Values and Knowledge Education (VaKE)
A professor at the University of Salzburg, author of the model VaKE (Values and Knowledge Education), Dr. Jean-Luc Patry was in Georgia from 26 to 29 of June 2017.
“VaKE (Values and Knowledge Education) is a constructivist teaching approach that consists in using a dilemma in the Kohlberg tradition to trigger inquiry-based learning of content... With VaKE, teachers are able to conduct moral education in specific subject matter lessons without limiting the content of the curriculum. Based on a value conflict, which is presented in a dilemma story, learners are sensitized for values, and they construct their knowledge by themselves…VaKE is a didactical approach, which combines knowledge acquisition with values education through the use of dilemmas”.
Here, Professor Jean-Luc participated in the project “Integrating Knowledge and Values in the Learning Process”, developed by a professor at the Ilia State University, Ekaterine Shaverdashvili and Education Program Manager at Civic Development Institute, Tamar Mosiashvili.
Prof. Patry together with the project authors conducted a workshop for teachers and young researchers of the Ilia State University at Goethe Institute. The participants learned the theoretical basis of VaKE and its link with the Kohlberg’s moral development theory. The implication of VaKE involves strengthening the role of knowledge, argumentation and discussion in the development of values and thinking. The discussed case was related to the role of the moral dilemma in the educational process, its importance and influence. Professor Patry and the project team are planning to continue their activities in the upcoming future. The main challenge of Georgia is the development of democracy and the strengthening of humanistic values among Georgian citizens of different ethnic and religious background. This approach will provide teachers a tool to promote democracy at schools located in minority populated regions where the Georgian Armenians and Georgian Azeris live.
Project Author, Ms. Ekaterine Shaverdashvili was interviewed on the future plans of VaKE in Georgia.
- How do you intend to integrate this approach in the university?
As of the, new semester we are planning to pilot a new course for the students at the Ilia State University. Future teachers will acquire knowledge and skills needed to integrate the VaKE approach in the teaching process. The prepared syllabi will include theoretical as well as practical approaches.
The final goal of the course is to integrate in the teaching process the sensitivity of values and norms in general and to determine the relationship between values and knowledge.
- How would you assess the importance of the VaKE model in teaching Georgian as a second language? Has something already been planned?
The reason why non-Georgian students do not have sufficient knowledge of the Georgian language has been researched on a number of occasions. The main problem is the lack of interest in Georgian culture and statehood and the absence of access to information and communication. This subject remains a problem. It is necessary to teach the language with integrated methods in diverse environments. Teachers must promote the values and culture and raise awareness, which will in turn facilitate the solution of the problems faced by the government. These problems in many countries nowadays are solved by a new instrument of Value and Knowledge Education.
This research project is planned by the Ilia University and by the Civic Development Institute and aims to raise civic awareness along with knowledge of Georgian as a second language and establish values in literary text as one of the most important learning material.
The main goal of the research is to develop effective methods for non-Georgian students (who are studying Georgian in the university within a year) to increase culture awareness using the VaKE approach.
The research results will be generalized and recommendations be provided to the relevant institutions and specialists as a guidebook.
The project is supported by the Ilia State University, the Civic Development Institute, the University of Salzburg, the Goethe Institute and the Austrian Culture Center.
Author of the article - Teona Magalashvili