A Myriad Of Values: A Brief History
By R. Lewis Hodge

The central purpose of this paper is to argue that American public education has always been value laden and that a straightforward approach concerning what values will be taught is an appropriate policy. The process and cognitive approaches to moral and value education1 have been popular because they seem "value neutral" and nondogmatic, which are virtues in an individualistic culture. However, these approaches have not been "value neutral": among inherent limitations is a general bias against "character education" and resistance to the advocacy of specific values. In spite of American pluralism, a relatively common set of traditional values is possible and desirable. This paper will not argue for regression to "golden yesteryears," rather for a reconstitution of value content which has the validation of reason, universality, tradition, and pragmatism.