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Role of Family, Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values

  • 14 Jun 2024
  • 13 min read

For Prelims: Justice, Equality, Cultural Traditions, Community Service, Environment, Communication, Heritage, Pardon, Fraternity, Festivals, Media,  Democracy.

For Mains: Roles played by family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating core values and societal norms.

What are Values?

  • Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions. 
  • Values are "things that have an intrinsic worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor," or "principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable."
  • Values constitute an important aspect of self awareness and serve as guiding principles for an individual.

What are Human Values?

  • Human values are the virtues that guide us to take into account the human element when one interacts with other human beings.
  • Human values are the foundation for any viable life within society. They build space for a drive, a movement towards one another, which leads to peace.
  • Basic inherent human values include truth, honesty, loyalty, love, peace etc. They bring out the fundamental goodness of human beings and society at large. 
  • The five human values which are expected in all human beings are:
    • Right Conduct: It contains values like self help skills (modesty, self-reliance etc.), social skills (good behavior, environment awareness etc.) and ethical skills (courage, efficiency, punctuality etc).
    • Peace: It contains values like humility, optimism, patience, self-confidence, self-control, self-esteem etc.
    • Truth: It contains values like accuracy, fairness, honesty, justice, quest for knowledge, determination etc.
    • Peaceful co-existence: It contains values like psychological (benevolence, compassion, forgiveness etc) and social (fraternity, equality, respect for others etc).
    • Discipline: Contains values like regulation, direction, order etc.

What is the Role of Family in Inculcating Values?

  • Family is the foundation on which values are built. It is crucial in developing the moral values of a child
  • There is a close contact between the parents and children, which determines the personality of the child. 
  • The family shapes the child's attitude towards people and society, and helps in mental growth in the child and supports his ambitions and values. 
  • Blissful and cheerful atmosphere in the family will develop love, affection, tolerance, and generosity. A child learns his behavior by modeling what he sees around him.
  • Family helps in inculcating values by:
    • Emulating Behavior:
      • Family members, particularly parents, act as role models. Children watch and mimic the actions of their parents and siblings e.g., when parents regularly demonstrate kindness and respect to others, children are inclined to follow suit, learning the value of empathy and respect in their interactions with others.
    • Instructional Teaching:
      • Families impart values through clear instruction and guidance
      • This can involve teaching religious practices, cultural traditions, or ethical principles like honesty and integrity e.g., a family that prioritizes honesty might talk about the significance of telling the truth and encourage children to be honest in their interactions, even when it's challenging.
    • Facilitating Experiences:
      • Families create experiences that reinforce values
      • This can include participating in community service, attending religious services, or engaging in family traditions e.g., a family might volunteer together at a local food bank, teaching children the importance of community service and compassion for those in need.
    • Fostering a Supportive Environment:
      • Families establish a nurturing environment where individuals can safely explore and express their values. 
      • This supportive ambiance enables individuals to gain confidence in their beliefs and the bravery to put them into action e.g., a family that prioritizes open communication might empower children to voice their emotions and opinions, even if they differ from those of their parents, thus fostering an environment characterized by mutual respect and understanding.
    • Ethno-Religious Observances:
      • Families frequently acquaint children with cultural and religious practices steeped in values and moral teachings
      • Engaging in these practices can cultivate a sense of belonging, reverence for heritage, and comprehension of moral standards e.g., religious doctrines commonly incorporate moral precepts and ethical conduct conveyed within the familial context, such as empathy, pardon and responsibility.

What is the Role of Society in Inculcating Values?

