Challenging Times: Global Societal Trends and the Imperatives Thereof for Value Orientations and Value Education of the Youth

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Author(s): Charl C. Wolhuter

To cite this article: Wolhuter, C. C. (2022). Challenging Times: Global societal trends and the imperatives
thereof for value orientations and value education of the youth. Value Orientations of Modern Youth in Challenging Times, Vol.1, Youth Voice Journal, pp. 8-19. ISBN (ONLINE): 978-1-911634-43-0



Background: The present era in history is characterised by a set of forceful global societal trends. These include the ecological crisis, the population explosion and seismic demographic shifts, staggering technological progress, economic trends (growing affluence, the neo-liberal economic revolution), social trends (declining importance of primary and secondary social groupings and growing importance of tertiary social groupings), political trends (democratisation, individualisation) and religious and life and world philosophical trends. Each of these trends offers simultaneously exciting possibilities and frightening prospects to humanity. Perhaps the best, if imperfect instrument at the disposal of humanity is education.

Purpose: The aim of this article is to argue the thesis that value education is a pivotal tool in equipping humanity for the twenty-first century, and to depict the possibilities and limits of education, particularly with respect to equip humanity with an appropriate hierarchy of values to negotiate the context of the twenty-first century.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This is a position paper discussing a particular issue. The paper draws on the methodological tools of the scholarly field of Comparative and International Education. The concepts of values, values education, and theories on values and value education are clarified.

Findings: A set of powerful trends are currently reshaping society worldwide. The present state of value orientations of the youth globally as well as the state of value education is then surveyed. A deficiency in the current scholarly discourse of education is attention to values and to the objectives of education.

Conclusions: Current societal developments hold simultaneously unlimited promise and danger. To realise the first and avoid the latter, the neglect of values in education, as well as in the scholarly discourse of education are highlighted are lacuna to be rectified.

Key words: education, global trends, individualisation, social change, technological revolution, values,

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