Most Important Values to Teach Children

ValueThe Pew Research’s new American Trends Panel survey asked respondents to pick the three most important values to pass on to children (from a list of twelve).  Overall, respondents selected

  1. being responsible – 55%
  2. hard work – 42%, and
  3. religious faith – 30%.

So What?

When an additional filter is applied, the results look quite different.  When you compare the most conservative respondents with the most liberal two rather different sets of responses emerge:

Consistently Conservative Consistently Liberal
being responsible being responsible
religious faith empathy for others
hard work helping others

Perhaps comparing these two lists is one helpful way to begin to understand how such ideological differences inform the way individuals approach education more generally.

  • Which of the 12 would you rank as your top 3 (independence, hard work, being responsible, creativity, being well-mannered, helping others, persistence, religious faith, obedience, empathy for others, curiosity, tolerance)?
  • How consistent are your answers with the way you characterize your faith tradition (e.g., I am a part of the United Church of Christ, which I perceive to be consistently liberal while my own answers fit closest to the ____ column)?

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