As we saw in the previous chapter we now know from the school effectiveness research that the single most influential factor regarding student improvement is the classroom teacher. We also know that teachers' subject "content" knowledge and their "pedagogical" knowledge play a crucial role in enabling student improvement. With regard to the latter, the literature suggests that values are not an "added extra" to education, but rather, that values are at the very core of quality teaching in that students learn best in a learning situation consciously structured around positive values of care and concern for student progress. From a quality teaching perspective the focus of schooling has to be on student achievement and providing those conditions where students are best able to achieve. This implies a role for values in any quality teaching effort. It is self evident that values permeate every aspect of schooling, the selection of content, the way the school is organised, staff selection and many other things. Thus, there is a prima facie case for values playing a part in quality teaching. In considering the relationship between values and quality teaching, this review of research and practice addresses three main questions: What is the essence of, and what constitutes, quality teaching? ; How might it be nurtured? ; What is the nature of the relationship between values and quality teaching? The appeal of these questions grew out of our collective experience with the VEGPSP Stage 1 that was described earlier. They arise from the conception of quality teaching and its relation to Values Education outlined previously and they are designed to "tease out" support for the links that are to be found in the literature.
Values Education and Quality Teaching: the Double Helix Effect p. 13-27