Educating on the basis of thin and thick value orientations


  • J. L. van der Walt, Prof. North-West University, South Africa


Education, Pedagogy, Values, Contextualized values, Life view


Some theorists about education in a multicultural society such as thatof South Africa have been propounding the notion that public (state)education should be based on a minimum-universalistic human rights value system, or at most a system in which such values have beencontextualized by local conditions and demands. This, they contend, is necessary for establishing a modus vivendi. This article expounds the view that education should rather rest on “thick” values, i.e. values filled with life view content. The difference between a pedagogical approach based on “thin” values (devoid of life view content) and one based on“thick” values is highlighted with reference to respectively life view andpedagogy related demands. Since an approach based on “thick” values could indeed lead to conflict, there should also be a place in education for the “thin” values that all can share.



How to Cite

van der Walt, J. L. (2015). Educating on the basis of thin and thick value orientations. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 51(2), 81-95. Retrieved from



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