since the Renaissance (1494-1557) reveals that the natural sciences, which have made surprising advances, have had a powerful impact on our thought and transformed our modern life from our traditional or classical life, once based on belief in God, religion, and divinity with spirit and vision.

Modernist Views on Nature and Spirituality

Now, all of these are considered worthless and non-useful. Modernists say, “Let necessity spring from reality,” and therefore, not from ideas of holiness and spirit.

In other words, when a hungry child asks for bread, giving them moral inspiration is of no use to sustain their worldly life, which always depends on food and material resources.

Mathematics: A Tool for Truth and Certainty

Even values can be taught through mathematics. Al-Kindi (d. 866) showed us how important mathematics is for understanding philosophy. Ibn Miskawah (d. 1010), in his Tahdib al-Akhlaq, advises us to teach and educate our children with mathematics.

This is because teaching mathematics will instill in our children’s hearts a love for truth and a hatred for falsehood. The children will know with certainty that 2 + 2 = 4. This is the truth; anything else would be false.

If we train them with this mathematical truth, it will be embedded so strongly in their minds that they will surely reject anything to the contrary.

Many educationists initiate cross-curricular lessons. For example, let the students calculate the donation or Zakat of an amount and then create a chart to illustrate how to use it properly. Let them collect related advice and admonition.

Here is an example of a cross-curriculum approach to making students aware of not wasting water, using mathematics, religious obligation, and song:

“Water covers three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, while land covers one-fourth.

Write these expressions as fractions (for class 3) and as percentages (for class 5): Three-quarters – 3/4 (75%), one-fourth – 1/4 (25%).

Example of a Table:


Almost 2,000,000 children die each year due to a lack of clean water and adequate sanitation. Write down the number name. (class 2) Here, 2,000,000 children = 2 million

One in six people in the world lacks proper access to safe drinking water. Write it as a fraction (for class 3). Answer: 1/6 people.

Find out the percentage (for classes 5 & 6).

In a world of 600,000,000 people, how many are suffering from a lack of safe drinking water? (For class 5 & 6)

On the other hand, water wastage occurs when there is an abundance of safe water. For example, a study shows that you and your family could save up to 3,200 gallons of water per year by turning off the water when you shampoo. How much water can be saved by 20 families?

Take your family’s water bill and calculate the annual expenditure for water.

Religious Motivation/Instruction Related to Water

Allah (SWT) says about this: “..and we made every living thing of water” (the Qur’an, 21:30).

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has urged the Ummah to save water and not to waste it. He (peace be upon him) also ordered us to abstain from dirtying water.


An environment-related song, such as “Never Waste Water” by Zaky (

Value Education Prevailing in Different Countries

Value Education gets a proper footing and real exposition if and when the state authority is seen committed to this respect in a studied manner.

That means that the government’s policy of education, in all-encompassing senses, should prepare the curriculum from the viewpoint of values, such as honesty and truthfulness, along with material values.

From this viewpoint, when we look into Western and European education contents and systems, we see Science, Logic, Technology, and Research playing a mighty role in shaping the minds and intellect of the people.

This trend is now so powerful that almost all Muslim countries believe that their power and prestige depend on Western Education, making Islam a subject subordinate to Science, Logic, and Research for worldly progress in terms of power and prestige.

Prevailing Values of Education in different countries of the world have been briefly mentioned here:


The Australian Government commissioned the National Values Education Study to develop a framework and principles for values education in Australian schools.

Funding was provided to support schools in holding school community values education forums and delivering professional learning for teachers associated with curriculum resources. It will support teachers and schools to make full use of key values and education resources to meet new requirements in three dimensions:

  1. The First Four Learning Areas are English, Science, Mathematics, and History.
  2. General Capabilities: Especially in information and communication technology, critical and creative thinking, personal and social competence, ethical behavior, and intercultural understanding.
  3. Cross-Curriculum Priorities: Such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, Australia’s engagement with Asia, and sustainability.

All Australian schools provide values education in a planned and systematic way by articulating the school’s mission/ethos in consultation with their school community, developing student responsibility in local, national, and global contexts, ensuring values are incorporated into school policies and teaching programs across key learning areas, and reviewing the outcomes of their values education practices.


‘Civics and Morals’ is taught in Cambodian schools as one of the academic subjects based on the conviction to better the human condition.

The Cambodian Ministry of Education aims to involve the community in its educational reforms, and religious initiatives are welcomed to have a role in educational and humanitarian works and thoughts.


In China, Deyu (de denotes moral, political-ideological, and other characters; yu denotes Education) inclusively covers moral education, political and ideological education, law-related education, psychological health, environmental education, and sex education.

Citizenship Education associated with ‘Civic virtue’ has gained increasing attention on the mission of developing socialist citizens and cultivating eligible citizens.


In Japan, formal moral education was implemented one hour a week in schools in 1958 based on the spirit of human respect and an ethic of community.

Students are encouraged to develop the abilities to judge morality, seek moral attitudes, and be willing to put what they have learned into practice. The Japanese elementary school is based on an egalitarian philosophy that rewards effort rather than achievement.

The focus is on the whole child, not just their intellectual development, and character formation and social skills are considered as important as progress in academic subjects.

South Korea

South Korea has made remarkable achievements in its values education field. Values Education is a separate discipline from the primary level to the tertiary level, and Korea has rich curricula at all levels. To become a Moral Education teacher, one has to undergo specialized training in moral education.


Civics, Moral Education, History, and Islamic Education are subjects used to inculcate moral and civic virtues in Malaysia. The curriculum emphasizes 16 core universal values, including cleanliness, mercy, moderation, industry, gratitude, honesty, justice, and fairness, among others.


Values Education is a part of Swedish Education, focusing on Citizenship Education, participation in civic, social, and political life, understanding the rights and duties of other cultures, and awareness of responsibility for healthy, sustainable, and environmentally responsible living.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the term Value Education is not used, but Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural Development Education is promoted, leaving initiatives to individual schools.

However, government-supported campaigns such as Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), Living Values Education Project (LVEP), SSEHV, Penn Resiliency, and Character Education aim to promote morality and ethics among the people.


Thus we happen to see that the term curriculum is from the view point of education immensely and intensively plays profound role in bringing the changes to the mode of social, cultural, convictions and conventions.

It especially pays attention to the people’s time-honored heritage and tradition, and all such elements are being treated from the view of values that are as a nation viewed essentials for attaining peace and prosperity from the individual to social, nay of the country as a whole to have the footing as a distinct people in the comity of nations.