  • Society plays a crucial role in instilling values
  • As children grow, they interact with peers, sharing thoughts and experiences
  • Society also shapes an individual's character by adhering to specific traditions and customs, of which we become a part. 
  • These traditions, rooted in values like loyalty, courage, love and fraternity, have been passed down through generations. 
  • Celebrating various festivals together promotes love and happiness
  • Moreover, our participation in festivals from diverse traditions and religions demonstrates mutual respect and acceptance of individuals in society.
  • Society helps in inculcating values by:
    • Socialization: 
      • Through interactions with family, peers, schools, religious institutions, and the media, individuals acquire values that guide their behaviors and decisions throughout life.
    • Modeling and Observation: 
      • Individuals observe and emulate the behaviors of others in society, particularly influential figures such as parents, teachers, community leaders and celebrities. 
      • These role models demonstrate values through their actions, words and interactions, which can shape the values adopted by individuals.
    • Norms and Expectations: 
      • Society establishes norms and expectations regarding acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, which are often rooted in shared values. 
      • These norms serve as guidelines for social conduct and help reinforce the importance of specific values within the community.
    • Social Support and Enforcement: 
      • Society provides support mechanisms and mechanisms for enforcing values through social approval, rewards and sanctions
      • Positive reinforcement for behaviors aligned with societal values encourages individuals to uphold those values, while social disapproval or consequences for violating norms serve as deterrents.
    • Cultural Traditions and Rituals: 
      • Societies preserve and transmit values through cultural traditions, rituals, ceremonies and celebrations. 
      • These collective experiences provide opportunities for individuals to connect with their cultural heritage, reinforce shared values and foster a sense of belonging and identity within the community.

What is the Role of Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values?

  • In school, children are members of a small society that exerts a tremendous influence on their moral development
  • Educational institutions, second only to the family, have a considerable impact on shaping a child's personality as they spend the majority of their time there.
  • Teachers serve as role models to students in school and play a major role in inculcating their ethical behavior.
  • Educational institutions helps in inculcating values by:
    • Course Planning:
      • Educational institutions meticulously craft their curriculum to encompass subjects and topics that instill values such as honesty, respect, responsibility and empathy e.g., courses like Social Studies or Ethics specifically address moral values and ethical dilemmas, prompting students to reflect on their beliefs and behaviors.
    • Enrichment Activities:
      • Engaging in clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities enables students to develop skills such as teamwork, fairness, leadership and perseverance. e.g., involvement in team sports fosters lessons in cooperation, sportsmanship toward opponents, and the appreciation for diligence and effort.
    • Public service and Philanthropy:
      • Numerous schools and colleges mandate students to participate in community service initiatives. 
      • These experiences acquaint students with varied societal needs and cultivate values of social responsibility and empathy e.g., volunteering at a local food bank can impart lessons on compassion and the significance of aiding individuals facing hardship.
    • Leading by Example:
      • Teachers and staff play a crucial role as role models for students. 
      • Their actions, attitudes and interactions with students and colleagues have a profound impact on the values students internalize. 
      • When a teacher exemplifies respect and fairness in the classroom, it creates a compelling example for students to follow.
    • Student Leadership Roles:
      • Student leadership opportunities, such as involvement in student councils or peer mentoring programs, enable students to assume responsibilities and influence decisions within their community. 
      • This encourages the development of values such as democracy, accountability and leadership e.g., a student council initiating a recycling program encourages environmental responsibility among students.


The family lays the initial foundation, teaching basic values like honesty, respect, and responsibility. Society refines and expands these values through diverse interactions and norms. Educational institutions formalize value education, integrating it into curricula and creating environments for practical application. Together, these three pillars provide a comprehensive support system that equips individuals with the moral and ethical guidance necessary for positive community contributions.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Mains :

Q."Corruption is the manifestation of the failure of core values in the society." In your opinion, what measures can be adopted to uplift the core values in the society ? (2023)

Q. “Education is not an injunction, it is an effective and pervasive tool for all-round development of an individual and social transformation”. Examine the New Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) in light of the above statement. (2020)

Q. The current internet expansion has instilled a different set of cultural values which are in conflict with traditional values. Discuss. (2020)

Q.Our attitudes towards life, work, other people and society are generally shaped unconsciously by the family and social surroundings in which we grow up. Some of these unconsciously acquired attitudes and values are often undesirable in the citizens of modern democratic and egalitarian society. (a) Discuss such undesirable values prevalent in today’s educated Indians. (b) How can such undesirable attitudes be changed and socio-ethical values be cultivated in the aspiring and serving civil servants? (2016)

Q.What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society, contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes? (2014)

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