Reviewing Values and Wellbeing Education – Pedagogical Compass or Fleeting Trend?

Thomas Nielsen, Jennifer Ma

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


There is a smorgasbord of values and wellbeing-related education programs to choose from in the world today, such as positive education, mindfulness education, social and emotional learning, service learning, environmental education, multicultural and global citizenship education, etc. While variety is a good thing (since different initiatives often provide different insights), it has also caused teacher fatigue in terms of the sheer amount of constantly changing “important things to do” to support students’ academic and wellbeing outcomes in schools. Moreover, often schools are operating with several pedagogical frameworks at the same time, and also frequently changing frameworks, sometimes due to staff turnover in the executive, all of which can negatively affect the consistent delivery of whole school approaches. Unless we understand from a bigger perspective where different frameworks might overlap and support each other, this fatigue and fragmentation will likely continue. In this chapter, drawing upon both our own as well as international meta-analytic and interdisciplinary research, we offer a synthesis of evidence-based core principles and practices that seem to run through successful values and wellbeing-related education programs. Appreciating the specific insights that various initiatives provide, we introduce a big picture framework – or “pedagogical compass” – that may assist educators envision how their current practices may be better streamlined to support one another.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecond International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing
EditorsTerence Lovat, Ron Toomey, Neville Clement, Kerry Dally
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783031244209
ISBN (Print)9783031244193
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education
VolumePart F1708
ISSN (Print)2197-1951
ISSN (Electronic)2197-196X


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