Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Music Education as Part of Estonian Basic School Students`values Education

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Music Education as Part of Estonian Basic School Students`values Education

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Society is considered to rely on the foundation of values and value-judgements, which correspond to the educational objectives adopted by the state (Gustavson, 2000, 20). Throughout times, the task of education has been to guide people towards goodness, to give human beings something that they do not inherently have (Vseviov, 2009). In the development and shaping of values an important role belongs to people who surround children and young people, their school, teacher and rearing environment, including musical rearing environment.

The development of Estonian society has a profound effect on the shaping of the school system's values education priorities. Education does not only mean knowledge transfer, first of all it means educating and developing people. Thus, education is related to the acquisition of values, since it is based on the understanding of who a person is and how he or she should act, behave and think. Music as a school subject fulfils the aims that are linked to values education and the shaping of values.

With this study, the researchers are turning the spotlight on the opportunities for applying the potential effect of music in the process of the transfer from knowledge-based education to values-based education at Estonian schools. The objective is to ascertain the ways of expression of the effect of music education on the development of values in students of forms seven to nine.

Theorethical framework

Based on the objective of the study, various attitudes to values and principles of music education will be elucidated.

Different schools of research define values in different ways. Ronald Inglehart views values as people's reactions to environmental changes, emphasising, that values are formed at an early age in the process of socialisation (Inglehart 1995). According to Graham Haydon, people in the modern society need to have personal values, and understand and consider the values of the others. Through compulsory education it is possible to make people understand values much more deeply and widely than in any other society up to now (Haydon, 2009, 43).

For Milton Rokeach, values represent fundamental concepts that each person individually and the society as a whole should possess. Values are like desirable goals of varying importance that act as guiding principles in human life. Rokeach Value Survey relies on terminal and instrumental values. Terminal or internal values include, for example, a strong family, happiness, true friendship, national security, social recognition, etc. He regards instrumental values as means of achieving the desired terminal state: e.g. honesty, justice, tolerance, responsibility, helpfulness, clean environment, etc. (Rokeach, 1989).

Values are ordered by their relative importance. A narrower distinction is drawn between moral, material, economic, political, legal, aesthetic, cultural and historical values. These values can be directed by the society by highlighting certain ideals and principles, and making appraisals. Generally, it may be stated that these are external values. In a broader sense, the so-called classical core values are truth, goodness, beauty, faith, hope and love. It is difficult to interpret core values because they are abstract concepts with personal rather than collective meaning. These values of internal nature cannot be abandoned. (Inglehart, 1995; Rokeach, 1989).

Researchers of value theories Shalom Schwartz and Wolfgang Bilsk argue that personal values are people's universal needs all individuals and societies desire to satisfy. These are the needs of individuals and biological organisms, social interaction needs, survival and wellbeing needs. At the same time, they have also outlined motivational goals: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, benevolence, tradition and security. Values can be ranked according to their importance relative to one another (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990, 1994; Schwartz 1995). …

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