‘Desires’ Clarified, Much of ‘Value’: A Plea for Values Clarification

Madhu Suri Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Values clarification (VC) continues to be criticized for its conception of the ends as well as the means of moral education. Responding to Dwight Boyd and Deanne Bogdan's recent critique of values clarification, this paper suggests a new perspective from which to reassess this approach to moral education. In doing so, it locates Values Clarification within a long and rich tradition of ethical and educational theory. Its critics, including Boyd and Bogdan, reflect viewpoints belonging to a competing tradition. The key unresolved differences between these two competing traditions are highlighted with a view to showing that, contrary to the allegations of its critics, VC does not hold arbitrary or mistaken conceptions of ‘morality’ and ‘education’, but merely conceptions which are currently not as popular. While providing new grounds for the assessment of VC, this paper also attempts to expand the scope of the dialogue on moral education by drawing attention to a compelling, yet insufficiently studied tradition in ethics and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-126
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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